India the land that has throughout ages been supplying mankind with great innovations, is credited of providing this ultimate science or philosophy of bringing the body, mind and soul together in connection with the Supreme Being known as Yoga. Yoga in India is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu Philosophy. It is the art that believes in providing mental and bodily health through the means of various posture centric exercises and meditation. Various forms of Yoga is found in some of the major religious following founded on Indian land such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Hinduism itself.
The history of Yoga is as old as that of civilized humanity; some estimate date back its origin to the period of Indus Valley Civilization, while its recorded origins are found in the texts that arrived around the time of the Vedic Civilization. The Upanishads and the Vedas refer to Yoga and have prescribed many of the asana that is so main stream today. But the major contribution to Yoga came in the last millennium of the ‘B.C’ era and first millennium of ‘C.E’ era in the form of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is one of the ancients arts that India supplied the world like Ayurveda, whose benefits are been reaped around the world.
The purpose of Yoga was very spiritual in nature until about the first millennia C.E when Hatha Yoga was discovered which focused more on the physical and health aspects of Yoga. The ultimate purpose of Yoga is to unite the man with his originator; the piety with the lord, to attain what is called in India ‘Moksh’ and in the western world ‘Nirvana’. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali defines its purpose as cessation of the perturbations of consciousness. In the modern era, Yoga is used mainly as a means of attaining fitness and health; it is part of exercising and therapy routines.
In the past century since Swami Vivekananda first took Yoga to the West, it has gained immense popularity worldwide and today yoga courses are part of many physical maintenance routine. To celebrate the success of Yoga and in order to bring together its various followers the Department of Tourism established the ‘International Yoga Festival’. This festival started out in 1999 in a hotel in Rishikesh with two Yoga teachers and handful of followers and today attracts thousands of followers and hundreds of teachers to its doors. The festival is held in the first week of March every year and has become a globally recognized event. This year…