Unveiling the Origins: Who Invented Yoga?

Written By Elyce Neuhauser

| Updated on  May 16, 2024
Unveiling the Origins: Who Invented Yoga?

When you hear the word "yoga," what comes to mind right away? Stretches, exercise, or a body that is easy to bend?

Well, yoga is more than that. Benefits from it transcend the limitations of flexibility. It helps to improve emotional and physical well-being equally. Over many millennia, this exquisite art has changed. Aiming for everlasting harmony and tranquility between body, mind, and soul, it is a spiritual discipline.

Address investigation Inventor of yoga? Shows how a technique can adapt to numerous societies and times, offering it to all. 

Ancient Indian-inspired yoga balances mind, body, and soul. Its maker is unknown, but its origins lie in the Indus Valley.

Derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, the title yoga means the union of intellect, body, and soul, and so captures the heart of “who invented the yoga.” 

Since yoga was created in antiquated India thousands of years ago, its exact maker still needs to be discovered. The roots of the practice may be found within the Indus Valley Civilization.

The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means "union of mind, body, and soul." This name gets to the heart of the question of "who is invented yoga."

Since yoga was formed in ancient India many thousands of years ago, no one knows for sure who created it. The tradition may have started with the people who lived in the Indus Valley.

As Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, the Vedas and Upanishads influenced the practice. Answer to the difficult Who invented yoga? It may have been made over decades in old India by multiple people. 

Yoga's progress may be collective rather than individual. We study its rich history and who invented this all-encompassing body-and-mind training.

In what place does yoga come from?

Yoga has roots in northern India that go back more than 5,000 years. The word "yoga" was first used in the Rig Veda, an old set of holy books. 

The Vedas are four very old holy books written in the language Sanskrit. It is the oldest of the Vedas and is made up of over a thousand hymns and spells organized into ten sections called mandalas. 

Priests in the Vedic period used these sections. Rishis (sages) improved and developed yoga. They wrote down their beliefs and practices in the Upanishads, which is a very large book with over 200 texts.

In Hinduism, yoga is one of the six schools of thought. In Buddhism, yoga is a big part of the meditation techniques. 

The Shri Yogendra Museum of Classical Yoga is the first museum in the world that is only about yoga. It has a lot of information about the past of yoga.

Father of Modern Yoga

Patanjali, a sage, is credited with making yoga more organized so that regular people could do it. Many people call the Patanjali Yoga Sutras the "classic" yoga book. 

They were written around 2500 years ago when the Buddha was alive. Between 500 BCE and 400 CE, the sage Patanjali wrote this style of yoga. 

The Sutras were the first ordered writings about yoga. The most translated book from ancient India was this one. It was that well-known. 

Like many amazing things, yoga fell out of favor for a long time. But in the late 1800s, Indian revivalists like Swami Vivekananda brought it back to life. 

When did yoga arrive in the West?

As we know it today, yoga took off in the late 1890s, when Indian monks first taught people in the West about their skills. People who went to India could also meet the yogis[1] and see them practice for themselves.

Many people say that Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) brought yoga to the West. He first came to the United States in 1883 and soon started putting together world conferences on the subject. He called yoga a "science of the mind" and translated works from Sanskrit into English. 

During his trip to the US in 1893, he got people interested in yoga by showing it off at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. 

A lot of other Indian Yogis and Swamis were accepted with open arms in the West because of this.

Yoga Timeline

  • Vedic Period (1500-500 BCE) 
  • Pre-Classical(500 - 200 BCE)
  • Classical(200 BCE - 500 CE) 
  • Post-Classical(1500 - 1899 CE) 
  • Modern Yoga (1900 - ) 

Read More: Who Invented yoga Pants? A Brief History and Advancement

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