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Yoga in Sanskrit translates to "that which unites," meaning the fusion or the act of becoming one. The physical practice of Yoga starts from the physical body and slowly moves inwards, creating harmony and balance.

Yoga practices were first mentioned in the ancient Hindu text known as Rigveda (likely between 1500 and 1000 BC). Yoga is referred to in a number of the Upanishads (Post Vedic Sanskrit texts of a wide variety of rites, incantations, and esoteric knowledge). The first known appearance of the word "yoga" with the same meaning as the modern term is in the Katha Upanishad, which was probably composed between the fifth and third centuries BC.


Yoga continued to develop as a systematic study and practice during the fifth and sixth centuries BC in ancient India's ascetic movements. The most comprehensive text on yoga dating to the early centuries of the Common Era is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the eightfold path is called Ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs.” These eight steps, commonly known as the eight limbs of yoga, basically act as guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline, direct attention toward one’s health, and help us to acknowledge our nature's spiritual aspects.

The eight limbs of yoga are: 1. Yama (self-restraint or to direct), 2. Niyama (observances), 3. Asana (posture), 4. Pranayama (breath regulation), 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), 6. Dharana (concentration), 7. Dhyana (meditation) and 8. Samadhi (trance or state of ecstasy).

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