The discipline of Yoga came from India. Its written history stems as far back as the Rig Veda in approximately 1500 BCE; however elements of the practice have been traced back even thousands of years earlier. Though Yoga stems from Hinduism and is spiritual in its background, Yoga is multi-layered and non- denominational in practice. Indeed, though the word Yoga means “union” and implies the spiritual union between humans and the infinite or Divine, the form of this union can take place in the physical world.
Hatha Yoga consists of postures, said to have come from Lord Shiva, to sages in deep meditation. Regular practice of these postures together with breathing exercises brings strength and vitality to the body, enhanced physical and mental awareness as well as a sense of well being. Though the practice can bring physical, mental and spiritual benefits, one need not have any spiritual aspirations to enjoy and benefit from the practice. Through the practice one can explore the contents of one’s body and mind and create joyful expressions of those contents.
Yoga is the union of the individual and the Universal, but it is also the process and study of that union. As such, it can come through an infinite number of forms and disciplines. We can never explore them all, but hopefully you can find some that appeal to you!