In larger cities, there is now a yoga studio on almost every street corner. For many, it is already a part of everyday fitness and relaxation training but only few know its roots, its origin and meaning.
The word yoga comes from Sanskrit and means connection.
Its origins are embedded in different philosophical and spiritual systems and have never been pure health training, as it is often the case in the West today. Traditionally, the aim is to connect the mind with the body, the gods, a high self or the true nature of being.
Personally, I use and teach yoga free from any denomination or philosophical system so that it is accessible to everyone and no one gets into a mental conflict while practicing an individual spiritual path.
The individual elements of the different styles of yoga are very versatile and include various body, breathing and meditation techniques.
The exact origin of yoga is unknown. A legend says that nobody lesser than Shiva himself achieved enlightenment on Mount Kailash 12,000 years ago and brought yoga to mankind.
Shiva (/ Lord Shiva / Mahadeva) is a Hindu god, who depending on the Hindu current, has a very different function and meaning.
Generally, he is worshiped as Adiyogi; "The first yogi".
Although it has been practiced before and many texts and sources of yoga have been mentioned it earlier, the younger roots go back to the 800th century AD and, surprisingly, are often barely known even in the scene.
This is where the Nath lineage was found, from which Hatha Yoga developed.
Some say the term Hatha comes from Ha and Tha, where Ha is Sun and Tha is Moon. However, the Sanskrit word Hatha means power.
Since all the yoga directions that we know today have evolved from this, one can call the first Nath Siddhas (Siddha = accomplisher) the fathers of yoga.
Here Shiva also plays a crucial role, because he is said to have been the teacher of Minapa (Matsyendranath), who became the first human teacher of the Naths.
He was followed by the other two founding fathers of this transmission; Caurangipa and Goraksa (Gorakanath).
They practiced Shiva's Tantra, and here it is interesting to know that, contrary to the great Hindu currents, Shiva is not described as an external God, but as a natural state of consciousness inherent in every being. The first three of the Nath Yogis are also known in Buddhism and are among the 84 Mahasiddhas, the great enlightened masters of ancient India. It is said that Caurangipa and Goraksa have not yet reached the highest goal, but extraordinary Siddhis (= supernatural abilities) of longevity and are still meditating today in caves of the Himalayas.
Til today the most varied forms of yoga have survived in Hindu and Buddhist systems and in the last century also made it to the West, where they are now available to an ever-wider public.
Undoubtedly, yoga, in whatever form, is an unbelievably precious tool to improve the health and well-being of body and mind.
My personal focus in training is primarily on cultivating the energy in the body, which is why I mainly use the Yoga Asanas as upbuilding elements for Qi Gong, as it is the case in Calligraphy Yoga and Qi Flow Yoga, for example.
Too early, it has always given me the taste of a pure stretching, flexibility and strength training, as the development of relaxation, deep mental states and the energy experience only through asanas undoubtedly takes longer than with a good Qi Gong training.
To feel Energy itself, the energy flows, the electrical sensation in the body, the heat and the magnetic waves is something so precious, fortunate and invigorating that it would be a shame to not make these experiences, to develop them and feel them in the various yoga forms and exercises. Therefore, a combination of Yoga and Qi Gong is a fantastic thing and luckily possible through the exchange of chinese and indian culture that is possible in our days.
Thank you for reading! Have fun and health!