Yoga and Humanity

“Yoga and Humanity” has been chosen by the Ministry of AYUSH as the theme for the 8th International Day of Yoga, celebrated worldwide on 21st June 2022.
Yoga is known for its benefits since the very beginnings of the civilization in the Indus Valley in Northern India more than 5000 years ago, also known as the Harappa civilization. The Indus Valley Civilisation is named after the Indus River system. This bronze age civilization is known for well designed urban planning including hygenic and water management systems. However, no monumental structures or huge palaces were built, other than the contemporary civilisations of Mesopotamia or ancient Egypt did.
The Indus Valley people are described by scientists as traders and artisans, and, foremost as peace-loving people. This is of interest to note in connection with the fact that the Indus Valley people are considered to be first individuals practicing yoga.The first evidence of yoga is found on the Harappean Seals where figures in yogic postures are seen on clay seals.Thus, the origins of yoga lay in the foundations of the civilisation of the peace-loving Indus people over 5000 years ago.
The word yoga, meaning “union”, was first mentioned in the sacred texts of the Rig Veda. The Vedas are a set of four ancient texts written in Sanskrit.
The Vedas were a collection of texts containing songs, mantras and rituals to be used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests. Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis (ancient wise teachers) who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads. Yogic scriptures are also embedded in the Indian national epos, the Bhagavad-Gîtâ.
Yoga was formally codified by Patanjali much later in his Yoga Sutras, estimated to have been in the 1st century BC). For Patanjali, yoga was not just about a variety of physical positions, the asanas, it was more like a a holistic system with spiritual, mental and physical aspects, including also breath exercises (pranayama) and meditation.
The power of meditation helps the indivual to higher concentration and focus of mind, calming restless thoughts. Even, the power of meditation is believed to influence the sourroundings to calm down as it is said about the hero Arjuna that through his meditation even wild beasts in the forrest became tranquile.
As a matter of fact, studies from brain scientists and neurologists elaborate on the proven effect that people,who do regularly meditation per week, are more peaceful than others, and, have more brain power and ability to focus. People who do just twelve minutes meditation per day are able to slow down the aging process. Meditation is shown to thicken the pre-frontal cortex. This part manages brain functions like increased awareness, concentration, and decision making. The people from the Indus Valley had already 5000 years ago this very same knowledge practising yoga and meditation. Humanity and Yoga are in such an amazing conjunction since the ancient times and re-discovered by the modern yoga practitioners. In essence it can be said: “Yoga is the prime and most noble manifestion reflecting humanity”.
©Anliveda Yoga