Yoga is said to have originated in India during the Golden Age, nearly 26,000 years ago. The actual Sanskrit word, when broken down, means “to control”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. The word has also been translated to mean “joining”, “uniting” and “union”. The union is made between the self and the spirit. Yoga is a major part of the Hindu religion as it embodies their natural state of being and spiritual enlightenment. As a part of Hinduism, Yoga belongs to one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy. If you dig deeper, you can read about how yoga is used in conjunction with meditation. Yoga is also a major part of Buddhism as a part of their meditation practices. It has even been linked to Islam and early Christianity.
Yoga today has become increasingly popular, not so much for the spiritual benefits as for the physical advantages. You can take a yoga class at your local gym, a yoga studio or from the privacy of your own home through a personal instructor or yoga dvd. From popular musicians embracing Yoga to magazines filled with yoga ads, you simply cannot get away from Yoga and the influence it has had physically and mentally for a lot of people.