Yoga is so old, that nobody knows exactly when it started. But, it began long ago when people started trying to understand what life was all about. Only a legend can give us an idea about the history of yoga.

According to the legend, Shiva was the first yogi. And many thousands of years ago, Shiva reached enlightenment in a place called Mount Kailash.

The story says that he had seven disciples who became known as the seven rishis. They are considered the founders of most spiritual traditions in the world.

No one can prove Shiva’s existence or if any of these stories are true. But, we don’t know . . . maybe it’s not a legend after all.

Yoga is not quite the same thing it is today that it was back then.

Yoga. We all know this term so well. It is so common in our vernacular that this Sanskrit word has been incorporated into English dictionaries.

The word yoga itself first appeared in writing in the ancient and sacred texts of Hinduism – the Vedas. Specifically, yoga first made an appearance in the Rig Veda, the oldest of these scriptures.

The word “yoga” itself comes from the root “yuj,” which means “to yoke.” Now this is no longer a word that is commonplace in the English language, so you might not catch its meaning at first glance.

Yoking was a practice used to connect and harness two animals. They would be “yoked” together (typically at their necks) to then be able to perform tasks (such as plowing a field). So, essentially, to yoke is to create a union, and this is typically how we hear yoga defined today.