A series of physical and mental disciplines, Yoga is a meditative practice believed to have been originated in India. Vedic Literature contains references to ascetics, as early as 900 to 500 BC. Some of the seals discovered from the Indus Valley Civilization sites have figures in postures resembling the ones in Yoga. According to the Katha Upanishad, Yoga refers to the control of the senses and mental equilibrium. The Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Mahabharata and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are the most important textual sources about the concept of Yoga.
The goal of yoga is the attainment of a sound mind in a healthy body. It helps one become aware of the self, control one’s emotions and to think straight. Yoga is also believed to help one achieve Moksha-the liberation from all worldly sufferings and the phases of birth and death. Though the postures of Yoga are designed to give mental and spiritual well being, it also improves ones physical health.
The most noted propagator of Yoga was the great sage Patanjali who wrote the ‘Yoga Sutras’. He spoke about an eight fold path from suffering and pain through Yoga. Of these, the first five elements are known as External (Bahiranga) Yoga or Hath Yoga while the last three are referred to as Internal (Antaranga) Yoga or Raja Yoga.
Kerala has a number of Yoga and meditation centres where experts guide you through the entire process of learning Yoga. They train you after completely understanding your pace and learning ability. Your present medical condition, the difficulty you have with certain poses and what is most comfortable for you are studied by these professionals. Kerala, with its pollution-free environment and tranquil surroundings is the idyllic place to practice Yoga and seek peace of mind.