# Did Yoga First Appear In The Vedas?
Yoga is an ancient spiritual, mental, and physical practice that dates back thousands of years. But did yoga first appear in the Vedas, which are the ancient Hindu holy texts? The answer is both yes and no.
## The Vedic Period
The Vedic period is a Hindu tradition that dates back to between 1500 BCE and 500 BCE. During this era, philosophical, religious, and spiritual traditions were evolving, including the practice of yoga. Though Vedic scriptures do not mention the word “yoga,” they do include many references to practices that we consider modern-day yoga today.
## The Vedas and Upanishads
The Vedas and Upanishads are the most ancient Hindu holy books, composed from 1500 BCE to 600 BCE. The Vedas contain references to meditation and asceticism, which are cornerstones of yoga practice. Additionally, the Upanishads contain references to chanting and breath control, as well as ideas about liberation and avoidance of suffering.
## Samkhya and Yoga Sutras
During the classical period of yoga, between 400 BCE and 200 CE, two philosophical schools of yoga emerged. The Samkhya philosophy was based on dualism, or the idea that the body and the mind are separate.
The Yoga Sutras, on the other hand, was based on eight so-called “limbs” of yoga, which are still practiced today. They include morality and ethics, posture and breathing, control of the senses, concentration and meditation, and a quest for spiritual knowledge.
## The Bhagavad Gita
This sacred Hindu scripture, which was written between 400 BCE and 100 BCE, is considered to be the most important, influential, and popular work of Hindu literature. It describes Krishna’s teachings on karma, devotion, and yoga, particularly raja yoga, which is the union of the individual self and the ultimate reality.
Though yoga can’t definitively be traced back to the Vedas, the Vedas have influenced the development of yoga as we know it today. The Vedas and other Hindu texts contain references to the traditions, teachings, and practices that have become key components of yoga, which is why most people consider yoga to have its roots in Hinduism.
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What are the Vedas and when were they written?
The Vedas are a collection of religious texts of ancient Hindu scripture and are believed to be the oldest known sacred texts. They are written in Vedic Sanskrit and consist of four volumes known as the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas. These text were composed between 1500-1000 B.C. and are traditionally divided into four sections; Mantras, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanishads. The Vedas are considered to be some of the most ancient and influential texts in Hinduism and have had a major influence on Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.
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