The word yoga is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline from the Sanskrit word “yuj” (to yoke or bind). A male practitioner is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.
The Postures ….
The contemporary western approach to yoga is not based on any particular belief or religion, however Yoga does has its roots in Hinduism and Brahmanism. Yoga was developed by seers or ascetics living primarily in the southern parts of India. The seers observed nature and lived as close as they could to the earth, studying the many aspects of nature, the animals and themselves. By observing and emulating the different postures and habits of the animal kingdom they were able to develop grace, strength and wisdom.
It was through these very disciplined lives that the practice of the yoga postures were developed. It was necessary to develop a series of postures to keep the body lithe and able to endure long periods of stillness when in meditation.