Yoga’s Evolution

The origin of Yoga has been traced back to somewhere nearly 5,000 years ago. A definitive marker in time is challenging to pinpoint due to the nature of the practices and the passing of sacred texts from teacher to student orally. The intial periods of evolution have been deeply analyzed by mystics and yogis. Most of them determined two main philosophies threads: dualistic or non-dualistic  approaches to the multiple paths of Yoga. Stepping on these varied paths/maragas opens one to the vast world of all that is possible when exploring the multiple layers of Yoga.

Yoga's Timeline

2016   Unknown-1

Yoga in America Study       

 2009  The US White House includes Yoga as part of physical fitness activity day for the first time.   WHLawnYoga5063-500x333

2008     The modern version of acro yoga appears on the scene.  Modern – or – Blast from the Past.

2003   Unknown-1 Dogs appear as part of the 1st offerings with animals.

2002  Bikram Choudhury’s attempt to copyright 26 pose series, is defeated by the courts. Setting the precedent that Yoga doesn’t belong to any one person.

 TIME 20012001  Time magazine’s feature article highlights the many benefits and components of Yoga.

YA-Flower1999  Yoga Alliance, a US based non-profit, starts to create a unified credentialing system for Yoga professionals.

        1997   anusara-yoga-logo-2012 …brings Tantra into the modern Yoga scene

1995 Laugher Yoga is founded

1990’s   Birch, West & Baptiste all bring power yogato the forefront

Unknown-21983    Dr. Dean Ornish’s study shows  that heart disease can be reversed through diet, meditation, group support, and yoga

number-1-yjcover1975   Yoga Journal prints first issue

1973   The definition of Vinyasa emerges

1970  On October 5, Lilias Folan, airs her 1st show of Lilas, Yoga and You. After three years on the local PBS station in Cincinnati it went national. She is still around and has a Facebook page!f022b8291deb301183370f70a9c5bf78

 Unknown-4 Swami Vishnu Devananda establishes Sivananada Teacher Training

& Sri Swami Satchidananda gives opening speech at Woodstock. View it.Unknown-3

In 1968, Yogi Bhajan  introduced his own brand of Kundalini yoga into the United States

1967  The Beatles in Rishikesh article-2668985-000A073900000258-584_964x682



1966   Unknown-110-e1492820814528-vintage Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar published.

1961    T.K.V. Desikachar started working in the Yoga Mandiram ashram with his father.

Unknown-3& Yoga TV with Richard Hittleman airs

Unknown1948  Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute is established

1947images-10   After eight years of teaching in India, Indra Devi, leaves for the United States and opens the first Yoga studio in Los Angeles.

 Unknown-4Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the forefather of modern Yoga, is invited to teach at the Sanskrit College in Mysore. He becomes the teacher of many modern day Yogasana founders.



1920  Self Realization Fellowship established in Los Angeles.

1918  Sri Yogendraji  Unknown-5introduces Yoga as a fitness exercise.

Baba-Lachman-Das-Slide1897  1st photo of Yogāsana to appear

1893  Swami Vivekananda swamiji visits Parliament of Religions in Chicago.(listen to his speech)

1875  Theosophical Society  is founded introducing Yoga to high society in NYC.

1840  Sritattvanidhi’s book of 121 images is published as 1st set of Yogasanas. 

1836  Henry David Thoreau is 1st self-identified Yogi (part of American transcendentalism, influenced by Yogic ideals)

c. 1400 Hatha Yoga Pradipika is written by Svatmarama 199514

c. 1100  Hath Yoga is invented by the sages Matsyendra & Gorakhnath (who forms a sect called the Naths, for centuries to come they shepherd through the centuries.

gita-logo2c. 500  Bhagavad Gita outlines ancient principals of Yoga.

The central one being: do ones’s duty & expect nothing in return.

c. 1100-450 Tantra philosophy begins to crystalize. It is one of the first coming from this part of the world to include women.

c. 1005   arttantra26Tantra philosophy is clarified by the sage, Abhinavagupta, and a text known as Tantraloka.

images-10c. 200    Yoga Sutras written by Patañjali

Study the Sutras, & gain further insight into the incorporation of Yoga into your life.


Unknown-1 c. 600

The Upaniṣads define Yoga as a restraint of the senses, not all of the practices are revealed in this text.

                                   c. 1200

rig-veda                                      The Rig Vedais an ancient Indian collection of hymns. There are four śrutisacred texts of Hinduism, they are called Vedas.

 c. 3800-1800

images-11st poses written on stone tablets

A Brief History Of Yoga: From Ancient Hindu Scriptures To The Modern, Westernized Practice

Yoga comes in many shapes and sizes; it has thousands of interpretations and pathways that lead to spiritual awareness, expanded consciousness, transcendence, or simply physical fitness.

The Science Behind Yoga   

The Yoga Poster: A Learning Tool     

A diagram that captures, concisely, all the major aspects of yoga.