Office of Student Life

Ohio Union Activities Board

Origin of Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is the union of the mind, body, and spirit by bringing harmony in thought, word, and deed. The goal is to understand that you are one with the universe and live with harmony.

Yoga originates from India, where Lord Shiva was the first Yogi. There technically is no “origin date” of yoga because it is said to have existed from the beginning of time. Lord Shiva was the first Yogi, and he passed down his knowledge to humans.

In Western cultures today, yoga is taught primarily as an exercise with poses and an emphasis on one’s posture, but this does not cover all 8 limbs of yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle, beyond posture, which is why it is made up of 7 other limbs as well to account for how we act in any given situation. See the 8 limbs below:

8 Limbs of Yoga:

  • Asana: the poses/postures (the limb most commonly practiced today)
  • Pranayama: breath work
  • Yama: attitude towards our environment
  • Niyama: attitude towards ourselves
  • Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses
  • Dharana: concentration
  • Dhyana: meditation
  • Samadhi: merging with the self (complete integration)


Works Cited

“About Yoga.” 8 Limbs Yoga,
“A Brief History of Yoga.” Art of Living (United States),
“Get to Know the 8 Limbs of Yoga.” Yoga Journal, 22 Sept. 2021,
“The Hindu Roots of Yoga.” Hindu American Foundation, 15 Mar. 2021,