In the pre-classical times (mid-sixth century B.C.E.) lived Siddhârtha Gautama who was the founder of the Nyâya school (of logic) and composer of the Nyâya-Sûtra (which mentions Yoga) and may be the “possible date of the composition of the Katha-Upanishad, which defines Yoga as ‘steady sensory control’ (sthîram indriya-dhâranam), which corresponds to the early understanding of the yogic process.”
Udraka Râmaputra (563-483 B.C.E.) most likely taught Siddhârtha Gautama some form of yoga because he was very skilled and fond of meditation.
Composition (550 B.C.E.) of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ that we know today is “the oldest full-fledged Yoga scripture of which we have knowledge. The Gîtâ is presented as a dialogue between the God-man Krishna and Prince Arjuna, who lived much earlier. It emphasizes the Yoga of devotion (bhakti-yoga).
450-350 B.C.E. is the estimated date for the Dhamma-Pada which may be regarded “as a textbook of Yoga not unlike the Hindu Bhagavad-Gîtâ.”
Patanjali the grammarian (150 B.C.E.) traditionally believed to be the author of the Yoga-Sûtra (versus Patanjali 150-200 C.E.). 150 B.C.E is also the estimated “date of Lakulin or Lakulîsha, the semi-legendary founder of the Yoga-practicing Pâshupatas and author of the Pâshupata-Sûtra.”
Patanjali 150-200 C.E. (as opposed to Patanjali the grammarian 150 B.C.E.) composes the Yoga-Sûtra and the final editing of Manu’s ancient Dharma-Shâstra takes place. The Dharma-Shâstra “contains a chapter on the duties of forest-dwellers and ascetics and also mentions Yoga.”
The Mârkandeya-Purâna (350 C.E.) describes a form of yoga.
350 C.E. is the estimated time “for the composition of Ishvara Krishna’s Sâmkhya-Kârikâ, the source text of Classical Sâmkhya.”
The title of the timetable from which this information was taken is “5,000 Years of Experience and Experimentation.” In modern times people still know and do yoga.
That is a long time for something to be around that people know about and do.
Yoga is a way of life as well as a way of exercising. Many people think of it as just an extreme exercise but it can be very gentle and specific for each person’s life. The focus is on health and integrating the body, mind and spirit whether the person is a beginner or an expert.
“…treatment can be an effective means of restoring harmony to body mind and spirit, but maintaining that balance is the responsibility of the individual. The need to learn how to use all aspects of one’s being and eliminate old limiting patterns is essential…individuals can learn to be responsible for their own health and happiness…gain the tools they need for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and...the art of being human.”
Yoga is a way of life as well as a way of moving. Many people think of it as just an extreme exercise but it is a very gentle custom designed for each individual at the exact place that person is at the moment, whether that person is an expert or a beginner. Yoga is for doing right now whenever you decide right now is. Your focus is not on what you did a minute or even a second ago or what you will do. It is simply what you can do now, gently, safely and satisfactorily.