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The growing interest in Yoga in Europe dates back to the 19th century. Thetravels of great writers such as Victor Hugo and other celebrities created acraze for Yoga and Eastern cultures. At that time, Yoga was in perfectharmony with the intellectual and spiritual revival arising in Europe andUnited States. It was a monk philosopher, Swami Vivekananda, and his book”Raja Yoga” that made Yoga famous in Europe and made it the modern andinternational discipline we know today.

Yoga, an ancestral practice but a new-age lifestyle

Nowadays, in the 21st century, Yoga is very present in our modern societies.As individual or group practice, it is far beyond just an activity, it is a realphilosophy of life that demonstrates the need and the willingness to slowdown the pace of our daily lives, influenced by technological progress andwith a constant form of urgency.

The first traces of yoga are found in antique paintings. Through postures,called “asanas”, the yogists of antiquity were already turned towards a formof meditation resembling what we aim to re-create today. The word Yogacomes from Sanskrit which means “to gather, to unite”.

Practiced at “all ages, without discrimination of gender, class
or religion”, it “combines postures, meditation, controlled
breathing, recitation of words and other techniques aiming to
develop the individual, alleviate pain and enable a state of
liberation”

Today, it is estimated that several tens of millions of people around the world practice Yoga. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits against anxiety and stress, thanks in particular to “Pranayama” or “the art of breathing”. As such, in the 21st century, Yoga is rather assimilated to personal development and well-being techniques.

Since 2016, Yoga has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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