The ancient art of yoga dates back to over 5,000 years ago when it originated in India. The healing art stems largely from observing the natural world, particularly from watching animals that were considered to have admirable traits.
Animals were observed in their natural environments and the Indian people attempted to imitate the way they moved and held themselves in hope that it would bring them the powers and attributes possessed by these animals.
All ancient cultures have expressed an awe in nature and recognized the purity of its power. Native Americans also had â€œspirit animalsâ€ that they looked to for guidance and influence.
It could well be that the famous â€œDownward-facing Dogâ€ position was first named after watching a real canine performing the yoga pose.
Those familiar with Walt Disney's, The Lion King, surely remember wise Rafiki. The lovable, old baboon was often featured meditating in yoga-like postures. His role as king's spiritual guidance councilor may not have been such a far stretch after all.
Have you ever watched a bird extend its wings, or watched a cat take a deep stretch? Have you ever seen a parrot sleep on one foot and maintaining perfect balance? And have you not been amazed at the unbelievable control your poor has when he trades his natural four-legged stance for a two-legged begging pose when the treats come out?
Everything in its natural state is in balance. As Dr. Wayne W. Dyer wrote in his book, Being in Balance, â€œThe concept of balance defines our Universe. The cosmos, our planet, the seasons, water, wind, fire, and earth are all in perfect balance.â€
The #1 New York Times best-selling author makes the crucial observation that, â€œWe humans are the only exception.â€
Next time you're looking to regain your own sense of balance, try practicing a little yoga. To connect even further with your inner animal, try taking practicing yoga in the park or with the natural soundtrack of the waves and seagulls at the beach.
Also be sure to check out the gallery at FitSugar.com. You'll be amused by the collection of photos of real animals in yoga poses. See a bird in â€œTreeâ€ pose, a dog in â€œDownward Facing Dog,â€ an otter doing the â€œCobra,â€ a beetle in â€œDead Bug,â€ pose, a cat arching into backbends, a bird doing â€œWarrior 3â€ pose on the beach, and a panda bear relaxing in the tension-releasing â€œSavasanaâ€ stretch.
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