Classical Yoga: An Introduction to the Origin of Yoga

Through vivid stories narrated by Sadhguru, we take a look at the being who introduced yoga to humankind, the Adiyogi, the first yogi.
Classical Yoga

Through vivid stories narrated by Sadhguru, we take a look at the being who introduced yoga to humankind, the Adiyogi, the first yogi.

Sadhguru: Over 15,000 years ago, in the upper regions of the Himalayas, a yogi appeared. Nobody knew where he came from or what his origins were. He just came and sat still – absolutely still. People gathered in huge numbers because his presence was quite extraordinary. They waited, hoping for a miracle, but he was completely oblivious of them. For months on end, there was no sign of life, they couldn’t even see if he was breathing or not. The only signs of life were the tears of ecstasy that flowed out of his eyes on occasion.

Slowly, people began to drift away. The miracle they were waiting for did not happen; they couldn’t see that a person sitting unmoving was a great miracle in itself. He was obviously beyond the physical, but people missed that. Everyone left, except for seven hardcore beings who hung on. These seven people followed the yogi wherever he went. When his attention fell upon them, they pleaded with him, they wanted to experience whatever was happening to him. He dismissed them. “This is not for people who are seeking entertainment. This takes something else. Go away.” But they hung on. Looking at their perseverance, he said, “Okay, I’ll give you a preparatory step. Do this for some time. After that we’ll see.” The seven men began to prepare. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, but the yogi’s attention did not fall upon them again.

84 years of hard sadhana had passed by, and one day, the yogi once again took notice of the seven men. He saw that for 84 years these people had been preparing themselves. They had become shining receptacles, he could not ignore them anymore. He watched them keenly, amazed that these people had become so wonderfully receptive. On the very next Full Moon day, the yogi turned south and sat as a guru to these seven men.  Because we did not know his name, we did not know who he was, we call him Adiyogi – the first yogi. That full moon day is still observed today as Guru Purnima.

Transmission of the yogic sciences to the seven rishis

Guru Purnima is a significant day in the yogic tradition, because this was the first time Adiyogi opened up the possibility for a human being to evolve consciously. For the first time, the entire science of how a human being can evolve into his or her ultimate possibility was taught to these seven men, the celebrated Saptarishis or Seven Sages. Adiyogi put seven different aspects of yoga into these seven different people. This became the foundation for the seven basic forms of yoga. Even today, yoga has maintained these seven distinct forms.

Adiyogi expounded these mechanics of life to the Saptarishis for many years. When all of the seven disciples had fully attained, he told them, “Go out into the world and spread this.” Legend has it that he sent one to Central Asia, one to South America, another to North Africa and the Middle East, another to South East Asia, another came down to the lower parts of the Himalayas, which is now considered as the Indian Himalayas, one stayed with him, and the last one came to the southern part of India. This was Agastya Muni, and he ensured that every human habitation south of the Deccan had a spiritual process – not as a teaching, a philosophy, or a religion – but as a way of living. Even today, his work is still visible in the culture around here. For this part of the world, the only goal has always been liberation.

Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.

Find Hatha Yoga Program Near You

Login / to join the conversation1
5 years 1 month ago

Sadhguru do you mean ONLY South of India (Tamil Nadu) goal is to liberate and other parts of India is not in tune with it?

7 years 4 months ago

When is that 21-day Hata Yoga program coming at IYC?

4 years 7 months ago

Pranam sadguru
Who are the seven sages that went to different places on earth and what was the aspect each of them carried with. Kindly throw some light on these as I am very curious to know and understand how those sages had influenced those regions.

7 years 4 months ago

11 MAY- 1 JUNE 2013 check isha website

4 years 7 months ago


We are direct providers of fresh cut bg, sblc, mtn, bonds and cds which we have specifically for lease. we do not have any broker chain in this offer or get involved in chauffer driven offers. you are at liberty to engage our leased instruments into trade programs as well as in other project(s) such as aviation, agriculture, petroleum, telecommunication, construction of dams, bridges and any other project(s) etc you can use these bank instruments for private placement platforms, commercial loan, business loans, credit lines and much more.

For further details contact us with the below information....

Contact : Mr Ronald Rajnesh Gounder

Skype ID: grounesh.advisory

7 years 4 months ago

wow this is just breathtaking. true enough modern day yoga is far from what classical yoga is really about but what makes yoga amazing is how it never ceases to fill the lives of many people up to the present day.

4 years 5 months ago

The 7 men practised the sadhana for 84 years without one of them passing away? To me it seems quite unlikely that all of them made it to such a high age back then. I don't mean to question the story but it sounds kind of incredible. Can someone clarify that?

7 years ago

Pranam Sadhguru:
You talk about "Adiyogi put seven different aspects of yoga into these seven different people." Please tell us what are these 7 different aspects.

6 years 7 months ago

a request & pray for hunger free -- with your grace , if you can make every soul , every human , every creature , every molecule , hunger free ", never feeling hungry and never having desire to eat " " bad evil thoughts free " ,and the natural as were good . it will be very great kindness ,
either may be in any hells or any where ,any parts of earth , molecule.
hunger is a curse ,many and many lifes has been spoiled , destroyed , sent to hells . many quarrels has taken places on the name of spoileing earth

6 years 6 months ago

I would like to know when is the next 21-day Hata Yoga program in India?

5 years 9 months ago

And what about Poland? There is no teacher? The nearest place is Berlin but is still too far. Please think about my country:)

5 years 6 months ago

If the 5 people spread around America,Africa region,why only Agastya Muni know in the world of siddha.Is this story fantasy or real.

5 years 1 month ago

Another mythology created out of illusion of sages through the ages... Just like the other mythological stories...

5 years 1 month ago

Thank you Sadhguru for putting it so beautifully!

It is paramount that everyone does 'Yoga and Pranayama', as it is more
beneficial in preventing diseases and thereby a healthy
living, treating most diseases (Asthma, Diabetes, High blood
pressure, high cholesterol and hyperlipidaemia etc.) and keeping the
chronic diseases such as 'Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc, under
control – but one must do it everyday! One doesn't need to do the
difficult asanas, but light asanas would suffice for a healthy
living! I feel that 'Yoga and Pranayama' must be made a part of the
curriculum, as it's good to start learning a better way of living and
the importance of Oxygen from childhood -- it also provides
discipline and a sense of right and healthy living! And it should not
be seen as anything else, but a better way of living! There is a common notion that the syllable 'Om'(Aum) and 'Yoga' are part of 'Hindu belief', but one should not mistake it as part of any religion, but only as means to a healthy living, something everyone must do everyday! I like the concept of Lord Shiva as the 'Adiyogi' and the 21'statue of Adiyogi that you unveiled last year was so exquisite! I value your daily wisdom that I receive by email and I thank you!