Yoga has been practised in India for centuries. The word Yoga means yoking or union. Yoga is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. It originated in India possibly as early as 3300 BCE. A practitioner of Yoga is called a Yogi if he is a male or Yogini if she is a female. Yoga has been defined as technologies or disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual experiences and a profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence. Outside India, yoga is mostly associated with the practice of asanas or postures of Hatha Yoga or as a form of exercise. It is one of the six traditional systems of philosophy practised in India. Its primary text is the Yoga-sutras of Ptanjali who is believed to have lived in the 2nd century B.C. The form of Yoga that has gained popularity worldwide and which is taught in schools across Kerala is Hatha Yoga, which emphasises the training of the body and mind to attain a higher state of fitness and consciousness. Yoga has gained popularity worldwide as a form of exercise and relaxation. While the asanas taught at yoga schools in Kerala, promote flexibility and the physical conditioning of the body, the breathing exercises improve concentration and the whole process helps relieve mental and physical stress.


Padmasana or the lotus posture is the position in which Hindu Gods and Buddha are often depicted, which involves sitting cross-legged with the soles of the feet resting on the opposite thigh. It is a commonly used posture of meditation.

Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar or the greeting to the Sun God is a combination of asanas that exercise all the muscles of the body.


It is a posture of total relaxation, where the practitioner lies flat on his on her back and empties the mind of all thoughts in an attempt to achieve complete relaxation.

Yoga is not merely a system of exercise but is a way of life. It emphasizes self-control and self-awareness for the individual. The practice of the asanas is one of the first steps that are taught at ashrams and resorts in Kerala.