Test Your Knowledge of Ancient Spiritual Practices with this Yoga Quiz!



9 Questions

What is the ultimate goal of yoga?

Which text is considered the first compilation of yoga philosophy?

What is Hatha yoga?

Which religion integrates physical aspects of yoga with prayer, meditation, and Jesus-centric affirmations?

What is Advaita Vedanta?

Which text contains Nirodhayoga, an early form of yoga that emphasizes progressive withdrawal from empirical consciousness?

What is Laya yoga?

Which religion has a varied history with yoga, with some scholars adopting Indian yoga postures and breath control, while others have criticized and issued fatwas against yoga?

What is the most comprehensive text on Yoga?


Spiritual Practices from Ancient India

  • Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India.

  • Yoga aims to control the mind and still it, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness.

  • There are a wide variety of schools of yoga, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and traditional and modern yoga is practiced worldwide.

  • There are two general theories on the origins of yoga: the linear model and the synthesis model.

  • Yoga-like practices are first mentioned in the Rigveda, and yoga is referred to in a number of the Upanishads.

  • The most comprehensive text on Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, date to the early centuries of the Common Era.

  • The term "yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga and a posture-based physical fitness, stress-relief and relaxation technique.

  • The ultimate goals of yoga are stilling the mind and gaining insight, resting in detached awareness, and liberation from saṃsāra and duḥkha.

  • The Vedas contain references to yogic practices primarily related to ascetics outside, or on the fringes of Brahmanism.

  • Systematic yoga concepts begin to emerge in texts dating to c. 500–200 BCE, such as the early Buddhist texts, the middle Upanishads, and the Mahabharata's Bhagavad Gita and Shanti Parva.

  • According to Geoffrey Samuel, yogic practices "developed in the same ascetic circles as the early śramaṇa movements (Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas), probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE."

  • Early Buddhist texts describe yogic and meditative practices, some of which the Buddha borrowed from the śramaṇa tradition.The History and Evolution of Yoga

  • The earliest known discussions of yoga in Buddhist literature are from the later Buddhist Yogācāra and Theravada schools.

  • Jain meditation is a yoga system which predated the Buddhist school, but it is difficult to distinguish between the early Jain school and elements derived from other schools.

  • The Upanishads contain the first references to practices recognizable as classical yoga and the first known appearance of the word "yoga" in the modern sense is in the Katha Upanishad.

  • Yoga is viewed as a process of interiorization, or ascent of consciousness, in the Upanishads.

  • The Mahabharata contains Nirodhayoga, an early form of yoga, which emphasizes progressive withdrawal from empirical consciousness, including thoughts and sensations, until purusha (self) is realized.

  • The Bhagavad Gita contains extensive teachings about yoga and introduces three significant types of yoga.

  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are considered the first compilation of yoga philosophy and define the word "yoga" as the inhibition of the modifications of the mind.

  • Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are a synthesis of the Samkhya, Buddhism, and Jainism traditions.

  • Yoga and Vedanta are the two largest surviving schools of Hindu traditions and although they share many principles, they differ in degree, style, and methods.

  • The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga, attributed to the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya.

  • The Buddhist tradition of Abhidharma spawned treatises which expanded teachings on Buddhist theory and yoga techniques and influenced Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

  • The Yogācāra Buddhism provided a systematic framework for practices which lead a bodhisattva towards awakening and full Buddhahood.A History of Yoga: From Ancient India to Modern Times

  • Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India and has been practiced for over 5,000 years.

  • The earliest mention of yoga can be found in the Rigveda, an ancient Hindu text.

  • The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, written around 400 CE, is a key text that outlines the philosophy and practices of yoga.

  • Yoga has influenced and been influenced by various Indian religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

  • Hatha yoga, which emerged during the Middle Ages, is a popular style of yoga that focuses on physical postures and breathing exercises.

  • The Bhakti movement, which began in South India during the 6th to 9th centuries, integrated aspects of the Yoga Sutras with devotion to a personal god or Supreme Personality.

  • Tantra is a range of esoteric traditions that arose in India by the 5th century CE and influenced later forms of Indian yoga, including hatha yoga.

  • Zen Buddhism, a form of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China and Japan, incorporates yoga as an integral part of its practice.

  • Modern yoga, which has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, has developed into a physical activity consisting of postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, often referred to as "yoga as exercise."

  • Yoga has been shown to have physical and mental health benefits, including reducing low back pain and stress.

  • Yoga is practiced with a variety of methods by all Indian religions, including jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, kundalini yoga, and hatha yoga.

  • Classical yoga, also known as ashtanga yoga or raja yoga, is primarily the yoga outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises, and self-development for body, mind, and spirit.Overview of Yoga Practices and Beliefs

  • Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines, originating in ancient India.

  • The goal of yoga is to attain liberation (moksha) through various practices including physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation.

  • There are various schools of yoga, each with its own set of practices and beliefs, including Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Tantra yoga, and Advaita Vedanta.

  • Advaita Vedanta is a sub-tradition of Vedanta that emphasizes non-dualistic monism and the realization of one's atman (individual consciousness) with Brahman (the Absolute consciousness).

  • Tantra yoga may include yogic practices with elaborate deity visualizations, chakras, and mantras, as well as sexual techniques aimed at aiding one's health, longevity, and liberation.

  • Hatha yoga focuses on physical and mental strength-building exercises and postures described primarily in three Hindu texts: the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Gheranda Samhita, and the Shiva Samhita.

  • Laya yoga emphasizes meditative absorption (laya) and seeks to dissolve the microcosm, the mind, in the transcendental Self-Consciousness.

  • Kundalini yoga aims to awaken bodily and cosmic energy and unite them with universal consciousness, often by guiding kundalini energy through the chakras.

  • Some Christians integrate physical aspects of yoga, stripped from the spiritual roots of Hinduism, and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer, meditation, and Jesus-centric affirmations.

  • Islam has a varied history with yoga, with some Islamic scholars adopting Indian yoga postures and breath control, while others have criticized and issued fatwas against yoga as haram or as containing Hindu elements.

  • Yoga is a contested concept in some cultures and has been met with criticism and legal restrictions in some countries.


Test your knowledge of the ancient spiritual practices of India with this quiz! From the origins of yoga to the different schools of thought and practices, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to yoga and spirituality. See how much you know about the history and evolution of yoga, the different types of yoga, and the beliefs and practices associated with them. Take this quiz to deepen your understanding of the ancient spiritual practices from India and test your knowledge in the process.

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