Lord Shiva who appears in different avatars believed to be a warrior. Not only is he known for his anger, he is also the founder of the art of yoga.
Lord Shiva personifies the practice of yoga and has derived 84 lakh asanas from his movements. Also known as Nataraj, the lord of dance, his dance gestures also reflect in the his postures quite gracefully.
In CERN, Switzerland a 2-metre long Shiva performing his infamous dance Tandava stands which is quite a tourist destination now.
Beginning of yogic culture
In the yogic culture, Shiva is not only known as a God but also as the Adiyogi or the first Yogi. It is said that around 15,000 years ago he started performing an intense dance in the Himalayas, where the Lord resides. Lord Shiva's intense dance would range from dancing wildly to sitting still. Looking at his performance, the Sapta Rishis or the seven sages who watched him perform were astounded.
Sapta Rishis who stayed back and watched him perform begged him to teach them his style of dance. Shiva, however, laughed off and said that it takes millions of years of practice. Determined to learn the art form, they showed dedication towards their practice for 84 years and convinced Shiva that they are worthy.
The first part of Shiva's teaching was to his wife Parvati. He refers to her as the most gracious and beautiful performer. Shiva then transformed himself into the Adi Guru on the day that is now celebrated as Guru Purnima and began the next session of the yogic teaching with the Sapta Rishis on the banks of Kanti Sarovar, near Kedarnath.
This is the world's first yoga programme to have taken place. The Sapta Rishis, later, created their own form of yoga and went to teach form of yoga. This is how he passed his knowledge of yoga and is known as the Adiyogi even today.
From Kailas and Manasarovar in the north to Rameshwaram in the south, Lord Shiva's shrines in India hold yogic powers. An influx of pilgrims attend these holy shrines regularly even today where the yogis still perform the art of yoga.
The Kumbha Mela is the world's largest religious gathering as it gathers tens of millions of devotees.