When you hear the word yoga, you probably think of slow, gentle stretching and breathing exercises. But the Indian system of yoga encompasses much more than the exercise-based hatha yoga. Yoga is the process of harmonizing body, mind, and spirit with the ultimate goal liberation from samsara, the wheel of death and rebirth. Over five thousand years ago, Indian sages first wrote of yoga in the Rig-Veda. The system of yoga was developed and passed down primarily through oral teachings from teacher to student in an unbroken tradition for thousands of years, much as it is to this day. These ancient teachings were virtually unknown in the West until the twentieth century.