Yoga, a system of Indian Thought for Realisation of Self,is classified as Raja Yoga,Path of Channelizing Consciousness by Physical and Mental discipline.
Realisation is ,
Cessation of Modifications of Chitta.
-Patanjali Yoga Sutra.
Chitta is a higher plane, higher than Mind,Intellect.
On successful completion of Yoga,one ,after having removed the Modifications of Chitta,becomes the Reality,though the term ‘becomes’ does not convey the full Import of the term Realisation.
Yoga,has eight steps.
Hence it is called Ashtanga Yoga.
The System of Yoga is widely believed to have been founded by Sage Patanjali.
The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are a collection of 196 Indian sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga. The Yoga Sutraswere compiled prior to 400 CE by Sage Patanjali who synthesized and organized knowledge about yoga from older traditions
This places the date of Yoga around Fourth century.
However references to Yoga have been found in Ancient Indian texts such as Ramayana.
And the Vedas.
We have Yoga Vasishta having been imparted to Lord Rama by Sage Vasishta.
Ramayana is currently dated around 5000 BC.
And Rig Veda around 7114BC!
I am not in agreement with both.
The date of the Sunken city of Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu is about 11,000 years ago.
New study provides “incontrovertible evidence” that the volcanic super-eruption of Toba on the island of Sumatra about 73,000 years ago deforested much of central India, some 3,000 miles from the epicenter, researchers report.a The volcano ejected an estimated 800 cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere, leaving a crater (now the world’s largest volcanic lake) that is 100 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide. Ash from the event has been found in India, the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal..
And there is a Million year old Tamil site near Chennai,Tamil Nadu.
The discovery, described in Nature on Wednesday, pushes back the start of what’s called the Middle Paleolithic culture in the region by more than a hundred thousand years. That, in turn, could reshape how scientists view the global spread of hominins—humans and their ancient relatives..
Tamil quotes Vedas.
And Vedas mention Yoga.
So date of Yoga may be assigned ,at least , a date of 9000 BC.
This is reinforced by the presence of the Pasupathi seal found in Harappa.
There are indications that Indus Valley culture has roots far back into neolithic times (7000 BCE), but current evidence places the active phase of this culture between 3300–1700 BCE, with its high points between 2600–1900 BCE. If a link can be made between this culture and Hinduism it could push the date of Hinduism back many more millennia than current textual evidence allows.
Pasupathi in Denmark.
The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion and were, indeed, a parallel development from their common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. It has been only in recent decades that Celtic scholars have begun to reveal the full extent of the parallels and cognates between ancient Celtic society and Vedic culture.
Yoga references in Rig Veda
sa dhīnāṁ yogaṁ invati
“He (saH) promotes (invati) the yoga (yogam) of thoughts (dhInAm)”. (He here is again, Brahmaṇaspati) In this mention, it is clear that Rigveda has itself showed to us what the “bay horses yoked by Indra / Brahmanaspati” are, in the more lucid part of first Mandala. Thus, it is clear from the mention that yoga is purely a spiritual activity, it has less got to do with physical exercises in Rigveda.
(Rigveda itself. In 1.18.7)
The second important mention is at 1.30.7 :
yoge yoge tavastaraṁ vāje vāje havāmahe
“In each yoga, we invoke the Strong (Indra); in each struggle”.
The third relevant mention is a part of a very mystic but beautiful hymn of Rigveda, in 10.114.9 :
“kaś chandasāṁ yogaṁ ā veda dhīraḥ
ko dhiṣṇyāṁ prati vācaṁ papāda
kam r̥tvijāṁ aṣṭamaṁ śūraṁ āhur
harī indrasya ni cikāya kaḥ svit”
“who knows the yoga of the metres here, who has gained the “word” (Vak) the subject and object of thoughts? who is called the eighth Hero among the conductors of order? who has perhaps controlled the (two) bay horses of Indra!’