Several seals that were discovered at the Indus Valley
Civilization sites which date back to 3300 to 1700 BC
show drawings of figures that are in yoga or a
meditative like posture.
There is a great deal of evidence supporting the idea
that these pictures depict a form of ritual discipline
which suggests a precursor of yoga. This was pointed
out by the archaeologist Gregory Possehl.
He also points out the fact that there are sixteen
other “yogi glyptics”. These images point to the fact
that the yoga pose may not only have been used by
deities but also by humans. Possehl makes the
suggestion that yoga dates back to the early
civilization in the Indus Valley.
There is a very widely known image named the Pashupati
seal and it was discovered by John Marshall. He
believed that this was a representation of a
Most modern authorities do not believe the idea that
this so called “Pashupati” represents a Rudra or Shiva
figure. Gavin Flood states that these views are merely
He feels that it is not clear from this seal whether
the figure is indeed seated in a yoga posture. He does
not even know if this shape was supposed to represent
a human figure.
There are authorities who do support the idea that
this ‘Pashupati’ figure does indeed depict a figure in
a meditation or a yoga posture. This idea is supported
by noted archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenover.
In 2007, terracotta seals were found in the Cholistan
Desert which is located in Pakistan. One of these
seals had three pictographs on one side. When the seal
is turned over, there is a “yogi” on the other side.