The Story of the World’s First Yoga Practitioner, As Told By Neil

Posted on April 7, 2008 by Allie








Hey, remember my friend Neil? You know, the guy who is working to raise $20,000 for The Cambodian Children’s Fund? Well, I’ve asked him to write some posts on yoga for Allie’s Answers.

How is yoga related to being green, you ask? Well, it’s human powered. You can do it almost anywhere. You could even practice yoga by candlelight for your weekly Earth Hour observance.

In any practice, knowing the history is an important part of gaining a greater, deeper understanding. So, without further ado, here’s Neil’s post on the very beginnings of yoga.




Bog was a caveman. Every day he went out hunting for food and every day he returned to his cave with his kill. Once he arrived he argued with his wife, Mog.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Bog would say, which roughly translated to, “I go out and work every day, finding food, and you don’t even have the decency to keep a clean cave?”

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Mog would reply, which roughly translated to, “Excuse me, Mr. I’m-a-Burly-Hunter-Man, keeping cave isn’t nearly as easy as it looks. I’d like to see you do half the things I do when you’re out throwing spears around.”

Each day Bog would come home, and each day he and Mog would argue.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Bog would say.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” was Mog’s reply.

Bog and Mog had a son. Og. Og did whatever he could to help around the cave while his father went out to hunt, and because he was so quick with it he was in charge of starting the fire for the evening. When he discovered how the embers of the fire could be scraped across the cave wall, he realized that he could create pictures of how he spent his day. One evening, after he was done with his chores, he tried to draw on the walls. Before he drew anything, though, his parents argued.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Bog said.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” was Mog’s reply.

Og loved his parents, and didn’t want them to be fighting so much. Though he tried to block out all of their yells, the small size of the cave made him feel overwhelmed and he gave up.

The following evening, Og had seen an animal he had never seen before, and thought it a perfect picture to draw on the wall. Before he drew anything, though, his parents argued.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Bog said.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” was Mog’s reply.

Given how angry his parents were at each other, there was no way they would be in a good enough mood to like anything that Og did, so instead of drawing anything he gave up.

The following day, Bog told Og that he was ready to go on the hunt. Og was capable as a hunter, and made a kill. After dinner, which was quite filling because of the size of Og’s game, he felt he absolutely had to tell the story of this special day on the wall. Before he drew anything, though, his parents argued.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” Bog said.

“OOOGA BOOGA!” was Mog’s reply.

Og really wanted to capture his experience, but still he was afraid. What if he couldn’t focus and the drawing would be bad? What if his parents didn’t like it? He was ready to give up again, but something occurred to him. He lit the fire every night, even though his parents argued. He was able to hunt large game, even though his parents argued. If he focused on drawing on the wall, and just focused on the drawing but nothing else, perhaps he could be successful with that too.

It didn’t matter that the cave was noisy, as the yelling wouldn’t affect the scraping of the embers onto the wall. It didn’t matter if his parents liked the drawing, for that had nothing to do with what happened when Og drew. All that mattered was that he focus on his vision for the wall, the way he used the embers, and the shapes he made. By thinking about the process and not the results, Og became the world’s very first yoga practitioner.

There have been many instances when one has asked what yoga is, or why one should practice yoga. These are large questions to consider with many different answers and interpretations, but at the very heart of a yoga practitioner’s experience is their commitment to focusing on the practice of something, but not the results. Yoga can be a system for growing healthier and more flexible, but it’s when one practices anything at all that they are ultimately practicing yoga.

Og practiced yoga when he focused on the drawing in the cave. It is also worth noting that as soon as he finished his practice, the cave was no longer filled with yelling.

“OOOGA BOOGA,” Bog said, which roughly translated to “Son! I didn’t know you knew how to do that.”

“OOOGA BOOGA,” was Mog’s reply, which roughly translated to “I didn’t either. He must get it from me.”

Bog disagreed, and they began to yell again. Still, though, Og smiled.

He had found his practice.


  1. Thanks Neil and Allie! Neat story.

    I’m looking forward to more!

    April 8th, 2008 at 12:59 am
    Comment by Regular_Lady
  2. Hey Regular Lady!

    Glad you liked it! :)

    April 9th, 2008 at 2:52 am
    Comment by Allie
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  4. [...] to raise 20K for The Cambodian Children’s Fund by December 08. This is his first post. Checkout The Story of the World’s First Yoga Practitioner, As Told By Neil posted at Allie’s [...]

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  5. is this also a story about the war waged by the male and female channels? maybe i’m reading too much into this… thanks for this. the history of dharana.

    April 24th, 2008 at 12:52 pm
    Comment by nancy
  6. I really wished my storytelling was as sophisticated as to tackle the male/female polarities, but Bog and Mog’s arguments were more to provide Og with a reason to search within.

    Thanks for reading.

    April 25th, 2008 at 12:35 am
    Comment by Neil
  7. Neil, I love your story. It speaks to my heart. . There are so many reasons why we could quit. Life is so much sweeter when we stay in the storm and find the eye.

    April 25th, 2008 at 4:19 pm
    Comment by Ruthie Huron
  8. Great stuff Neil… I think you have summarized the Bhagvat Gita perfectly here (Karma Yoga) :-D .

    This article will be featured in the next Yoga & Meditation carnival tomorrow.


    May 5th, 2008 at 2:09 am
    Comment by Anmol Mehta | Mastery of Yoga
  9. [...] Allie presents Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » The Story of the World’s First Yoga Practitioner, As Told By … posted at Allie’s Answers, saying, "My friend Neil is contributing Yoga posts to my site [...]

    May 5th, 2008 at 3:18 pm
    Pingback by Best Personal Development, Self-help & Self Improvement Blogs
  10. A very nice,interesting story with a humungous lesson. I have enjoyed it thoroughly and I am going to share it with others.

    May 7th, 2008 at 3:05 am
    Comment by shobha
  11. Beautifully and simply put.

    May 7th, 2008 at 8:10 pm
    Comment by Trupti
  12. Refreshing article about the beginnings of Yoga Neil! More people need to read this.

    August 9th, 2011 at 7:32 pm
    Comment by Adam Slade

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