It’s hard to imagine the thoughts that might come to your mind if you were asked, “Is yoga a religion?” At first blush, it may seem obvious that yoga is a spiritual practice that may have sacred symbols or beliefs. The history of yoga is strewn with references to yogic deities and the knowledge of ancient yogis. In fact, the word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit term that means “that which brings together.”06.02.2021
Is Yoga a Religion?
The history of yoga is intertwined with India’s history, which was ruled by several major religions over the centuries. However, the majority of yoga has its roots in Hinduism, a religious tradition born in India hundreds of years ago. One of the most common forms of yoga is Hatha Yoga, which is often associated with Ashtanga Yoga’s discipline. The primary objective of Hatha Yoga is to attain physical perfection through controlled breathing and movement. The term “Hatha” derives from the Sanskrit term “ha,” which means “all” and “the,” which means “wind.”
Hinduism is a widely held religious tradition and is based on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. All three share a common belief in God’s ultimate reality, or ‘Purusha.’ However, all three also believe that this reality can be reached through various spiritual practices, which are collectively known as the yogic path or practice. The primary goal of yoga is to help practitioners achieve union with God through these practices, but this goal varies from religion to religion. Some yoga forms include aspects of meditation, whereas other forms of yoga focus on more inspirational exercises. The ultimate goal for those who practice yoga is to arrive at a state of Nirvana, or “God-hood,” a state of total purity and oneness with all beings.
Does yoga have a religion?
Yoga is one of the few physical exercises recommended for achieving the union with God and thus gaining salvation from earthly desires and pleasures. Most forms of physical exercise, such as athletics, are regarded by practitioners of all religions as forbidden conduct according to the Ten Commandments of God. Many Hindus and Buddhists consider the use of body-weight for exercise to be disrespectful of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Accordingly, most yoga exercises are performed with props’ assistance, such as ropes and sticks, or the strap, which is used for drawing the body into a meditative state.
Most of the Ten Commandments of God in Hinduism and Buddhism can be found written in these religions’ sacred texts. Some of the sacred texts that pertain to yoga can be found in the Agamas of the Hindus, while others come from the Mahabharata and the Katha Upanishad. Other Hinduism and Buddhism traditions cite the Upanishads as their sacred texts. The Brahma Japa Tantra, a Yoga Sutra, is also a trendy book for Hindus. According to Buddhist teachings, the Universe is composed of six planes and includes the earth, air, fire, water, fog, and sun. These six planes also exist in a dynamic connection within the universe and are interrelated, one above the other, to form the Universe into separate and independent entities.
For some, the answer to the question “Does yoga have a religion?” is an obvious one. These individuals are of the mind of the left-wing of modern politics and are mostly concerned with promoting world peace and making the world a better place. On the other hand, others are more interested in creating spiritual living and studying the works of various spiritual teachers in the hopes of finding their own personal Gita or Buddha. This last group often practices Yoga with a strong dose of Christian spirituality.