No. A person can be of any religion or believe system, and practice Yoga without any conflict with its set of believes. Even though it was conceived in an ancient Hindu tradition, it doesn’t end as a set of ideology or theories. Yoga is one of the biggest treasures of humankind. Yoga is open for everyone!
Last year, I was invited to teach yoga for children at a local school Health Week. With over 14 hours of practice and more than 200 young practitioners, one kid told me he couldn’t participate because his mother prohibited him to do so because it was a religious practice and it would be against their believes. I was really not surprised!
I believe the conflict arises from the wrong perception of the true meaning of yoga and not knowing and experiencing all of its benefits. Yoga is an intuitive path to self-discovery, where the primary guru is you. The truth always lies within, and teachers are only guides providing the technology and tools to find it.
As defined by The Art of Living, “Yoga is a 5000-year-old Indian body of knowledge. Though many think of yoga only as a physical exercise where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways, these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul. The science of Yoga imbibes the complete essence of the Way of Life.”
I was born and raised in a Catholic family and went to a Catholic school. So did my parents, my grandparents, and so on. So, I was a catholic girl. But, in my last year of high school my mind just blew away. We were thought about Hinduism, Judaism, even Atheism. I was fascinated with the subject and the cultural believes behind it all. I opened my heart to the value system, which unites people of all religions; I discovered my hunger for spirituality years before I started to practice Yoga.
Is Yoga against any religion?
Absolutely no. Which religion says you should not be happy, friendly and loving? Is compassion against any religion? Yoga is a tool for life, is a powerful infinite path to freedom.
Yoga is a way of living, of being, of treating each other. It opens the doors to our subconscious so we can dive in the oceans of our minds and it challenges us to go beyond what we believe we can.
Mind, breath, energy, physical work, it all binds together to help you through life.
Through Yoga, the purpose of all faith is achieved.
PHOTO CREDIT : ANA MARIA CHANIS YOUNG