Yoga Blog

NOVEMBER 30, 2010

Controversy Over Yoga’s Soul

Posted by Dorothy under Philosophyno responses

warrior 1

I recently came across an article in The New York Times which highlighted the ongoing controversy as to whether yoga belonged to the Hindu religion. Such a similar issue about “yoga being a part of Hindusim” sparked the threat to ban Muslims in Malaysia from practicing yoga. The Muslim religious groups fear that Muslim yoga practitioners will deviate from their religion and into Hinduism as a result of yoga. I personally agree that yoga has some links to Hinduism but these days, yoga in the gyms are purely for exercise purposes. Everyone is free to choose where they want to go or which teacher they prefer. Some yoga teachers may include mantras in their class but others prefer to keep it for their personal practice. After a few months of debate between Muslim yoga practitioners ( who are still true to their Muslim religion ) and the religious groups, the issue died down and yoga practitioners in Malaysia were left to practice in peace.

With this, I hope that everyone can see yoga as an exercise or a spiritual practice but certainly not a religious following. There should be no restrictions from any religious groups to stop their followers from adopting yoga into their lifestyle because yoga was meant to be a way of life, not a religious practice.

Here goes the article from The New York Times Online :

Yoga is practiced by about 15 million people in the United States, for reasons almost as numerous — from the physical benefits mapped in brain scans to the less tangible rewards that New Age journals call spiritual centering. Religion, for the most part, has nothing to do with it.

But a group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.

The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions………to read more, please click here.

back to category

Comments (0)

Be the first to add comment.

Add New Comment