Love & Prayer

Is Yoga a Religion?

Is Yoga a Religion?

Today most yoga practitioners would say no, it is not a religion. Historically Yoga has been associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and for that reason Yoga practices have been inspired with many concepts that have Hindu, Buddhist or Jaina essence.

But, is Yoga a religion? Although it may have its roots in religion, it is not in itself a religion. Yoga practitioners aren’t required to follow a particular faith, religious belief or rituals. However, Yoga Sutra which is an ancient classic text is often referred to during a yoga session. This text represents moral codes that yoga practitioners must follow in order to achieve enlightenment. Some types of yoga practices include chanting and even praying. 

With that said, the vast majority of people would agree that Yoga is not practiced as a religion today. There are people from different backgrounds and different beliefs. Some believe in a personal God while others believe in an Ultimate Reality and yet they all practice Yoga, this goes to show that it is not a religion but rather complements those who practice religion by creating a state of mental clarity and allowing people to focus more on the experience of a prayer and even create a deeper spiritual understanding of who we are.

For many, Yoga is also a science as it has been proven in many studies that it significantly reduces the levels of cortisol which is the primary stress hormone, it has also been proven to help reduce anxiety levels.

In conclusion, Christians, Jews or practitioners of any other religious tradition can take from Yoga what makes sense to them without compromising their personal beliefs.

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