Many people think that yogins are part of some cult and follow a religion— this is a misconception. In ancient times, yoga and Hinduism went hand-in-hand. Because Hinduism is the most popular religious group to incorporate and utilize yoga, many people believe that yoga is Hinduism, and that you have to worship gods or believe most of the popular philosophies in order to practice yoga. This is like saying you can’t read the bible if you’re not Christian. Or you can’t practice Zumba because you’re not Colombian. Sounds ridiculous, I know. People just like to set boundaries and give reasons as to why we can’t do something. But I still stand firm in saying that yoga is NOT a religion, unless you choose it to be. It is nonsectarian, but with a consistent practice it does have the ability to deepen anyones belief. We are all individuals and have the right to choose whatever nourishes our soul and you do not have to be religious to practice yoga; all beings are welcome no matter what walk of life you come from.
As with anything you do in your life, what matters is your intention. Why are you meditating? Why are you practicing yoga? What are you setting your heart and mind towards? Make sure your intention has a positive tone and is aligned with your values and your method of living.
The word “yoga” literally means to unite. This word is generally used to define enlightenment or liberation of the individual. It is a spiritual practice and is used for self realization. It keeps us grounded and helps us harness the power within. It gives us the ability to pursue, direct, and encourage the good power we all have within us. Good is not determined by religion, it is determined by human responsibility, which we should all share towards each other.
Practice yoga with love.
Peace & Love,
Anna & Nishia