English: Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekana...

English: Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekananda.jpg Swami Vivekananda, September, 1893, Chicaco, signed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Is yoga a religious practice?  A San Diego Judge is expected to make a ruling today.
It’s a ticklish question that doesn’t really bother Hindus as it’s one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu Philosophy according to Wikipedia
Christians practicing yoga grapple with fears that they are indulging in religious activities that are not part of their religion.
Yoga has historically been associated with India’s three great religious-cultural traditions—Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Thus the teachings of yoga are infused with many concepts that have a Hindu, Buddhist, or Jaina flavor…
“How can yoga enrich the religious or spiritual life of a practicing Christian or Jew? The answer is the same as for a practicing Hindu, Buddhist, or Jaina. Yoga aids all who practice religion, regardless of their persuasion, by balancing the nervous system and stilling the mind through its various exercises (from posture to breath control to meditation). Yoga’s heritage is comprehensive enough so that anyone can find just the right techniques that will not conflict with his or her personal beliefs…”
Read more at Christians practising yoga
This very clearly points out that yoga can benefit anyone because it helps balance the mind and the nervous system. However the question is hotly debated – even in Utah, USA.
What of Islam and Yoga ? Penkalai Katalikkiren has put it so succinctly when he says “Not only is there no conflict, but Islam and yoga together make a mutually beneficial synergy. Both are agreed that, while the body is important as a vehicle on the way to spiritual realization and salvation, the human being’s primary identity is not with the body but with the eternal Spirit.”

Men at Prayer

Men at Prayer (Photo credit: prburzynski)

“The fire of Yoga burns the cage of sin that is around a man. Knowledge becomes purified and Nirvana is directly obtained. From Yoga comes knowledge; know ledge again helps the Yogi. He who combines in himself both Yoga and knowledge, with him the Lord ispleased. Those that practise Mahayoga, either once a day, or twice a day, or thrice, or always, know them to be gods.” Swami Vivekananda on Yoga.

What do you think?