Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yoga VS Religion

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Close your eyes and imagine indulging in pure relaxation, existing in a state where you have a clear mind, a lean body and an open heart. Part of what I just described may totally sound like a drug high but I promise that’s not where I’m going with this, what I’m speaking of is yoga. As I delve deeper into my yoga practice I discover new things every day. I recently came across an article that addressed the issue of yoga and religion. Being the open minded person I am I guess I can understand why someone may feel as if it has to be a choice between the two, but I stand firm in my belief that not only does it not go against a religion (Christianity or any other) but the two may actually be able to go hand in hand if you tailor it that way for yourself.

Christian yoga seems to be an emerging concept, something very new to me but interesting nonetheless. To have “Christian yoga” insinuates that Christians cannot practice yoga, as it would be against their beliefs. I completely disagree. No matter what god you serve it shouldn’t exclude you from practicing yoga. Some may refer to it as modern day yoga. So you know how Americans take concepts from other countries, strip them of their true essence and kind of turn it into something new, yeah that’s the idea behind modern yoga. The word yoga derives from an ancient Indic language of India, Sanskrit, and holds the literal meaning “to join” or “to unite” which is exactly what the practice of yoga does. Though the practice does have roots in Hinduism, in modern times we tend to focus more on the physical practice than the spiritual practice.

Experiencing the connection between the mind and the body allows one to become more self-aware on both mental and physical levels. You begin to better understand your body – what affects it, what feels good, what things it would probably be best for you to let go off. In doing so you can learn to love deeper and appreciate the things in life you never have before. Gaining appreciation for the other people and things we share this land with, in my eyes connects you with whichever god you serve that much more. For Christians in particular who believe that God is the creator of all things, attaining a mental state where you are grateful for not only the world he has created but all that he has blessed you with personally seems almost ideal. Clearing your mind of toxins and negativity gives you ample room to do so. It teaches you how to accept what is resulting in way less stress in daily life. Yoga is a time for coming into one accord with one self. In doing this you could even build time in your practice for a prayer or the occasional “amen”.

Just as religions have many different branches and interpretations, you can take the practice of yoga and personalize it to work for you and your lifestyle without sacrificing its efficiency. If nothing else, you get a work out.


xoxo, Brionna :)

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