If you have explored the history of yoga, you will most likely know of its deep ties to religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.
But yoga has developed over the years, more people have experimented with new styles and techniques from different backgrounds and for different reasons.
So if we practice yoga as someone of faith, is yoga a sin?
The answer will always be different because of your religion and your definition of what a ”sin” is. Let’s dive deep into the discussion of “is yoga a sin” to find out the answer.
Why is Yoga a Sin?
As we know, yoga is a sin if you’re worshiping a god that isn’t your own in your practice. To further understand why yoga can be viewed as a sin, we must look at its history.
Yoga can be traced back to some 5,000 years ago, starting as simple scriptures and hymns called Rig Veda that brought the truths of yoga into the world. Yoga and meditation have been used by many Hindus and Buddhists throughout history as a way of getting closer to their god and achieving spiritual enlightenment.
However, its philosophy has always been to spiritually develop and help the mind and body achieve peace and fulfillment, aside from its religious involvement.
Because of its deep roots in religion, many people of faith cannot release religion from their yoga practice. However, today It has become a way of achieving happiness in the hectic society we live in now. It has developed from its religious ties into self-care, attracting people from all walks of life to grab a mat and get zen!
Is Yoga a Sin?
Dr. Laurette Willis said, “Would you agree that there are spiritual forces we cannot see?” Yoga is simply a form of exercise to strengthen the body and mind. It is a spiritual practice rather than a religious practice.
Yoga is only a sin if you believe it to be. This can change depending on your religious beliefs and background. However, the main way people perceive yoga to be a sin is through the practice itself.
Yoga poses are one of the main reasons why people believe yoga to be a sin. Depending on the type of yoga practice and style of your instructor, certain poses can be linked to Hindu worship.
For example, the side plank pose (Vasisthasana) originates from the name Vasistha. Vasistha was one of the Seven Rishis in Ancient India and is mentioned in Hindu Literature.
Therefore, if you’re practicing this pose, it can be seen that you’re linked with another religion and committing a sin.
Yoga can also be seen to be a sin through the mantas, sayings, and meditation that are used in certain yoga teachings. There are also hints of religion through mantras like “om” that can be used in yoga classes to achieve peace and meditation. These sounds can be seen to replicate the Hindu practice of worship.
These examples can be interpreted that yoga is linked strongly to religion, making people believe if they practice yoga they are sinning against their own religion.
Is Yoga a Religion?
Yoga is not a religion, however, yoga and religion have crossed paths over the years.
In modern western life, yoga is used as a form of exercise, a way to connect to higher spiritual power and to grow both physically and mentally. Yoga has become a way of life in the west, detaching itself from religion!
Anyone can practice yoga to bring you closer to a high power that they believe in, all while benefiting from the wonderful health benefits. It’s not about casting aside the belief system you have but about bringing you closer to who you already are and what you believe in.
Do Yogis Believe in God?
Most yoga students, practitioners, and instructors would answer this question with a simple no. There is nothing in the study of yoga where we are asked to believe in god, follow a certain religion or learn specific prayers.
However, yoga is connected to spirituality and achieving a higher level of consciousness through self-discovery. There are mentions of words like “Kama” and “Chakra” within yoga practice which can be linked back to Buddhism. But, most practices of yoga lead towards self-realization rather than religion.
However, many people of faith from all over the world practice yoga. When practicing yoga, it is more about the personal benefits they gain, rather than who they worship. The beauty of yoga is that anyone is invited to practice regardless of their religion, background, fitness level, or gender.
Is Yoga Against Christianity?
There is no official writing that declares yoga to be against Christianity. You may be wondering, is yoga a sin in the bible? There is nothing in the scripture that says yoga is a sin.
However, many Christians believe you cannot separate yoga from Hinduism or Buddhism. It’s important to check the type of yoga you’re doing to make sure you’re comfortable practicing it.
So is yoga bad for Christians? It all boils down to your beliefs and interpretation. But many Christians practice yoga all over the world.
If yoga and meditation bring you closer to your god, benefit your body, and reassure your mind, then start practicing. Don’t do yoga if you feel it moves you away from Christianity. Yoga will always be there in case you change your mind!
Can Catholics do Yoga?
There is no clear answer when it comes to whether Catholics can do yoga! It is a yes and no answer. Again there is nothing that bans Catholics from doing yoga, it’s only your personal beliefs that prevent you from practicing yoga.
If you’re in doubt, why not try a taster yoga session to see whether you can add it to your current lifestyle?
Is Yoga Bad?
The simple answer is no, yoga is not bad. Yoga offers the practice of self-reflection, kindness, compassion, self-growth, and awareness. It is so much more than stretching.
The health benefits are eye-opening and life-changing! We won’t be the first to tell you how it has helped cure injuries and relieve pain.
Many studies have proved that regular yoga practice can change your life. From fantastic health benefits to improving your mental health, there is a long list of reasons why you should do yoga. Yoga can:
- Increase flexibility
- Increase muscle strength and tone
- Improve energy
- Helps protect from injury
- Improve your posture
- Help with sleep
- Improve focus and concentration
These are just a few of the wonderful benefits yoga brings into your life. Yoga can offer anyone at any age or fitness level a chance to improve their mind and body, regardless of their faith or background.
So, Is Yoga a Sin?
Whether yoga is a sin or not, is down to your beliefs and interpretations. Many yogis believe that yoga has brought them closer to their god. They can practice yoga without any religious intentions, and perform poses that aid their health and do not inhibit their religion.