Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yoga and religion

Some time back, YogaJess has written something about Christianity and Yoga. Today, the news reported that Yoga "might" be Haram (illegal in a religious way).

Since when Yoga became religious? I bet many practitioners are treating Yoga as a new form of exercise, just like visiting the gym, or attending aerobics classes. Some are pursuing mental health from practicing Yoga, to release tension, calm the mind, that kind of stuff.

Some are pursuing enlightenment by meditating, chanting, and hopeful to get closer to God. And that's the ultimate goal - to be closer to God, not to be closer to Buddha (people always have this perception just because Yoga is originated from India).

I believe God is in everybody's heart, in our mind, in any form. It's a belief, not the statue or image that matters.

Yoga should not be religious, it just makes us healthy and teaches us to be good, to be kind, to be compassionate.

Hopefully everyone can (have the chance to) practice Yoga in a free mind.


  1. Yoga and Religion, it's totally different but somehow I think it's indirectly related. As you said, religion is a belief that I think require certain stage of mind in order to pursue the goodness, and yoga helps on this.
    Anyway, I'm not a religious person that Yoga would be a great exercise for me. :)

  2. I heard from my Malay koligs that it's the palm when put together is like worshipping other god. That is why the who-who say it is haram. Errr.... it's all in the mind of the practitioner and how the other perceive the matter. I can only snigger after hearing their stories. silly ppl.

  3. You are definitely correct. Yoga sld be pursued as a non-religious form of meditation and exercise.

    However, the origins of yoga were by the aesthetics in India as the belief that yoga meditation helps them achieve liberation fm rebirth. Buddha himself originated the practise of Yogachara, which ultimately lead him to enlightenment.

    So,there's a fine line to defining practise of yoga to religion. Neways, those silly religious ppl just wanted to create another issue for their benefit, that's all.

  4. haha..funny. i also read this in ninie ahamad's..

    yoga is just a form of exercise.
    damn! who came up with YOGA itu haram..?

    yoga is not even a religion!

  5. Hi Mango,

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    See, we're currently having a discussion about whether or not yoga is a religion. You can see it here:
    Although vetted experts are the ones doing the debating, anyone can contribute by choosing a side and posting comments about the experts' arguments.
    Check it out and, if you have the time, let me know what you think at