Occasionally I get asked if yoga is a religion. Mostly this happens when I am working in my nutrition practice or talking to our Swan Cove guests who have never been to a yoga class.
I have had some really interesting conversations with Churches Ministers who were staying here at Swan Cove. One young Minister and his wife and two daughters said they would not have booked their holiday if they had known I was a yoga teacher!
As I showed them around our property and permaculture garden, they asked me if I would sit with them to discuss yoga and religion and initially their idea was to ‘save’ me.
I explained that because meditating is integral to yoga and is also part of Buddhism and Hinduism, some people mistakenly believe it’s a religion. In addition yoga’s roots are in India and in India there are lots of mythological Gods, adding to the confusion of people’s ideas of yoga.
But unlike those and other religions, yoga has no theology, churches or temples.
While the stillness and quiet that we cultivate in a yoga class can be a spiritual experience for students, this does not equate to religion.
I believe this ‘spiritual experience’ occurs because most of us are so busy, we rarely stop and sit in stillness.
When we do stop it’s to watch TV, listen to the radio or the latest podcast.
One of the reasons guests choose to stay here at Swan Cove is to experience the serenity of stillness and nature. The first thing they say is, “it’s so quiet.” They are used to hearing noise of industry and the constant humming of road traffic in the background.
Dropping into stillness and being quiet has a powerful healing effect on the body and mind and is as necessary to human health as fresh water and sunshine.
If you really want to categorise yoga, I would say it’s a science and technology.
Science has proven that the whole universe revolves around one energy. Similarly, yoga unites all the cells of the body into harmony, and has a uniting effect between us and our environment. If you practice yoga, then you are getting all of the your energy together, which will in turn keep you healthy and well.
The practice of Yoga will not give you any religion but a methodology to follow. It will help you to know your mind, body, emotions and actions better. Yoga is used for medical purposes by many. It’s tools help people manage ailments and injuries in a positive way. Many studies have also proved that Yoga reduces BMI (Body Mass Index), cholesterol, blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack.
I weave some short but powerful yoga tools into my Life! Sessions, a FREE healthy lifestyle program funded by Victorian Government for the prevention of Diabetes, heart disease and stroke. [LEARN MORE HERE]