Home Discussion Forum Have you converted to Hindusim after being introduced through hatha yoga?

Have you converted to Hindusim after being introduced through hatha yoga?

There is some hysteria out there touched off by the idea that the purpose of community hatha yoga classes (YMCA, Lifetime Fitness, etc.) is to convert participants to Hindusim. Has anyone actually done this? Tell me about it…

9 COMMENTS

  1. Not me personally, because I’m a good Christian, but I know a lot of people’s brother’s uncle’s cousin’s co-worker’s pet groomer’s who have gone down that slippery slope.

  2. I practiced Hatha Yoga for about 12 weeks.
    Then I took a hit of LSA and catch myself chanting “Hare Krishna” here and there …. entheogens can really change your perspective.

  3. I love yoga. It makes you limber and burns calories and gives you great balance. It also clears your mind and makes you feel peaceful and relaxed and focused.
    It is not a religion. It is an exercise regimen. Anyone making that claim does so out of sheer and obvious ignorance.

  4. Actually, for me it was the other way around. By studying yoga, I eventually healed my relationship with Christ.
    It’s ideals helped me accept responsibility for my own actions and not blame others for my problems. When this happened, I realized I had unjustly blamed the church for the problems in the world and not taken Jesus’ words to heart. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind….Love your neighbor as yourself”.(Matthew 22:37-39)
    This topic can by no means be resolved in one yahoo answer but consider this. The teachings of Jesus had a direct affect on Gandhi, whose teachings had a direct affect on Martin Luther King Jr. Why must we draw these lines?
    I have questioned yoga like this myself and when randomly opening the bible came to a passage that has ever since defined yoga for me. Phillippians 4:1-10 Through the practice of yoga, I have experienced what I believe to be the God of peace referred to in these verses as well as the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding”.
    Yes, some yoga teachers talk about hindu Gods but there are plenty who don’t. Any time you go to a new yoga class, feel free to ask the teacher if they teach a Christian friendly class. If they are offended, don’t take the class. It has been my experience that good teachers won’t be offended by this question.
    Ultimately, I think this is a personal question between you and God. It was for me so I’ll give you the same advice I followed. If this issue concerns you, ask God for guidance and clarity.(Phillippians 4:6)

  5. This is an excellent question.
    I’ve been doing yoga for 17 years; it is my way of life. Though I am spiritual, I follow no religion.
    Ancient yoga may have required being Hindu, because of the environment it was in, but like many spiritual disciplines, it has evolved to embrace the modern world. The difference between yoga & many other spiritual paths, is that it does not need to be attached to any certain sect, cult or church, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, etc. This transition was very evident during the early 1900s when Paramahansa Yogananda indroduced his style of yoga (a very spiritual form) to the west. He often quotes the Bible in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Yogananda himself was a Hindu. As you can see here, Yoga was already accepting other ways of thinking way back then – remember that back in those days, the vast majority of the western world was still Christian.
    Yoga today can be attached to any belief system, & any one of any type of race, creed, religion, etc can practice Yoga. I personally know Yogis that are Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Atheist, Christian, Buddhist, Gnostic, Taoist, New Age, Spiritual, Wiccan, Positivist, Quantum Physicists, & probably many more. In short, Yoga has now become a part of mainstream society.
    Its origins are actually Vedic, not Hindu (the word Hind means “India”; Hindu means “inhabitant of India”, a word that was created to describe Indians themselves). Vedanta had its own set of gods until the Hindu gods replaced them. The Vedic gods were shifted around on the Pantheon (Kind of similar to what the Romans did to the Greek gods), and some extra Deities were added to form the Indian Pantheon. The Vedic version of Zeus (Indra, who is interestingly also a thunderbolt god) was supplanted by Brahma (who is more like the Christian God) as the king of the Gods, but it is a lot more complicated than this, & I won’t go into it here.
    It is true that Sanskrit is the language of Yoga, but think of it like Latin; it is now only used in yogic texts, just like Latin is only used on the Bible (also some scientific texts). It is also true that often the Sanskrit texts honour various sages & deities before getting to the meat of the matter. Personally, this part of it is not my cup of tea, but I’ve always believed in showing respect to these elements, yet not taking them on as a belief.
    Hatha Yoga, when done properly, is an extremely balanced way of doing yoga (Hatha means “Sun & Moon”,which is akin to “Yin & Yang”). Unfortunately, in the West, a lot of Hatha Yoga has been thought of as ‘Posture’ Yoga. In fact, there are Eight aspects, poses being but one of them. Look up the word “Ashtanga” (means 8 limbs, which are the “Eight Limbs[stages] of Yoga”), but make sure you look up the section meaning 8 limbs, rather than Ashtanga Vinyasa, which is the popular form taught by Pattabhi Jois.
    None of these Limbs even suggests any form of religion, although the last of the Niyamas (Limb 2) suggests a need to surrender to God (Ishvara). If you don’t believe in God, then replace it with surrender to the Universe (I call it the “Great Spirit”, but that’s just me).
    Good luck on your quest!
    Namaste

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