Let us recap the sixth episode of Wellness Angel Channel - Yoga is not a religion.
Yoga is close to my heart. It is something I’d like to share with you. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced yogi, a teacher, a newbie, or someone who’s plain curious. Everyone is welcome. I’m pretty sure each one of you wants to learn something new.
I have been a yogi for six years and counting. Learning and teaching yoga gave my life a complete turn. After years of flying, I joined a friend in a Yoga Teachers Training on a whim. Within a week, I was out on a plane heading to Bangalore, India. Who would have thought that impulsive decision would have transformed my life completely?
In this episode, we delved into the meaning of yoga. I also gave a brief explanation of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga. I shared insights from various books and personal experiences to prove that yoga is not a religion.
First, yoga came from the word 'Yuj' which means “to unite, to yoke, or to join.” It means that if we achieve harmony with our bodies, spirits, and minds, we experience bliss. For me, bliss is a mix of happiness and peace.
A common misconception about yoga is that it converts into a different religion. I can tell that it doesn't. This was something my loved ones feared. They thought that I’d give up my Catholicism because of the practices we do.
During training, our yoga master told us to read our holy books before attending class. He did not specify which holy book. There were 20 of us from different countries with various faiths. I made sure to pray for protection and read the Bible before classes.
Another misconception is that chants done in yoga were made to glorify other gods. But in reality, they are generally for protection and well-wishes. From my training, most chants were in Sanskrit. It’s no different from any religion with its songs and chants. Did you know that the common yoga chant, “Aum”, is where the word “Amen” originates from? See? It aligns with faith!
One experience I’ll never forget is that I felt a state of bliss. My co-trainees and I formed a circle then we chanted “Aum” without stopping for an hour. After that, I burst into tears because of an overwhelming feeling of joy, peace, and gratitude. It took me to a different place of pure love — a space of bliss.
Yoga is not a religion, but it is a mix of art, science, and philosophy.
Now, how can we incorporate yoga with our faith? For starters, know that we always have a choice. We can find a guru that fits our pace, belief system, and needs. We have the freedom to switch to another faith if we wish to. Next, use yoga as a way to elevate faith. Practice it to focus on the now and reach calmness. Imagine the quality of prayer it'll manifest.
If you want to catch up, feel free to watch this episode on my Facebook Page, @wellnessangel. Feel free also to join our wellness tribe so we can help you bring up your faith through yoga!