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Is yoga a religion?

(27 Posts)
Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 14:14:24

A catholic priest has banned a group from holding a yoga sessions in the church hall because it is a different religion. I can't say I have ever thought of yoga like that - I thought it was just an exercise technique to aid relaxation, like a more physical form of meditation.

Lilygran Wed 26-Sep-12 14:26:15

Depends whether you just learn the exercises or the philosophy as well.

Granny23 Wed 26-Sep-12 14:27:07

Church of Scotland Minister in a neighbouring village did the same thing!

MiceElf Wed 26-Sep-12 14:27:38

Whoever he is, he is a very silly man. I have a great friend who is a Methodist minister and a qualified Yoga teacher. There is no conflict at all.

Lilygran Wed 26-Sep-12 14:28:20

Story crops up as regularly as 'council bans Christmas'.

nightowl Wed 26-Sep-12 14:29:09

I understand that yoga is linked to Hinduism and other eastern religions. The physical and breathing exercises are a means of gaining control over the body in order to achieve the higher spiritual state. Nowadays of course it is practised so widely and has been shown to have such benefits for physical and mental health without many of its followers believing or even knowing about its roots.

I think the priest is a daft old bat.

baublesbanglesandb Wed 26-Sep-12 14:42:21

I hope not, or I'll have to give it up! confused

Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 14:42:59

What point are you making, Lily? I hadn't seen the story before and I suspect a lot of other people haven't. I don't know anything about yoga, but I know we have some members who do practise it and I would like to know their opinions.

JO4 Wed 26-Sep-12 14:49:29

I doubt that the kind of yoga most people practice could be called a religion.

jeni Wed 26-Sep-12 15:08:52

But some people practice it religiously

Grannyknot Wed 26-Sep-12 15:44:59

fiddle faddle nonsense. I have a friend who is 'born again' and she is terrified of anything that comes 'from the east' because it is 'from the devil'. Won't even travel 'east'. I agree with nightowl, and anyway religion and spirituality are two different things and for me yoga is a spiritual experience and a physically beneficial one. And I don't know that much about the philosophy - I just like the stretches!

nanaej Wed 26-Sep-12 15:48:23

Because of its origins in Hinduism some evangelical and fundamental Christian groups do not think it is appropriate for Christians to practice yoga. I had an Evangelical Christian work colleague who also felt that using oils for relaxation was inappropriate.

petallus Wed 26-Sep-12 15:50:56

I've practiced yoga for years. One of my teachers said she had to be careful about lighting incense sticks or being too spiritual in the sessions because they took place in a church hall.

I have no problem with any link with Hinduism myself.

moomin Wed 26-Sep-12 16:28:34

I started yoga some 15 years ago and have recently taken it up again. I don't take anything spiritually (or religiously for that matter) from it but find it both challenging and rewarding. I keep trying to get into meditation and mindfulness, but finding that very difficult as I seem to be easily distracted! Maybe it's just that I'm not a spiritual person sad

vampirequeen Wed 26-Sep-12 16:35:46

Typical Catholic priest.

Lilygran Wed 26-Sep-12 17:23:04

The world is full of narrow-minded people. The media are always looking for a 'shock horror' story. How about

Nelliemoser Wed 26-Sep-12 18:05:41

nightowl You've said it all there. I think most religions have a place for meditation and I suspect it is the act of meditating and its effect on brain waves that gives a "spiritual high"! However one interprets that "high" probably depends on your culture or your particular belief system.

Banning it is horribly dogmatic.

If my musings above are right then all religious beliefs can give this sense of peace, fullfillment, religious ecstasty or whatever you want to call it! If that effect makes people feel well happy, calm and loving why does it matter how people get it.

This is beginning to sounds like the drug MDMA (ectasy. )
Documentary Channel 4. 22:00hrs tonight.

Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 18:27:43

I know we often get thread drift, but I am struggling to see the connection between yoga and naked bathers! What is your opinion of the OP, Lily?

JO4 Wed 26-Sep-12 18:49:18

I think Lilygran might be giving another example of narrow minded people - like this priest seems to be.

Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 18:51:27

I think she can probably speak for herself, jingle.

JO4 Wed 26-Sep-12 18:52:17

Just thought I would enlighten you in the meantime. smile

JessM Wed 26-Sep-12 18:58:01

Yoga is linked to hinduism, but that does not mean hinduism crops up in yoga classes. Sometimes vague "spiritual" stuff. Certainly no gods and goddesses!
Strange how easily threatened some religious people are. Is a bit of yoga new-age spirituality really going to contaminate the church hall??!!

Lilygran Wed 26-Sep-12 19:11:27

Thanks, Jinglesmile or

yogagran Wed 26-Sep-12 22:06:40

The yoga that I do is not in any way connected with religion - I do it because it helps keep my body supple and I enjoy the classes. It has also had the benefit of helping me me more patient with people and I think that I am a calmer person for doing the classes. But there are no yoga chants or mantras at the classes that I attend - couldn't be doing with all that "om-ing"

MiceElf Wed 26-Sep-12 22:53:29

There are at least four Catholic retreats which include Yoga!