This is a question I received from students on my meditation course in 2012.

Is yoga a religion? And can you follow a spiritual path alongside your yoga practice?

Yoga is not a religion and can be practiced alongside your religion or any other spiritual practices.

Yoga originated in India and is referred to in many Hindu scriptures. However by no means does this mean that practicing yoga is only for those who follow the Hindu religion. There is also some speculation that yoga has been referred to in many other religious scriptures too. The underlying essence of yoga is the concept of oneness and our ability to look beyond differences including cast, creed or any other form of inequality.

Many yoga teachers may refer to God or a ‘Higher Being’ however it is down to each individual student to decide whether this coincides with their own beliefs. If you feel there is a conflict of what you believe with your yoga teacher then perhaps you can discuss this with them. Alternatively they may not be the right teacher for you and you may look to find a teacher whom your beliefs resonate with.

I myself have a Hindu background and follow the scriptural teachings of the Self Realisation Fellowship Path by Paramahansa Yogananda. I find the teachings resonate with me and the references made to yoga feel right for me.

If you feel any discomfort about your spiritual path or your yoga path you may need to analyse yourself and your beliefs. Therefore I suggest you get to know yourself do some research and find a path you believe in. Whether that path includes yoga or not is your decision. However whichever path you choose to follow I’m sure it will harmoniously balance alongside your yoga practice, as yoga often works hand in hand with the pure truth of the many different great scriptures of the World.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.