Updated: Dec 22, 2018
Yoga is a practice which includes the mind, body and soul. It evolved back in the Vedic age. The fact is Yoga is not a religion but is a practice that is adopted by many people across the globe to get peace and maintain harmony. It involves meditation which has stayed as a part of the society since ages.
Many people have different believes that Yoga is a part of the great religions- Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam or any other. But the fact here is that great people of all of these religions have obtained spiritual, physical and emotional benefits through the practice of Yoga, Meditation, and Chanting (a.k.a. Singing).
Those who ban yoga are only causing a division when what the world is already so divided. What the worlds need more than ever is less judging, more loving and to be united. And that is the foundation of yoga. I personally teach and my classes are about embracing your true potential, coming from a place of love, non-judging, while increasing one's strength, flexibility, focus and balance. I have never experienced anything more rewarding than teaching, as I get to see students walk away refreshed and renewed, not to mention stronger mentally, physically and emotionally. The Gift of Yoga is just that. It is a beautiful healing exercise that is misunderstood by some.
We want to be accepted unconditionally, but we rarely accept others unconditionally. When we judge, we're giving others permission to judge too. To flip the perspective to a positive one, when we shine, we give others permission to shine too. Judge others and you will be judged. Accept others and you will be accepted. (Maybe not immediately, but in time!) Let your light shine so brightly that others can see their way out of the darkness.
Most people understand the beauty and goodness in Yoga. For those who do not, there is nothing in the Bible that says how we are to sing or chant. Singing and chanting (which is the iterative speaking or singing of words or sounds), is a way to release emotions, feel gratitude and purposefulness. The Bible tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 95:1–2). Chanting a mantra, as a form of expression, is not evil. A chant is a song or a prayer. Its rightness or wrongness depends on the purpose of the song or chant and the motive of the mind, heart, and voice producing the song or chant. We can be much happier and healthier if we learn to Let Go and Let God be the judge. A good practice for anyone, especially those who are religious yet judgmental.
Much of society today is finding a closer connection to their God when combining their belief and services with the healing benefits of yoga and meditation. In addition to all the mental, physical and emotional benefits, it can also be a profound way to deepen one's connection to God.
We have been given the gift of life. And one day we will die. What we do with it is up to us. Yoga offers an opportunity to enhance the quality of our life, our self, relationships, our mind and body. Religion? Not really. But Yoga is certainly goodness and beauty.