New yogis (or those who are “yoga curious”) often wonder if Yoga is a religion. It is not. Regardless of your personal belief system, you can practice yoga. Yoga teachers need to understand this so that they can include people from all backgrounds and belief systems. If you attend a class where the teacher says something that makes you feel left out or goes against your religion, you may want to stay after and let them know so they can adjust their language for future classes. A mindful teacher will be open to your feedback.
As I continue my comparative religions study, the more I realize that all the world’s religions have more in common than they realize. Every religion teaches kindness; just as every religion teaches compassion and love.
Yoga helps us get in touch with our similarities and reminds us that we are all together on this one planet.
Thank you to The Leadership Blog for compiling these scriptural quotes from the world’s main religions.
Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. Udanavarga 5.18.
Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets. Bible, Matthew 7:12.
Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you. Analects 15.23.
This is the sum of duty: Do nothing to others which if done to you, would cause you pain. Mahabharata 5.1517.
No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Traditions.
In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self, and should therefore refrain from inflicting upon others such injury as would appear undesirable to us if inflicted upon ourselves. Yogashastra 2.20.
What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. Go learn it. Talmud.
As you deem yourself so deem others. Then you will become a partner in partner to heaven. Kabir.
Regard your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. T’ai shang kan ying p’ien.