I recently had an experience that wanted to share here, and clarify some details about the Yoga philosophy.
One of the places I contacted to teach here in California, didn’t want to add Yoga to the program because of their Religious belief. Of course I respect that, and I AM NOT JUDGING, but as a Yoga teacher, I wanted to clarify that YOGA is not a religion.
It is a physical practice that might originate a lifestyle with physical and emotional benefits to the practitioner.
And even if you practice its moral philosophy, you can STILL have your religious beliefs, because the ethics and moral parts of Yoga refer to character and conduct, without any creed or fixed set of beliefs, nor prescribed godlike figure to be worshipped in a particular manner.
Yoga and its history, as many other physical practices, or Martial Arts, has its ancestors, considered examples of conduct that might be mentioned and honored with respect. So, if you have a specific religion, don't get confuse when seeing images or pictures in Yoga studios. This doesn’t always mean that the teacher is worshiping an image or picture.
In my case, it means I respect the teachings of a specific master, and will use it as an example of conduct to inspire my students (and myself, of course) on how to become better individuals.
I always mention during classes or guided meditations I teach, that our life would be much easier and we would be much happier if we think twice before saying (that’s why we have 2 ears and 1 mouth) or acting; if we stop judging or expecting; if we give up on our fears; and specially, if we learn how to let go and forgive others.
It’s hard, and I always catch myself committing such “sins”…, but we are here to learn and improve, right?
So, let's keep learning, let’s FOCUS on IMPROVE day by day by following good examples without criticism or resistance to change ;)
"Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours."