Nine out of Ten Hindus agree: “Yoga is Hinduism”

Again and again we hear or read, “Yoga is just exercise,” or “Yoga is a science. It is not religion.” time-magazine1But what do Hindus and true yogis say? TIME magazine featured a quote from Subhas Tiwari, a professor of yoga philosophy and meditation at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Fla.:

“Yoga is Hinduism,” said Professor Tiwari of the Hindu University of America. You may read the full article from the Sept. 5, 2005 issue at: “Stretching for Jesus” – TIME Magazine.

From the article in TIME: “‘Christian yoga is an oxymoron,’ agrees Laurette Willis of Tahlequah, Okla. She says yoga led her to dabble in a rootless New Age lifestyle until she became a Christian in 1987. Willis now speaks to Christian groups against yoga, offering instead a series of poses called PraiseMoves.”

The same TIME magazine article describes the viewpoint of Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Ratzinger: “Catholics face a more formidable skeptic. In 1989 the Vatican issued a document saying the practice of Eastern traditions like yoga ‘can degenerate into a cult of the body,’ warning Catholics against mistaking yoga’s ‘pleasing sensations’ for ‘spiritual well-being.’ It was signed by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger–later Pope Benedict XVI.

In a 2003 document the Vatican further distances itself from New Age practices, including yoga.”subhas-tiwari-225x300

Quoted in Hinduism Today At left, Professor Subhas Tiwari of Hindu University of America. “The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it… The effort to separate yoga from Hinduism must be challenged because it runs counter to the fundamental principles upon which yoga itself is premised…

“Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga.“( – 9/1-3/09).

A staff member of an east coast Classical Yoga Academy wrote to me, “Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone should be aware of this fact.” This staff member went on to say she didn’t appreciate my “running down of the great Hindu/Yogic religion.”

Power Mass and Gentle Genuflecting?

yoga-science-world-peace1-300x225Swami Param agrees that Yoga IS Hinduism and cannot be separated from its religious elements.

In an article in the Coast News (March 2013) he writes: “The ‘Soul’ purpose of the asanas (yoga poses) is to create a healthy body, calm mind and emotions in order to enter the spirit realms.

“It is for this Soul purpose that, of all the Hindu/Yogas, Hatha Yoga was supposed to be kept, relatively, secret. Sages realized that the immature would emphasize the body, thus, completely distorting the spiritual intent. Feeling good at the expense of others is not an ethical choice.

“Imagine treating Baptism and Communion as an Underwater Therapy and Wine Tasting business!” says Swami Param. “Envision a Fitness Rabbi, Diet Pope and Gaming Imam! Picture Hot Baptism (at your local gym), Power Mass and Gentle Genuflecting! How about a 200 hour Certified Communion Teacher greeting students with Hallelujah and denying any Christian connection? How about marketing Baptism pants to display one’s physical accomplishments!

“As ridiculous as this seems, this is exactly how callous, absurd and insulting is the NAY (New Age Yoga) crusade.” Swami Param is president of the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy in Barnegat, N.J.

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