What Yoga is and what Yoga is not.
Yoga isn’t a religion. Yoga isn’t attached to any religion. Yoga isn’t a religious ritual or procedure in any religion.
Those fearful of the impact that Yoga has had in the west have closed venues where Yoga is taught or practised fearful that it is based in some form of religion and threatens their religious beliefs. They are mistaken.
Yoga is a Discipline. Yoga stands alone as a discipline. No religion can claim Yoga for itself.
Yoga is for the individual. Yoga does not require membership of a group.
Yoga is a yoke. The word Yoga means a Yoke. Yoga yokes the body with the mind to create a balanced, stable individual.
There are two elements in Yoga.
1, The first aspect is Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga consists of the postures we are familiar with seeing, that practitioners of Hatha Yoga practice. Ballet dancers, athletes, and individual people learn the postures such as the Headstand , the seated position known as the Lotus, and Alternate Nostril Breathing and many other postures that trains the body without the necessity for weights, or any equipment in a gym. It simply requires a mat on the floor.
2. The second aspect of Yoga is termed Rajah Yoga. Raja means King. Rajah Yoga is a form of meditation that does not focus on any religious icon, symbol, or word. Rajah Yoga therefore does not impose any restrictions on anyone who has a religious faith.
In Rajah Yoga one is given a mantra which is a meaningless string of letters that does not revive or stir any image. Repetition of this meaningless string of letters stills the mind, calms the mind, and brings relaxation to the mind.
The combination of Hatha Yoga with Rajah Yoga is the yoke that gives the word Yoga its meaning. In Yoga the mind and the body are yoked together.