Yoga isn’t my religion

Yoga isn’t my religion

This topic came up a few times since I started to practice Yoga and now I want to tell you that I can be a Yogi without being a Hinduist or a Buddhist!

Not everyone who is running into a Yoga Studio or carries a Yoga mat with him or her has suddenly a religion.

It’s not like “Buy one mat and get a religion for free”.

It is a fact that yoga works with each and every religion.

I am married to a Muslim and therefore I am in a couple of Facebook groups out of curiosity to read how other non Muslim women go along with their Muslim husbands.

What I realized quite quick is that many converted or reverted and are even more strict than a born muslim is.

We had the Yoga topic and I was bombarded with statements like “The wife of a muslim shoulnd’t do this!” as if I would instantly worship a “forbidden” religion.

Here’s my answer:

First of all, yes, my husband is a Muslim, but that doesn’t make me one automatically – like the buy one yoga mat it’s not “marry a Muslim and get his religion for free”. I’m still capable of choosing my own faith!

The second point is that I have never seen Yoga as a religion, why would I?

Many are discussing if you can practice Yoga and still hold your faith.

Why not?

The history of Yoga started around 5000 years ago and was connected to the Vedras which play a role in the roots of Hinduism.

What you can see nowadays, as they share the same language, is that some chanting refets to hindu gods.

Ok, but not every yogi is sitting in a class and is chanting in hindu (many are not even speaking nor understanding hindu so why would they do it?). There are many many people out there practicing yoga regularly whithout having chanted even once! I’m one of them.

I use mantras from time to time – uhuuhhh, what’s that?

A mantra is nothing else than any repeated word or phrase – in meditation you can use it for yourself to manifest certain things for your own life like for instance “Let go of …” or “Trust yourself and love yourself” – whatever is important for you rat that moment. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘meaning’.

The Yoga language is simply Sanskrit, the same way Christianity is in Latin but Latin itself is not a religion, Islam in Arabic but Arabic itself is not a religion and Judaism is in Hebrew but Hebrew itself is not a religion.

Yoga was even rejected by Hinduism because yoga would not insist that god exists. It didn’t say there was no god but just wouldn’t insist there was.

For me this is another proof that Yoga is not a religion and should not affiliate with any religion.

There’s not one religious creed to be found.

You don’t have to follow certain rituals, such as baptism or confirmation. You don’t have obligations like in several other religions, such as visiting the church or mosque for prayer, fasting, celebrating feasts or receiving sacraments.

What is it then if not a religion? Is it sports, fitness, a hobby?

No, yoga was formed as a way to sit for hours, days, months, maybe longer in a meditative state, as a spiritual practice.

It is a spiritual way of living.

It is a way that teaches you mindfulness, how to take care of your mind, body and soul and how to be a good person.

What about the yogis that eventually would like to reach the state of enlightenment?

This enlightenment will not turn them into a god or a worshiper of god!

It means that they are able to experience a state of inner peace, bliss, some are saying they’ve seen their inner light, they connected to their deepest inner self. But that’s indeed all – no religious sign.

It’s a journey to our inner self.

If I step on my mat I feel calm, I connect with myself and listen to my body, mind and soul.

I breate consciously and fade out the stress of the daily life.

It’s my time to unwind and relax while going in and out of different yoga poses that strengthen my body.

I listen to myself or am still and take the stillness as a recreation for my mind.

The time while I’m doing Yoga is simply the time where I am able to honor all I am and the people around me.

I feel blessed because in times of stillness you are able to connect to what really matters.

If it’s not my religion, why do I post Buddha quotes on my social networks from time to time?

Because I am in charge of who I am and what I like or dislike.

I love Buddha quotes but that doesn’t mean I am a Buddhist, I love quotes from ancient philosophers as well – there is lots of wisdom to be found in many directions and I don’t decide if I like it based on which religion the authors belonged to.

I choose what I like based on the words I read.

One last question was why I can say Namaste without being connected to Hinduism?

Do you have any idea what Namaste means?

My soul honors your soul.

I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.

I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me.

In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.

 

Said that I give you now my personal explanation; I’m open-minded and one rule for my life is to respect and tolerate every living being on this earth.

I would dare to say that I am a better person than someone else because it’s not my right to put myself in a higher position.

I appreciate my life how it is and therefore also honor or thank others because people teach people lessons.

I wouldn’t be where I am without all those people on this earth.

 

Sending love & light.

Namaste ॐ

 

The Golden Moon on Canvas from the picture can be purchased here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/211672785/golden-moon-on-white-mid-size-canvas?ref=shop_home_active_7

Yoga isn't my religion

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An extract of my work – journey towards the unknown

I’m writing – that’s why I’m here. My plan is to have written one book at least one day – no time schedule up to now – and here is an extract, I’m on my way but I wonder what professionals would say as well as for sure readers.
If you take the time to read what I produced I would be more than happy to receive feedback!
Please be honest, I can stand it 🙂

Thanks a lot upfront!!!

Downstairs I’m standing now with my suitcase and the keys in my hand to remember where I parked the car. It’s autumn already and I always try to find a place away from the trees. I walk through the autumn filled air to my car, it’s covered with leaves already although the autumn just starts. I see it but my mind is already traveling, far ahead of me. My scarf isn’t protecting me from the cold air, or is it just my inner feeling?
The first thing after starting the car is turning the heater on, I’m freezing. The way to the airport is an half an hour drive and normally I turn the radio on and sometimes I even sing along but today I don’t even realize the silence in the car. My mind is loud enough, thoughts of how it will be and how I will feel. The streets are still empty, it’s early morning and weekend. The river besides the street is flowing quietly, no more kids playing there before they head off to the school, just a few people go for a walk with their dogs. We have many dogs in the city, this is what my husband realized quickly when he was here for the very first time. He’s scared of dogs and to have one as a pet is normal here but completely unusual for him. There are dogs existing where he is and he even had one as a child but nowadays it’s not common anymore.
I stand a the first traffic lights, wondering how often I drove this way and when I will be there again. The way to the airport is well known, I went there a felt thousand times. In the past mainly for catching flights for work, after I changed my job position the drives were rarely. Once or twice a year for work or holidays but it wasn’t my weekly drive anymore. When I met my husband the first time in person it was the first time for me as well to drive there and wait for someone to leave the arrival area. Someone I rarely knew at that time. It was exciting, scary, a strange feeling deep inside on what will happen and how we will spend the weekend.
Since then this airport has a special meaning for me, or better said, two.
The pick ups every few weeks are the happy drives. When I am near I even imagine in which arriving plane he may is or if he is already so near to me as I wish. The departure drives are the sad ones and we both try to catch every second of us before he is walking through the security check. I mostly try to walk away quickly so that he is not seeing the tears welling up. And also not to be one of those movie women at airports, crying because a spouse is leaving. I want to be stronger.
My car is parked and I am on my way to the check-in. The flight is on plan so far and I don’t have to hurry. Time to have a coffee and check the duty free offers but I’m walking like absent minded through the shops. I buy his perfume as it’s cheaper here and I love his smell so much. At home I open his wardrobe from time to time just to catch his scent. It’s easing somehow. He’s not there but I can smell him.
The gate opens and I walk between strangers into the plane. This is not unusual as I did it many times but this time it feels different. The language already changed although we haven’t started yet and I am happy that the stewardesses speak my language. I’m able to communicate at least until I arrive. Most of the passengers seem to be residents of our destination and the cultural difference is already present. Women are covered, some loosely, some from head to toe. They smell different than European women. I’m feeling slightly uncomfortable as I have the feeling as if everyone is staring at me. Who is she, the blonde woman, uncovered on her way to their country. I’m not uncovered like uncovered in a European meaning. I’m wearing comfortable jeans, flat shoes, a T-shirt and my wool jacket as I’m always freezing in planes. My scarf is in my bag, I’m sure I need it later on when the air condition of the plane starts. I’m pretty sure that they aren’t watching me because I’m not covered, they will always do that as I’m different. I will never fit into their picture on how women should look like and I will always be whiter and blonder. At this moment I’m glad to have booked a window seat as usual, that way I can snuggle up in my corner without strangers stepping over me to grab their bags, needing a toilet or whatever. A last message is sent to say that I’m in the plane, arrival time should be on schedule and that I will call as soon as I have arrived and the phone has net. Time to plug in the ear phones, music is always calming me down. Not because I’m scared of flying, I like it, but in general. To listen to my favorite music while starting is one thing I love. Everything is getting smaller below me and we break through the clouds and fly directly into the shining sun. The sun will be the same here and there but its intensity will change.
I am leaving, I am really leaving and am on my way. It’s kind of exciting and nervous at the same. Yes, I’m nervous as I go into a country I have never been to before. A country where the war is just over and it’s still not as calm as I would wish. A culture so different from ours. I tried to imagine several times how it will be but I will never know until I’m there. Imaginations, pictures, scenes from TV news, everything is running through my mind.

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My window into a new life

My window into a new life

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You see the window on this picture, that’s “my” window, it was taken while we were on our first holidays on Cyprus.
My husband gave me the sight back – I was blind, blind in regards to life.
Too many struggles, never ending thoughts, resignation, running in circles, I simply lost the view towards my own future. Life was mainly dark and silent and then he stepped all of a sudden into my life and was so optimistic.
Life is not easy but we should live it as whatever is meant to happen will happen – his faith. We are both faithful persons but in complete different meanings.
What counts is the outcome – being able to love yourself, listen to your heart, trust others, look forward instead of living in the past.

The past is not our life anymore so we need to let it go.

This window is special as it was in an old castle and the way up scared me, always the abyss in sight and for me far too close to the car.
He reassured me, nothing will happen.
He was wrong – something happened – within me!

I trusted because he was confident to take us up there safe.
I looked forward to discover the ruins.
I enjoyed this amazing view with his arms around me, safe and sheltered.
And most important – I was absolutely sure that this view will change my life, this view we enjoyed together, the old ruins we discovered but then left behind like our past.

Sometimes you need to fall, but there will always be one person helping you getting back on track if you struggle and are scared of making it on your own.
I was on the edge of my own darkness, I crawled up slowly throughout the year before these holidays and I have to thank him for dragging me out there before I may fall in again.
This last piece of the way was what stopped me. Maybe because I had no aim to walk towards to.
Love is a great power in both ways, the good and the bad.
Today I can say I found the good, the one that is real and the one where you are loved just the way you are.