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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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The 11th day of Yoga

The 11th day of Yoga

I’m a bit proud as I stopped and started so many kinds of “sports” already but it was always the same, after a couple of days I put it aside. I wasn’t able to conquer my weaker self.
But why?
I think now that I haven’t found what I was searching for.
Having a stressful job I didn’t want too much pressure on myself in the few private hours.
I was thinking about Yoga several times but to be honest with you, the typical picture of Yogis I have is not the best and I didn’t want to belong to this “group”.
Another point was that I cannot imagine myself in a yoga class sitting between strangers and saying !Ommmm! from time to time, I think I would rather laugh out loud instead of starting this in a serious way.
Nevertheless, the main benefits of yoga remained in my mind.
So once again I picked this topic up and tried to find some guidance on how to do it without attending classes.
I once tried a CD with a small booklet attached but it wasn’t convincing me at all. I made stupid posing on the floor without any improvement and threw them after a short while.
Don’t ask me what was my intention now to start the yoga DIY search once again, there wasn’t a particular turning point or “calling” or whatever reason some have, I was just curious as I couldn’t believe that there isn’t a way.
And yes, there is a way!
Loving my iPad brought me to the AppStore and I went through many Apps, looking at the pictures and reading through the descriptions they provide before you hit the buy & install button. The app which was most appealing to what I had in my mind wasn’t free, as usual, but also not expensive so I bought it.
And here we go, I went through the introduction, curious to try it directly and again I found myself on the floor doing what? Posing!
But this time it was different, the instructor explains in videos perfectly what I should do and all videos have relaxing music in the background. You can choose if you want to hear the instructions and music, only instructions or only music. I went with the first, instruction and music, for a couple of days and now I am already able to go along just with the music.
Is it what I was looking for?
Yes, it is! I start now after ten days to be more confident in each asana, yoga position, and I start to feel muscles at parts on my body where I would never have assumed them.
My general mood and feeling is better, this may be a result of being focused.
I realize that I’m more focused and that I can shut off thoughts during the sessions and just listen to my breathing and body.
What I have to admit is that I was desperate for something that enables me to relax after work, so I was searching for a “remedy” that gets me quickly into a calm state.
Maybe this isn’t working for everyone as every person is approaching things differently, I can just speak for myself and my experience here.
On the third day I went to the city centre to buy a yoga mat as it isn’t possible to do it on the carpet or wooden floor, you need some grip on the floor as well as something not too hard or too soft. But knowing myself I went home with the cheapest one for a start. It is sufficient for now and if I hit day 100 for constant daily yoga I will congratulate myself with a better mat. Still a way to go but I’m confident that I have found something for myself.
The general benefits you can read almost everywhere.
One description in general is “Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.”
Who doesn’t want permanent peace?
Another says “There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice has been shown to improve mood and anxiety. The three main focuses of yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) should be beneficial for so many aspects of health.”
I read lots about yoga and what I found is to be taken with caution for sure as there are many so called gurus out there who want to attract with cancer healing or other suspicious thesis but what I found as well will be listed below.
For me there are many aspects which makes sense and if we are all honest with ourselves we know that we all could improve our lifestyle and health.

I only list what I think is reasonable – BUT I don’t say it is true or proofed.
These items were just the ones which attracted me more to give it a serious try.

Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system.

– Increase of happiness.

– Improves coordination and reaction time.

– Tones your body and gives you a better body feeling.

– Improves your flexibility.

– Yoga and meditation build awareness.

– Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present.

– Improved flexibility and stronger muscles.

– Yoga helps to quiet your mind.

– Yoga gives you the tools to help you change, and you might start to feel better the first time you try practicing.

– A heart rate in the aerobic range lowers the risk of heart attack and can relieve depression.

– Yoga promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it, and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs.

– Just believing you will get better can make you better.

– Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

– Yoga can help your blood circulation, especially in your hands and feet.

– Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells.

– Yoga can strengthen the spine.

– Yoga improves your posture.

– Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.

– Regularly yoga improves balance and better sleep.

More about these as well as more explanations are found here:
http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1634

What I discovered as well is that there is a philosophy around yoga, means it’s not just about doing physical exercises, it teaches you more. I would call myself a pretty realistic person but although not everything may sounds realistic in first place I see that there can be a deeper sense behind. The word faith, which is not just a joke in my name here, is important. You have to believe in many things to reach them and from my point of view it’s the same in Yoga.
If I would just sit down and start to stretch my legs or raise my arms I would end up with giving it up. What keeps me doing it is that I realized while breathing per instruction is that I started to calm down. The more sessions I did the more I realized that I’m feeling good while doing it and afterwards.
I believe that I need a certain portion of relaxation and if that’s the way to reach it I’m fine.
Our life is full of stress and distraction and noise – just a few minutes per day to calm down and focus on yourself can’t be wrong, at least not for me. I know that I need some changes as working for more than eleven years in a row without major relaxing time-outs brought me to a point of searching for changes. Yoga is one of them as well as writing here, let’s see what else I discover on my way.

Take care and keep the faith in whatever you are doing!

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When days go by so fast…

When days go by so fast…

Here we go again, the time of being apart has started and we have to jump back into our second routine.
It’s quite interesting to discover that we are leading kind of two lifes.
Whenever we are together we have our routine, the time which belongs to us although we have several things to do throughout our days. Whatever we do, we think about what’s best for both of us.
And then the time follows when we are apart and lead different life’s, I stay and my husband goes back into another country, onto another continent which is so far away from what I know.
I grew up safely in Europe and sometimes start to wonder how he can stand it all.
It’s always good to hear that he arrived safe but there are also always incidents which are beyond my imagination. Roads blocked completely by rebels or people who fight for 1000 of different reasons. I have the feeling as if he is only safe in his house and even this thought is quite childish. I close my eyes and am invisible? Surely not.
I try to live my normal routine and hate it more and more as I love the together time so much. I’m not made for being alone, I found my other half and we should be together. We both know that we are lucky as we found each other.
It’s ridiculous but I’m not doing many things I usually love to do when we are together like for instance writing on this blog, I hardly find the time to just sit down and read a magazine or watch stupid things on TV but do I want him to leave just to have time for it? Not at all – I could say easily I put all these things back as long as I have my husband around – he’s the most precious to spend my time with!
On the other hand we both know that our routine would change if we knew that we are permanently together, there will be another routine one day inshallah. For the time being we just try to soak in every second.
It’s been five weeks and now we are back alone – these weeks were wonderful but flew by like a lear jet – now it will be weeks of waiting which will crawl by like a snail.
Weeks with lots of what’s app and Skype, weeks where we are exhausted by these stupid web connections, weeks where we miss the touch of one another so much, weeks where we have to sleep in beds with an empty half but also weeks where we still know that our love is greater than the distance and which let us look forward to the day we drive back to the airports and close our arms tight around our second half.
Nobody said it will be easy but we are confident that it is exactly the right thing we are doing – love leads the way and opens new facets of life where we weren’t even aware of their existence.

Hey, and being back blogging feels good as well 🙂
Take Care!

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A happy new year 2014…

A happy new year 2014…

…to all of you out there!!!!

I’m partly back, but as my husband is still with me I will not post too regular during the next two or three weeks.
Whenever we are together the time we have is precious as we know the next weeks of being apart are just around the corner.
The weeks when I’m alone I love to focus on writing as my evenings or weekends give me the time to do so.

But a small update here – we spent a wonderful Xmas time at my parents with lots of food and fun and joy. After Xmas we went to Belgium for two days where we visited a part of my husbands family and welcomed the newest family member who’s just three months old.
We spent nice hours there again with food, fun and joy.
I love how welcome we both feel in the other’s families.

After our return to Munich we prepared our first New Year’s Eve together and enjoyed the fireworks in the middle of Munich – my crazy (mahjnoon) husband dragged me to the Marienplatz and everyone who knows Munich can imagine that it’s not too much fun to stand in the middle of a crowd. It was hard to stand straight with so many people pushing and trying to get closer that I was happy when we left. We walked through the cold night for almost two hours and knew that we have a warm place waiting for us with cake and candles to enjoy this first night/morning of the new year. A perfect start!

Today I started to work again so the normal day to day routine is just a few days away but before that we will spent the weekend in Salzburg and enjoy a bit of wellness, spa and sightseeing.

Hope you all had a wonderful time as well as a good and healthy start in 2014!

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Finally the waiting has an end…

Finally the waiting has an end…

These hands will be back together tonight, holding each other so tight.
I can’t wait for the energy flooding through me as soon as I can touch my husband again.
It was a long time apart that finally comes to an end. He boarded his first of two flights already and inshallah will arrive this evening.
Weird to be actually married since two and a half months but physically together we were just one month.
You should see what I did last night, like a head over heels super wife I prepared everything for him coming home. The flat looks like new and dinner is almost ready as well as “welcome home” cake and all his favorite fruits and nuts and everything.
I know that this all are just things which are nice to have as the most important part is to hold each other tight after these weeks of missing.
How blessed we are to spend this year the whole Xmas and New Year’s Eve season together!

Written by a totally excited Miss (Mrs) Faith

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