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Is Yoga a Religion

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Is Yoga a Religion

Yoga does not meet the traditional definitions of a religion. Rather than broadcasting a philosophy or doctrine of its own, hatha yoga is a physical and psychological discipline that combines the learning and practice of asanas, pramayama, and meditation. Because of its roots in Eastern religion and mythology, hatha yoga has often been associated with the Hindu religion. While both Hinduism and yoga have their roots in India, yoga is an independent tradition. Its separate physical and psychological processes have no connection with religious beliefs. Additionally, dedicated hatha yoga practice has been found to enhance the religious practice or beliefs of practitioners, whatever their current beliefs. While yoga is not a religion, there are, however, a set of ethics associated with it which complements the practice of hatha yoga. This set of yoga ethic principles include five yamas which are: nonviolence; truthfulness; nonstealing; chastity; and nongreed. Also there are five niyamas which are: purity; contentment; selfdiscipline; selfstudy; and centering on the Divine.


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