Tell me your thoughts on yoga.

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When I started looking into Yoga classes, one of the studios in my area stated that their goal was to convert people to vegetarianism and also in religious matters (I googled it but they've changed their webpage - this is what it says now:
To systematically propagate physical and spiritual knowledge to society in an interesting and fun way. To educate in the techniques of spiritual life, check the imbalance of values, and to spread real unity and peace in the world as much as possible.

To bring our members closer together for the purpose of learning a simpler, happier, and natural way of life.

To teach and encourage vegetarianism and non-violence in order to manifest respect for every living entity.

This is all about spirituality, and if you understand what we mean by this, this is the place for you!


I chose to not go to that studio - I didn't want a religious experience. Instead I found places that don't do that. The teachers at the studio where I go now, sometimes they say things about "the Earth Mother" or whatever, but I'm not asked to worship anyone, etc. Being a Christian, I have read up on the controversy, for me where I am at doesn't interfere with my beliefs.

But, there are places out there that encourage more than "stretching, flexibility, balance" etc
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Actually I'm curious too where you had a class like that. NetG was not being condescending, where did you get that? I think all of us are wondering the same.

I've only taken a few classes but I know many people that take it regularly and I would think they would've mentioned this to me if that's what they experienced in yoga classes. I'm sure there are some types of classes for hindus but that's not what yoga is all about. Also from what I hear, most people take it for muscular endurance, flexibility, and some relaxation. I don't know anyone that takes it for spiritual reasons.

It's also extreme and closeminded to avoid something just because its origins are religious based or associated with a culture with a religion different from yours. I've had a lot of issues with this personally because my parents were scared to let me do what seems like anything in life because of fear that I'd become Christian. We've even had issues with this recently because my cousin wanted certain American elements in her wedding and it became a huge issue.
Originally Posted by Josephine
That really depends on one's reasons for avoiding it, especially where it concerns religion. There are people who just don't like other religions, cultures, etc - and the problem is mostly emotional. But that doesn't sound like Spidey's reasons.

She's just trying to follow her religion. Is something wrong with that? She didn't say yoga, Hinduism or Hindus are bad - or anything like that. But other religions aren't part of her belief system. Maybe she's just trying to follow what her religion says is right. I mean, criminy. We post all sorts of stories here about the horrible things people to do one another all the time. But someone who's trying to live a good life still gets criticized. Yes, I know plenty of people have done awful things in the name of religion. But to my knowledge Spidey hasn't done any of those things, and she certainly hasn't done them here.

From a Christian POV, she's not being extreme at all. I'd say it's a Christian mandate to avoid things that might steer you away from your Christian path.
Originally Posted by The New Black
Religious intolerance!
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3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

When I started looking into Yoga classes, one of the studios in my area stated that their goal was to convert people to vegetarianism and also in religious matters (I googled it but they've changed their webpage - this is what it says now:
To systematically propagate physical and spiritual knowledge to society in an interesting and fun way. To educate in the techniques of spiritual life, check the imbalance of values, and to spread real unity and peace in the world as much as possible.

To bring our members closer together for the purpose of learning a simpler, happier, and natural way of life.

To teach and encourage vegetarianism and non-violence in order to manifest respect for every living entity.

This is all about spirituality, and if you understand what we mean by this, this is the place for you!


I chose to not go to that studio - I didn't want a religious experience. Instead I found places that don't do that. The teachers at the studio where I go now, sometimes they say things about "the Earth Mother" or whatever, but I'm not asked to worship anyone, etc. Being a Christian, I have read up on the controversy, for me where I am at doesn't interfere with my beliefs.

But, there are places out there that encourage more than "stretching, flexibility, balance" etc
Originally Posted by PerriP
I've run into similar. Nothing wrong w/ it...some people might enjoy it. And some people might not.

I think the tone of the classes can vary by region/community.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

This is the blurb at the place my gf was trying to get me to go to:

Yoga is not a set of physical poses devoid of any theoretical background; it is based upon a profound philosophy of life and consciousness. To practice yoga at a deeper level, it is necessary to understand a yogic view of life as any practice without theory has its limitations. Yoga philosophy is practical and experiential, showing us how to understand the world and ourselves through self-observation and inner inquiry. The Balanced Yoga University Philosophy Workshopsfocus on yogic principles through the study of the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali along with an introduction to Tantric and Hatha Yoga philosophy.

Balanced Yoga | Columbus Ohio | Vinyasa | Ashtanga | Hatha | Prenatal
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

When I started looking into Yoga classes, one of the studios in my area stated that their goal was to convert people to vegetarianism and also in religious matters (I googled it but they've changed their webpage - this is what it says now:
To systematically propagate physical and spiritual knowledge to society in an interesting and fun way. To educate in the techniques of spiritual life, check the imbalance of values, and to spread real unity and peace in the world as much as possible.

To bring our members closer together for the purpose of learning a simpler, happier, and natural way of life.

To teach and encourage vegetarianism and non-violence in order to manifest respect for every living entity.

This is all about spirituality, and if you understand what we mean by this, this is the place for you!


I chose to not go to that studio - I didn't want a religious experience. Instead I found places that don't do that. The teachers at the studio where I go now, sometimes they say things about "the Earth Mother" or whatever, but I'm not asked to worship anyone, etc. Being a Christian, I have read up on the controversy, for me where I am at doesn't interfere with my beliefs.

But, there are places out there that encourage more than "stretching, flexibility, balance" etc
Originally Posted by PerriP
I'd have made the same choice as you. I mean, if they want to be open that they wish to convert you to whatever their beliefs, you can stay away, at least. Definitely not my thing!
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
I agree with sticking to your beliefs and such. But to make a generalization that all yoga is pushing one to its religion is not accurate. In some experiences, yes some places are like that (as Spider and others have pointed out), but not all yoga classes (emphasis because going to a studio that has a set philosophy may be indeed different than taking a class at a commercial gym) push religion--you can absolutely have stretching, breathing and meditating without religion.
NetG, curlyarca, scrills and 3 others like this.

Last edited by coilynapp; 12-13-2012 at 11:26 AM.
When I started looking into Yoga classes, one of the studios in my area stated that their goal was to convert people to vegetarianism and also in religious matters (I googled it but they've changed their webpage - this is what it says now:
To systematically propagate physical and spiritual knowledge to society in an interesting and fun way. To educate in the techniques of spiritual life, check the imbalance of values, and to spread real unity and peace in the world as much as possible.

To bring our members closer together for the purpose of learning a simpler, happier, and natural way of life.

To teach and encourage vegetarianism and non-violence in order to manifest respect for every living entity.

This is all about spirituality, and if you understand what we mean by this, this is the place for you!


I chose to not go to that studio - I didn't want a religious experience. Instead I found places that don't do that. The teachers at the studio where I go now, sometimes they say things about "the Earth Mother" or whatever, but I'm not asked to worship anyone, etc. Being a Christian, I have read up on the controversy, for me where I am at doesn't interfere with my beliefs.

But, there are places out there that encourage more than "stretching, flexibility, balance" etc
Originally Posted by PerriP
I'd have made the same choice as you. I mean, if they want to be open that they wish to convert you to whatever their beliefs, you can stay away, at least. Definitely not my thing!
Originally Posted by NetG
But I thought you said that doesn't happen? That if someone says it, she's wrong and misinformed?

Come on now.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I agree with sticking to your beliefs and such. But to make a generalization that all yoga is pushing one to its religion is not accurate. In some experiences, yes some places are like that (as Spider and others have pointed out), but not all yoga classes (emphasis because going to a studio that has a set philosophy may be indeed different than taking a class at a commercial gym) push religion--you can absolutely have stretching, breathing and meditating without religion.
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Yoga is a spiritual practice that is part of a religion. That is accurate. If you make the decision to reclassify it in your mind, cool. Some of us do not.

Yes, you can have stretching w/o religion. Yes, you can have breathing w/o religion. But you really can't have yoga w/o it IMO...at least not in a way I feel totally comfortable about. (Not sure about meditation. Maybe.)
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I understand your bolded Spider, which I why I said classes, rather than a studio (institution with a set philosophy). Taking yoga from Sarah at the fitness club or doing P90X Yoga is quite different from taking classes from a studio like the one PerriP mentioned. Yoga is a spiritual practice yes, but one can have yoga (the exercise) without the spiritual aspect.
I'd say if anyone can be encouraged to deviate from their chosen religious path by the downward dog pose or a sun salutation they need to look at their own convictions a bit more.
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Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
Yes, you can have stretching w/o religion. Yes, you can have breathing w/o religion. But you really can't have yoga w/o it IMO...at least not in a way I feel totally comfortable about. (Not sure about meditation. Maybe.)
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Didn't Jesus go to meditate and pray?

I am a Christian and do yoga, sometimes with meditation to control my breathing or my mind - but what I do is mental, not spiritual meditation. My favorite instructor is Christian and she says her yoga practice makes her a better Christian because it is caring for her temple (body). We don't chant or meditate in her class nor is her class focused on Christianity.

As others have said, if you are not comfortable with the mystical or spiritual aspects of yoga, go to your local gym and take a class; avoid a yoga studio with the yoga as a way life business principle.
I'd say if anyone can be encouraged to deviate from their chosen religious path by the downward dog pose or a sun salutation they need to look at their own convictions a bit more.
Originally Posted by curlylaura
And you say this from experience? Or was this just an opportunity for more sarcasm?
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
Bit of one, a bit of the other.

I just don't understand how someone supposedly secure in their beliefs would even have such concerns about yoga.
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But I thought you said that doesn't happen? That if someone says it, she's wrong and misinformed?

Come on now.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
As a whole, it doesn't. In specific cases, I will take you at your word.

I asked if you had gone to classes where it happened - and your post saying it had was typed at the same time I was posting mine, so despite the fact mine showed up after I hadn't seen your response yet. I had never heard of it happening until your post saying it had, and to me it's just odd, but I live in a very live-and-let-live type of area. I believe you, and totally get why you wouldn't return there.


It is NOT what yoga is about in general as practiced in the US. But I believe you about specific cases, and as I said multiple times, I wouldn't go somewhere with incidents like you described.

Again, people are free to like or dislike yoga as they wish and their likes/dislikes define. And it's clearly reasonable to argue that somewhere with a policy such as the two above (one from you, one another poster put up) is trying to push a different religion on you. I choose to go to yoga and do not go to yoga as part of a religion, and would also feel uncomfortable if it were pushed that way.

It seems like some of the examples are "yoga as a lifestyle" vs "yoga as beneficial for my body."

I'm still curious about the narcissistic aspects of yoga comments (I think CGNYC made?), because obviously I haven't seen the lifestyle stuff firsthand...
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
Bit of one, a bit of the other.

I just don't understand how someone supposedly secure in their beliefs would even have such concerns about yoga.
Originally Posted by curlylaura
That's not really for you to determine for someone else's life, especially if you don't really have relevant experience.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
My current yoga studio covertly pushes people to follow the church of Lululemon.

Spiderlashes, you don't seem like a naive person, in general. So I'm finding it a bit hard to swallow that you donít realize that most Western forms of yoga are pretty far removed from the spiritual practice originating from India.

I mean, really?

Honestly, if anyone's projected guilt about going to yoga in this situation, it might be you. How many classes did you go, over how many years, before you realized Vishnu was trying to corrupt your soul? No wonder you feel guilty!

Also, not one person in this thread that I've noticed is arguing that anyone should participate in something that conflicts with their spiritual beliefs, as some people [TNB] seem to be asserting. You're not comfortable, don't do it. Whatever.

What lots of us are bothered by is this blanket statement about yoga being some sort of borderline cult. It beggars belief.
lululemon?




who can afford that??
lululemon?




who can afford that??
Originally Posted by murrrcat
obviously the people attending her yoga studio HA!

the outlet is cheaper (I am not a follower of the church of lululemon...jus' sayin')

But $100 for some workout pants is lost on me. Are they gonna make me drop 15 lbs just by putting then on? If so, please sign me up for this church!
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Last edited by coilynapp; 12-13-2012 at 01:32 PM.
I'll stick with my $12 capris (or apparently crops) from Walmart.
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NetG, I haven't gotten to read the book yet or even finish listening to the interview but I plan to. The guy seems to have a sense of humor about himself and although he's very into yoga for himself, he appears to have a clear eye on American yoga. I can't really updated further until I read the book.

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