Yoga, Jesus and Religion…

It’s Christmas time and New Year is just around the corner, tempting us to make new resolutions for 2020. For me, it is also a time of reflection. This Christian biggest festivity brings the question – if and how does yoga fit in this tradition? 

Let’s look first at what yoga is. According to Parahamsa Yogananda “Yoga is primarily a spiritual discipline.”

Another great teacher Shivananda stressed, “Yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well as methods that help one reach that goal – or state of union with the divine”.

“The reality of Patanjali’s Yoga [as outlined in sutras] is clearly defined as a transformational processclaims Michael Lee in his recent article published in Yoga Therapy Today, winter 2019, (page40-42).

Yoga is a discipline that, when practiced, allows an individual to connect to one’s divinity within

Born into a catholic tradition I left the religion a long time ago. Somehow its rigid frame and fearsome god didn’t fit me well. But of late I found a Franciscan priest – Fr. R.Rohr (https://cac.org/), whose daily emails with meditation provoked me to a different view on very rigid Catholicism I used to know.

Today he wrote:

Here, in time, we are celebrating the eternal birth which God the Father bore and bears unceasingly in eternity, because this same birth is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says, “What does it avail me that this birth is always happening if it does not happen in me? That it should happen in me is what matters.” We shall, therefore, speak of this birth, of how it may take place in us.

Aren’t we talking about the same thing?

We know that as we practice yoga we change from inside out. We start looking at the world with a transforming perspective. As we go on practicing our understanding of life and the world expands. We inch towards deeper inner connection and self- and other- awareness. Our goals change and our heart opens to include those who previously were invisible to us, and whom now we want to serve. 

And so, as we practice yoga, the transformation takes place and the Christ is slowly born in each of us…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!

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