Yoga in its Religious Context

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Dhammakid
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Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:24 am

Hi all,
I'm considering exploring yoga as a way to keep my body light and limber and able to sustain rigorous meditation practice. I find sitting full or half-lotus takes quite a toll on my joints and muscles, which can be a problem if I'm wanting to sit long retreats as a part of my practice.

I'm wondering what you all think of practicing yoga as a Buddhist. I'm sure there are plenty of Buddhist yogis out there, but what is the discussion on its religious context? Is it fair for devoted Buddhists to ignore the Hindu/Vedic/Brahmanic roots of yoga while practicing it?

I once read an article from a Hindu writer expressing disdain for Western yogis who attempt to remove the religious/cultural context of the practice. He found it offensive, reformist and watered-down, a sort of sugar-coated practice. I think he has a point, and I worry I would be doing just that.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

:anjali:
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Kim OHara
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:43 am

Short answer: Go for it! It will do you a lot of good and no harm.
Long answer: Gets complicated and I don't have time just now - sorry. Maybe later.
:namaste:
Kim

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Dhammakid
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:45 am

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby poto » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:34 am

As far as I'm aware, Tibetan yoga is a complete system of yoga that does not rely on Hindu/Brahmanic philosophy. It is generally considered to be just as valid a yoga system as it's Vedic counterparts.

If you're really curious about the spiritual side of yoga, I'd suggest reading The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There are numerous free versions available on the internet. You can then judge it for yourself. It's been some years since I last read it myself. Personally, the god references did put me off a bit, but overall I enjoyed studying it for the many other parts that I did identify with. Also, as Buddhists I think it benefits us to study other religious philosophies. Even if we disagree with them, I think it helps to develop a deeper understanding of them.

That said, I'm quite fond of my yoga practice and do practice yoga daily. I find it helps keep me healthy and is an aid to my meditation practice.

I've also had problems with full lotus due a knee I dislocated a few years ago. Which reminds me... when I first dislocated my knee, the pain and inability to walk were unpleasant, but what bothered me most was that I couldn't sit and meditate anymore! Eventually, I realized how foolish I was being, thinking that I couldn't meditate just because I wasn't able to cross my legs. In a way, I'm kind of glad that I had that injury, because without it I might still be clinging to sitting in a certain way. My advice would be to just to sit in a position that is comfortable and not worry about how you are sitting.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:46 am


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Dhammakid
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:14 pm

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:18 pm

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby poto » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:53 pm


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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:19 pm

Hey poto,
Thanks again for your advice. It is quite helpful.

I know for a fact I don't have 2-3 hours per day to do yoga, and I think you're right about that being a bit extreme and ascetic. Who has that kind of time unless you're rich and/or working from home? Twenty to thirty minutes per day will more than suffice for me.

Thanks so much for the reminder to take it easy when first starting the practice. Even though I can tell myself I know it already, I can see myself trying to overdo it so I can progress faster, instead of taking the practice lightly. I would love to find a teacher but I'm not working, and therefore I'm broke and can't afford classes...

:anjali:
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BD1
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby BD1 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:27 pm

Hi Dhammakid,
Yoga Journal has a bunch of video podcasts on itunes that are free, not the same as having someone correct your poses and posture, but they can help and most last around 25 minutes more or less,

:namaste:
It can only be what it is,

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Dhammakid
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:45 pm

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Paññāsikhara
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:06 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:37 am

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:03 am

Hi Dhammakid,
I practice and teach yoga. As far as Im concerned its a Satipattana practice. Mindfulness of postures. Its really quiet effective to watch what happens to you mind as you hold and move between the many postures of yoga.


Metta


Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

Paññāsikhara
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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:23 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Yoga in its Religious Context

Postby Dhammakid » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:46 pm

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