Quel est le rapport entre Yoga et Religion?
Aucune pratique religieuse n’est nécessaire à la pratique du yoga….les mots de A.G. Mohan, un disciple de Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), grand maître indien qui a popularisé le yoga au début du siècle, nous apporte une explication claire.
(Extrait de l’article publié dans le blog http://krishnamacharya.net dédié aux enseignements de Krichnamacharya)
The confusion concerning the relationship between yoga and religion stems from taking yoga to mean “union” (yujir yoge) as described in many Sanskrit texts, and particularly as union with the Divine. However, none of these texts are the final word on yoga. The ultimate classical text on yoga the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, authored around two thousand years ago says, do not take the term “yoga” to mean union. Instead, derive it from a second Sanskrit root (yuja samadhau), meaning “focus or steady the mind.”
Yoga is neither for nor against the Divine
Classical yoga is not dogmatic about the inclusion or exclusion of God or the Divine in the practice. Indeed, most of the practices of yoga make no reference to this topic, one way or the other. The Divine finds a place in Yoga, not as a compulsion, but as an option.
Asanas and pranayama are basically moving and breathing with mindfulness in a way that helps promote the health of the individual. There is nothing intrinsically theistic or atheistic about them; they are just health practices.
The Yogasutras suggest devotion as one option within a yoga practice to keep the mind focused and peaceful. But there is no requirement in yoga that the person believe in a Divine entity, or adopt a theory or doctrine of divinity.
As yoga views it, belief in the Divine is one’s personal choice, but a steady and peaceful mind is essential for a balanced and successful life. The eight limbs of yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the means to a steady and peaceful mind.