What Is Yoga? It's Not Something You Eat For Breakfast

I like my yoga with cereal or granola mixed in. Oh, wait - that's YOGURT. It sounds a bit like yoga, doesn't it? However, the answer to "What is yoga" cannot be found in the dairy isle. Both yoga and yogurt find cows sacred, though. That is because yogurt comes from cow's milk and yoga comes from India.

"I Forgot My Mantra"

A lot of Americans, Canadians and Europeans are put off by yoga because it is deeply bound within Indian culture, even to the point of incorporating Hindu beliefs. What is yoga if not somehow Hindu? This is currently a controversial issue within the yoga community in America, where other religions far outnumbers Hindus.

Yoga is technically a form of exercise and meditation so help you get all of the aspects of your life in balance. You learn not only how to control your body, but your thoughts and energy. This helps you gain health and flexibility in literal as well as metaphorical ways. Just look as some of the physical contortions some yogis put themselves elegantly into and elegantly out of. What is yoga is not self-empowering?

Unfortunately, many followers of Christianity or Islam find a lot to be uncomfortable with in almost every branch of yoga. Some of the poses are quite provocative. Most of the time, classes are with mixed genders. Often, meditation is encouraged in order help you get the most from yoga positions (called asanas). Meditation can be very disturbing for those religions.

The Language Of Yoga

Another off-putting element of yoga in North America or Europe is that many pf the instructions, techniques and asanas are in Hindu and not English. Instructors often learn this language and are used to teaching in this language. This can be very hard for English-only minds to get used to. Sometimes, not knowing what is being said can put beginners off balance.

What is yoga is stripped of any religious implications? It is still yoga? Although many argue that is isn't, there are those who argue that it is. Laughter Yoga is one branch that can show everyone what yoga is without espousing any traditions of religions or political views. You just basically clap, dance around and laugh, and still get the emotional and physical benefits of gentle yoga, tai chi, slow dancing or Pilates routines. There are over 5,000 Laughter Yoga clubs all around the world.