Is yoga a religion?

No. Yoga is a science that was developed in India at least 5 thousands years ago therefore it’s the oldest system of personal development in the world. People may confuse yoga with religion because over thousands of years of its history yoga were appropriated into most of the different religious traditions of the East. When yogic teachings were first introduced in the West, they were often taught by teachers who were also practicing some form of Hinduism, Sikhism, or Buddhism. The pure teachings of yoga were therefore often mixed with the cultural and religious associations of the particular teacher.

I believe that the spiritual component of a yoga program should incorporate your own faith and philosophy and not impose anything from another culture or tradition. You don't have to believe anything in particular, or you don't have to give up your own beliefs to practice yoga. The techniques of movement, breathing, relaxation and meditation are universal and can be applied to any lifestyle or religious belief.

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