Once in a “blue moon,” a Yoga center receives a phone call, letter, or Email, telling them how evil Yoga is. So I ask: Where have all the evil Yogis gone? All forms of Yoga aid mental, physical, and spiritual health. It is a mystery as to how this misunderstanding of Yoga ever got started.
Throughout history, a few politicians, and religious leaders, who created polarization, have existed in every century. This has caused holy wars, inquisitions, pogroms, and genocide. It is easy to point, at what we do not understand, and claim it is evil.
However, I would like to remind some religious fundamentalists of Mathew 7:1, where Jesus states: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” There are many good people who practice Yoga, for improved health, and do no harm to anyone.
There is no reason for any religion to look at Yoga as a threat. We all have access to information, which allows all of us to see similarities in the Torah, Quran, Bible, Vedas, and Sutras. Morality is, and has been, a universal concept and does not belong to a specific group.
Within Matthew Chapter 22, Jesus also said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Without going too deep into the Book of Matthew, or tracing the origin of this concept back to Deuteronomy, let’s just say a representative of God should know better. If you are educated, you cannot plead ignorance. If you believe in a “higher authority,” be careful what you “stir up” on this earth.
Do any of us really know the exact standards to enter heaven? To be safe, we might all start treating each other with more respect and courtesy. If our neighbor is a Christian, Moslem, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or something else, we might as well accept our differences and live in peace.
We should avoid judgment of others. Who are we to judge anyone? As Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
When someone tells you something is evil, think for yourself. Observe it and see if it is harmful, before you condemn something, which you know nothing about.
When people become polarized about an issue – they easily become a mindless mob. When we look back through history, we have to learn from our past mistakes. It is so easy to follow the crowd down the wrong path.
© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. www.riyoga.com He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice,” and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit: www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html