Traditionally yoga was a purely spiritual practice. Today people do yoga for many different reasons. The question is: is it a bad thing to do yoga for reasons other than Spirituality?
Let’s take a look at some common reasons why people begin doing yoga.
Many do yoga because they have very stressful lives. It is a common knowledge that yoga helps with stress. Initially they begin yoga with the expectation that it will offer them an hour of peacefulness. Initially it does provide that state of mind. And, eventually it provides much more. As the yoga practice deepens it provides the yogin the tools for dealing with stressful situations in the daily life. It lowers the stress levels of the yogin in general.
Many begin yoga after looking at the cool yoga pictures on the social media. They want to increase their range of movement and do more with their bodies. Most of the peak poses in yoga asana practice demands patience and regular practice. There is a journey towards mastering a pose. On the way, it teaches you to be humble, it teaches you to mentally connect with your body, it teaches you that your emotional and mental states affects your physical performance. And there is always more to learn. If they listen carefully it also teaches to praise the journey not the destination.
Another common reason to begin yoga is having physical issues, like back and neck pain.
For those who seek relief in physical discomfort, yoga sometimes offers initial relief right away. Sometimes things get tougher before they get easy. Sometimes all that the body needs is to relieve the discomfort through just a bit of mindful movement and some stretching in a gentle and healthy way. Sometimes it requires improvement in the flexibility and strength. But eventually yoga works miracles for both cases. What it does is just to reveal the body’s own inherent power of healing. And our bodies are miraculous. So, yoga reveals the miracles of the body.
No matter for which ever reason you start doing yoga, it helps you to increase your life standard. It connects you with your body, it relieves stress, it helps you to obtain healthier body.
As a result, you get a lowered stress levels and more focused mind and healthier body. This gives you the head space to start thinking about the deeper meaning in life. And your spiritual journey advances. Some might think that it is not a positive thing to approach yoga for reasons other than spirituality. I say find as many reasons as you can to begin yoga. Spread the wisdom. Spiritually will eventually follow. Spirituality is the core of yoga, it is the origin. It will manifest one way or another through the practitioner.