Sobornost: Orthodox Statement on Yoga
But what is yoga? The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yujwhich means to “unite”, meaning the union of the individual soul with the impersonal Absolute One of Hinduism (see P. Schreiner, Yoga: Wörterbuch des Christen-tums, 1995, p. 1376). This union is considered a liberation and redemption of mankind from karma, that is, from the consequences that result from our choices and actions in supposedly previous lives.whole statement at Sobornost(not too long and worth the read)
Moreover, concerning the term yoga, we must stress that it is used as a qualifying term of one of the six classical orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy (see H. Baer, ”Yoga”, in the Lexikon der Sekten, Sohdergruppen und Weltanschauungen, 7th Ed, 2001, pp. 1166-1174).
But is yoga exercise? Can one isolate the practical exercise from its religious content and background? Can one ignore the purpose for which it is used? Unquestionably no.
And what about the claim of various centers, institutes, schools, groups, journals and gyms, that present it as lacking a religious nature, alleging it to be a “scientific” psychosomatic practice, or a practice for a simple existence and spiritual self-knowledge? Without doubt these assertions are inaccurate. They oftentimes misinform and confuse using an extremely attractive vocabulary (see R. Hauth, (Hrsg), Kompaktlexikon Religionen, 1998, p. 366).