Yoga (Sanskrit: योग, IAST: yóga, IPA: [joːgə]) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India; to the goal achieved by those disciplines; and to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.
Major branches of yoga include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. Raja Yoga, compiled in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and known simply as yoga in the context of Hindu philosophy, is part of the Samkhya tradition. Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Vedas, Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.
The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to control”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. Translations include “joining”, “uniting”, “union”, “conjunction”, and “means”. Outside India, the term yoga is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. A practitioner of Yoga is called a Yogi (gender neutral) or Yogini (feminine form).
Yesterday, 20th November, the National Fatwa Council has ruled that Yoga is haram! Or in english forbidden for Moslems! I’ve done yoga couple of times, not to say i like it, but due to some “physical limitation”, i couldn’t really enjoy it. But seriously, the meditating part at the end of the session is always something that I would look forward to.
In my personal opinion, I don’t think Yoga will cause me to deviate from my faith, as my intention or “niat’ is to do physical exercise that will help me build my posture and control my breathing. Then again, some people will have different niat, and I believe any acts that will cause some deviation is kinda threat to the faith.
I won’t be surprise if somebody who’s really serious into Yoga, will ended up deviating – but the question is, how much of deviation, and what is the niat when deviating. Does meditating to achieve ultimate calmness and control something haram? What would be wrong is to meditate to pray to the god of another religion, or perhaps meditate long enough to skip the 5 daily prayers…
Again – I am not a qualified person to discuss or speak about religion. I do hope there’s no funny retaliation from people on this matter. I always believe that religion is a personal choice. Because at the end of the day, its between the person and god….