6 Hot Topics of Yoga ~
Controversies in the yoga world cannot be avoided, and to let you in the know, here are 6 hot topics of yoga for a healthy discussion among yogis:
Is yoga practice religious or just another form of exercise? Yoga is an integral practice of Hinduism and Buddhism. You would want to avoid practicing or attending yoga classes with religious overtones. Some Christians take the position that any contact with yoga is wrong. Some say it’s a non-religious practice while others consider yoga to be a part of New Age movement and therefore inconsistent with Christianity. I see no problem with a Christian taking part in yoga classes that are basically for fitness and exercise except of course if the yoga class you attend teaches yoga from a religious perspective. Yoga is practiced today by many solely for physical strength, flexibility, and meditative purposes.
2. DO YOGIS HAVE TO BE VEGETARIAN?
Vegetarianism is one of the most controversial topics in the yoga world. Some say you’re not a true yogi if you eat meat while others say that not all body types can do well on purely vegetarian diets. Which is which?
Vegetarians say that ahimsa or yogic principle of nonviolence or non-harming prevents them from eating meat because it’s violent to take a life of another living being. Of course, you can’t eat anything without harming something.
I guess, as yogis, given the yogic guidelines, our work is not to determine whose actions are better than the others but to find it our hearts to forgive all actions and accept all beings as they are, regardless of what lifestyle they choose.
3. YOGA IS AN ALL-GIRLS CLUB (NO BOYS ALLOWED)
Is yoga really for girls only? With all that emphasis on flexibility, controlled breathing and spirituality, yoga is clearly a girl thing, right?
Not even close.
It may surprise you to learn that yoga used to be practiced almost exclusively by men. With 5,000 years of history, it’s popularity among women is a change that has occurred only very recently. Early yoga was focused on meditations that would gain them “superpowers” such as the ability to overcome hunger and thirst thus, freeing themselves from the suffering of the physical world.
So is yoga an all-girls club? One thing is for sure, practicing yoga in any form has amazing health benefits like reduced stress, increased concentration, and a healthier heart. These benefits go for both men and women, and the growing awareness in websites aimed at men shows that guys are starting to take notice. After all, yoga is good for both men and women. It brings peace and joy to those who practice it which goes to show that yoga is indeed for everyone.
4. GYM YOGA
Yoga enthusiasts don’t agree much with gym yoga classes because the purpose is usually to get a work out which is very opposite to their belief that yoga is for enlightenment. And of course, there are gym fanatics who prefer fitness yoga because they are not after the spiritual aspect of the practice or they refuse to pay for yoga studio fees. But whatever, why should you let that bother you, just practice wherever is convenient for you and where you feel at home. Don’t judge other’s preference. It’s not very “yogic.”
5. THE YOGA OF MONEY
Should someone be making money out of the set of yoga pose considering the fact that those yoga poses have been passed down from generation to generation? Is it fair to charge someone for teaching them those poses and making these practice available to others? How about spending this much just for a pair of yoga pants for this practice? Capitalism is the name of the game, you have to have something in exchange for something. But does it cheapen an ancient practice or is it a necessary means to an end? Regardless, so long as practicing yoga benefits us, then let’s make it a highly individual practice. To each his own, so they say.
Should pregnant women be allowed in hot yoga classes? Well, health and safety are of the highest consideration in this topic. Pregnant women are advised to avoid practicing yoga in extremely warm or humid conditions. When exposed to excessive heat while pregnant, there is an increased risk of over-exhaustion, muscle injury, and cartilage and tissue damage. Hormones and fetal development affect blood pressure, making the mother more susceptible to fainting and lightheadedness if exercising in a hot environment.