People are now having this new wave of fitness and health revolution on which they are looking for the best diet and exercise. With this fervor, yoga has been found to be the most effective and popular way of work out. You can read it in countless books and health magazines. It has been endorse by celebrities (and sadly a actress professing to be a Christian.)
I’m not against being fit (actually I go to the gym) or being health conscious, but if it has something to do by being one by a Hindu god that’s another story. One may say, “It’s just an exercise!” But the question is: Is it just an exercise?
In his little booklet titled “The Perfection of Yoga” A. C.Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada gives us the Real McCoy of yoga( underlines and comments are mine):
Back Cover: “A world-renowned yoga master cuts through the commercialism that clouds the real meaning of yoga. Beyond the postures and exercises, he explains, the ancient teaching of yoga aim at lasting, loving union with the Supreme.”
“At the utmost we can only gratify our personal whims by some pseudoadaptation (i.e. fake copycat) of this system. Thus people are paying money to attend some classes in gymnastic exercises and deep breathing, and they’re happy if they think they can lengthen their lifetimes by a few years or enjoy better sex life. But we must under that this is not the actual yoga system. “pg. 6
“There are some yogis who perform yoga for profit, but that is not real yoga. Everything must be engaged in the service of the Lord (Krisna that is).” pg. 8
“It is generally thought, at least in the western world, that the yoga system involves meditating on the void. But the Vedic literatures do not recommend meditating on any void. Rather, the Vedas maintain that yoga means meditation on Visnu (a Hindu deity) and this is also maintained in Bhagavad-gita.”pg. 13
“All of the systems of yoga are mean to disentangle the conditioned soul from this entrapment, to transfer him from false enjoyment of material things to the actual enjoyment of Krsna (or Krisna) consciousness.”pg. 26
“Actually all of the yogas delineated in Bhagavad-gita end on this note, for Krsna is the ultimate destination of all yoga systems.” pg.55
There you have it straight from the horse’s mouth. You can read the whole booklet by clicking here. Now be warned about this type of exercise. It may help you by being fit and healthy but it actually leading you to something else. For more of about yoga, I would like to refer you to Marcia Montenegro’s articles on yoga at her website.