why i can’t do yoga, the third of 3 excuses

Respecting Belief Systems

Let me begin here by saying that my respect for another’s politics, religion, or belief system runs deep.

I believe that we need a higher source to rely on to find comfort, peace, and light, and far be it for me to suggest that one way is better than another.


I was raised in a traditional Jewish family and can occasionally be found in Temple. (“Ma, if you’re reading this up there, I’m sorry that I haven’t been there in over a year but next Friday night, I promise I’m going.”)

I seldom discuss religion, or for that matter politics, with friends, and I never discuss the two with students and clients.

It’s really none of my business, and if I did choose to discuss these things with friends, students, and clients, they would no longer be my friends, students, or clients.

Excuse #3: My Religion Does Not Permit Me to Practice Yoga

My religion does not permit me to practice yoga. More than occasionally someone will say to me, “My faith/religion does not allow me to do yoga,” or “I’m uncomfortable going to a yoga class because of the religious connotations,” to which I say nothing. That’s a sticky one.

Far be it for me to sway, coerce, or convert.

As a friend, teacher, and therapist, my wish for my friends, students, and clients is for them to find peace, joy, and laughter.

I’ve been a student of yoga for thirty years and haven’t once felt compromised – but that’s me. When I’m in a yoga class, I’m not thinkin’ religion, I’m thinkin’ mind-body connection and sculpted abs, butt, and thighs – but again, that’s me.

The Personal Nature of Yoga

My yoga class is a time for self-reflection and connection to “the bigger picture,” the universe, or why that sperm hit that egg at the precise moment to make me! Why think about such things?

Well, when I think large, I no longer sweat the small stuff. It’s how I use my yoga practice.

At my yoga studio, everyone who attends classes knows that they’re welcome, no matter what size, shape, shade, or faith they may be. Often, during savasana, at the end of a sometimes vigorous workout comes emotional release, laughter, tears, and sighs. A religious experience?

Maybe, maybe not.

What is certain, though, is that a quiet connection has been made.

A connection that might not have happened otherwise, which brings you closer to yourself than you may have been in a long time – a connection that opens the mind and the heart.

Sharing the Experience

I love to tell my students as they prepare to leave class that when they feel filled to the brim with the love and the light they’d experienced during class, it’s perfectly okay to let some ooze out and infiltrate a friend, relative, or even an upset stranger. What prophet was it who said, “All we need is love, love…love is all we need?”

Read Excuse #1 here.
Read Excuse # 2 here.

Yoga in Glendale If you are looking for a way to start or deepen your daily meditation – take a look at this program by MindValley: bit.ly/YOGIMeditation and the Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction online course by Sounds True: – The YOGI TIMES team