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Ever seen a muslim in a yoga class?

KasaVoky2010-07-04 18:47:22 +0000 #1
Hi,

I would love to join a yoga class locally, but i'm not sure about it. I will be wearing traditional muslim sports gear, which means covering the whole body except face and hands.

Has anyone ever seen a muslim in a class?

Just curious!

Thanks.

Oh and what would you all think if you saw a muslim in your class?
Alix2010-07-04 19:03:34 +0000 #2
Welcome! And in any yoga class I have attended you would be welcomed and nothing thought of your clothing. I can't speak for everywhere though. Please could you tell me what "covered" means to you? Some Muslim clothing I have seen would make doing some of the poses awkward and it would be difficult for your teacher to see if you are in the posture correctly or if you are in danger of injury.

Please forgive me if I offend as I do not mean offense with my next question. I was under the impression that the Muslim religion was not very open to the idea of yoga as yoga is seen as another form of religious expression. Was I given incorrect information?
KasaVoky2010-07-04 19:14:22 +0000 #3
When i practice yoga i think of God and fitness. I don't think of another religion. so i guess if a muslim were "practicing" yoga as a religion yes it would be wrong, but i don't see it like that. I don't chant i don't recite anything i just do the poses and stretching!

Here's a picture of muslim sport :

I couldn't get the picture to post.

Anyway. Let me know what you think
Alix2010-07-04 18:57:47 +0000 #4
I think that sport gear would be fine. I hope you find a class that you feel comfortable in. Good luck!
Lars Rimböck2010-07-04 20:18:50 +0000 #5
No haven`t seen a muslim dreesed accordingly to his or her religion and tradition, but I would welcome him or her the same way like any other student.

There is no need for you to repeat any Hindu Mantras or do chanting indian Mantras or Kirtan.

I´m sure you are praying towards the devine in your way, and you are worshipping the devine in the appropriate way for you.

In any prayer and any spiritual singing there is a great beauty.

For me personally it is the same to go to a christian church, a hindu temple, or to the moslem temple, as long it comes from the heart.

Welcome to Yoga and the forum we might all be able to learn some aspects of religios living from you as well as the opposit.

All the

best

Lars
KasaVoky2010-07-04 20:50:22 +0000 #6
The basic belief of Islam is that there is only one God, whose name in the Arabic language is Allah, and who is the sole and sovereign ruler of the universe.

Here's a little insight in what we believe for those who want to know.

I hope to learn alot from this forum.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Muslims have 6 main beliefs

Belief in Allah as the one and only God.

Belief in angels.

Belief in the holy books.

Belief in the Prophets (special messengers).

e.g. Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus).

Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final prophet.

Belief in the Day of Judgement...

The day when the life of every human being will be assessed to decide whether they go to heaven or hell.

Belief in Predestination...

That Allah has already decided what will happen.

Muslims believe that this doesn't stop human beings making free choices
Pandara2010-07-04 21:44:06 +0000 #7
Namaskar Kasavoky,

Welcome to the Forum. I would like to relate a story to you. I think you would agree that a gold ring is as different from a gold necklace as it is from a pair of gold earrings. And although we as humans recognise that all three of these pieces of jewellery is different we also recognise that one factor which makes them all one and that is that their essence is gold. With God and religion the same.

Islam is as different from Christianity as it is from Hinduism etc. There might be certain points where they do agree, but if we say all religion are one, why having so many different religions and why sticking to your own religion feverishly? These are the man made and created dogmatic philosophies which we call religion. They are meant to keep a large part of the world population behind the veil of ignorance and as such serve a purpose to instill blind faith in many, which translate unfortunately in every religion to fundamentalism of which every religion has its fair share.

The one factor that is the same, is the essence behind every religion and that is the Divine Light that shines through that religion. We call it different names: Allah, God, Jesus, Siva, Ganesh, Durga etc. What is important is to realise that God is One, he is the essence of all, no matter what we call him.

On the issue of chanting: In each of the major dogmatic religious streams of the world there is a strong history of using a string of words (call it chanting, mantras, rosary, japa, mala etc.) to invoke the Divine Light within and to experience that Light in a meaningful way. If we recognise that everything, even God is just energy, then the string of words you utter, no matter from which religious background, would be only energy and as such will have a positive influence on your own experience of the Divine Light. I would be more worried about the words I utter while speaking to others in everyday life than about reciting holy mantra, no matter from what religious tradition.

I would like to tell you about my experience earlier this year. I live in South Africa where we have a good mix of all the major religions of the world as we have large Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Chinese (Buddhist) communities in our country mixed with African religion. I received a call from a muslim lady who would like to start yoga, I gave her all the details. My name is Willie, which in my country is a distinctly male name and if my voice was a bit too high for her to realise I am a male, then at least my name which I advertise with my advertisement should have told her I am a male. I also distinctly told her my classes was in the hall of a Catholic Church. Anyway, she arrived with her husband at class. She came in, dressed in pants, a long sleeve shirt and a head scarf. Next moment hubby came into the class and wanted to know who is the yoga teacher. I said I am. He very rudely said to his wife to get out as she cannot do yoga presented by a male or where there are other males in the class as well and he didn't realise it is in a church, with which he had a huge problem. (The hall is connected to the church so strictly speaking it wasn't in the chruch) I felt so sad for the lady, I could see she was humiliated and belittled at that moment and her eyes where crying sorry. Unfortunately incidents like these do create the stereotypes many come to belief of the Muslim faith and Muslims, that there is no freedom of choice, but that dogmatic rules regulate all.

On the other hand, with me on a Thursday is a wonderful muslim lady, all dressed up in her long pants and long sleeve shirts and head scarf, I like her head scarfs they are so beautiful always and she never wears black, always beautiful spiritual colours. She chants with us just as hard on the mantras as anybody else, she also sometimes even crosses herself like the rest of us who are catholic as the hall is connected to a catholic church.

Can you see where I am going with this, in any community there are those who are true ambassadors of their faith in the appropriate and correct way, but there are also those who give their religion a bad name and add to the already negative stereotypes that do exist.

One last thing, i know this mail is now too long perhaps, remember yoga is not a religion, it might employ some of the religious traditions from which it originates, namely Hiduism, to achieve certain goals or to help the yogi to understand certain aspects of what yoga does to you, but it never asks you to change your religion, never, it will only enhance your own understanding and deepen it.
Kiran2010-07-04 21:59:07 +0000 #8
Namaste KasVoky,

I think you would be welcome anywhere. I have a Turkish friend (who is Muslim) who sometimes comes to the same yoga class over lunch. He seems to enjoy it and sees no conflict with his faith. I've also seen Yoga classes offered in Istanbul Cairo, Amman, Baku, and other predominantly Muslim cities.

Salaam,

Kiran

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