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Is the the current form in which Yoga is being propounded (stripped of metaphysical aspects) distortion of Patanjali rishi's teachings? If Yes, then is yoga as a physical practice amoral and neutral but can any meaning and function be imported into its form?

Main argument of new age gurus is that Yoga is a technology/phenomenon/natural law etc. Just like gravity cannot restricted to one religion, same is applicable for Yoga. They want to spread yoga as a non-religious scientific tool to enhance human wellbeing.

This is great. But just like Gita is meant for entire mankind, it is still a scripture of Hinduism and distorting its content does not yield benefits.

  • When it comes to Yoga, I gather chanting mantras is an integral component. So is it really called Yoga when mantras are not chanted ?

  • Also from what I gather is that there Asana (which is projected as Yoga) is just one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Is it ok to assume one may not derive the intended benefits by ignoring the other limbs or for not carrying it out correctly (i.e. by not chanting the mantras) ?

  • Those who are voting for this to be closed as "opinion based" need to read the post once again, especially the last para where I have asked what do the scriptures say about taking bits and pieces / half hearted approach – Carmen sandiego Feb 28 at 11:13
  • Looks like people on this site don't even care to read the post before voting to close. Like its their favourite thing. – Lokesh Feb 28 at 16:58
  • The title looks opinion-based and also a dup of Depicting Mahabharata (and other scriptures) misleadingly. – sv. Feb 28 at 18:13
  • There is incontrovertible proof that the practice of Asana (and Pranayama) in a secular context yields health benefits.That, for most people, is good enough. Whether it constitutes a distortion of Patanjali's teachings is in the eye of the beholder. I would be very surprised if scriptures had anything to say on this, one way or the other. – Vidyut Feb 28 at 18:34
  • @sv - Talk about judging the book by its cover. Guess there is no point in providing space to ask a detailed question, huh ? Besides even on a standalone basis it is not opinion based if scriptures denounce it. And as far as dup is concerned, I have made comparison but at the same time focus is on piece meal approach as compared to wrong depiction of epics – Carmen sandiego Feb 28 at 18:49
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The questions are:

  • When it comes to Yoga, I gather chanting mantras is an integral component. So is it really called Yoga when mantras are not chanted ?

  • Also from what I gather is that there Asana (which is projected as Yoga) is just one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Is it ok to assume one may not derive the intended benefits by ignoring the other limbs or for not carrying it out correctly (i.e. by not chanting the mantras) ?


Yoga means joining the mind with the God, ie., it indicates pure SPIRITUALITY.

Asanas, Pranayama, etc, which are part of Asthanga Yoga, will aid in joining the mind with the God.

As SPIRITUALITY is for all humans, cutting across the barriers of countries/religions, etc, the way to SPIRITUALITY, ie., Yoga is also has no connection to religions.


  1. Chanting mantras result in concentration and thus, comes under 6th limb of Asthanga Yoga, ie., Dharana - concentration; one-pointed focus.

  2. It is secondary whether one chants mantras or not and whether one does practice asanas or not.

The primary issue is Dhyana, which result in joining the mind with the God, which is called Yoga. A prolonged Dhyana results in Samadhi.


Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, etc, did not do asanas, as advocated by Asthanga Yoga, but yet they reached the highest stage in SPIRITUALITY.

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