Yoga and Buddhism


Om Mani Padme Hum
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Namaste everyone,

I was wondering what ties Buddhism has with Yogic practices, as in, are there certain schools that practice these techniques? I have heard that a lot of Buddhists down in America tend to want to practice a certain kind of Yoga...Hatha Yoga is it?

It would be greatly appreciated if someone could fill me in on Yoga and its ties to the religions originating in ancient India.

Thanks :)
Namaste Padipa,

thanks for the post.

well.. this is a very interesting topic, to be sure :)

within the context of Buddhism, yoga is viewed in several different ways, depending on ones' Vehicle and school. as such, the Theravedans, by and large, view yoga is exercise and physical conditioning, which has its own value, but there isn't much of a spiritual aspect to it.

this would be analgous to Hatha Yoga which is, for the most part, a yoga of phyiscal exericse... and exoteric yoga.

yoga comes from the Sanskrit root "yug" which means to re-join or re-link. in the understanding of India, this is a re-joining or re-linking of the mundane aspects of self or conciousness (depending on your view) with the supramundane aspects.

within the Vajrayana, however, yoga is viewed in a different manner. whilst there is some Hatha yoga, the general focus is on the other types of yoga, the more esoteric aspects, if you will.

depending on ones individual lineage within the Vajrayana, the yoga practices have somewhat different names, however, all schools of the Vajrayana generally practice the same yogic praxis, with some variation due to individual capacities and so forth.

however... rather than rambling on, let me cut and paste something from the forum which i've contributed before:

here's a link to a Tantric teaching:

here's a link for an explanation of Tantra from the Buddhist point of view:

Tantra means thread in Sanskrit, specifically the warp thread that dresses the loom and gives support to the fabric formed by the moving shuttle or, in a rug, the individual knots. Without it, there can be no cloth. It can also refer to the cord used for stringing beads to make a necklace, a rosary, mala, or garland. Tantric or more rarely, tantrik, is the adjective.

The word "tantra" refers to an "oral practice tradition," where there is a direct link from teacher to student. It is important to understand that a tantric connection is more than a lineage association, or an affiliation to a tradition. To belong to a certain tantric lineage means that the skills themselves are learned, practiced, mastered, and handed on with a special kind of permission.
As a mahayana Buddhist I do not practise any yoga, but the Mahayana has great respect for the Vajrayana and the school which I follow essentially believes that our current practice serves to prepare us to practice the vajrayana in some future life. As such, we are aware of the "Highest Tantric Yoga," The mediatation on emptiness, but do not practice it.
Namaste Awaiting_the_fifth and Vajradhara,

Thanks for the posts. I think I may do a bit more reading on the different yogic practices and I may try out one that is more centered on physical exercises because I'd like to learn how to do the full lotus position, as it is said that the full lotus, when practiced correctly, brings you closer to earth and therfore gives a more focused meditative experience. Also I'd like to improve my flexability and my balance. I'm not sure if the more spiritual yogic practices appeal to me as much. :)
Vajradhara-yes! Tantra is the "thread that runs through it." Yoga is a wonderful way to bring us back to the body. For association of yoga & buddhism for eg see

and thoughts by Jon Kabat-Zinn re hatha yoga & Buddhism as well as Michael Roach's approach as re to tonglen & yoga. If you ain't in your body, you ain't really "there." Take care, Earl