Yoga practice is not a religious practice.
There’s no judgment or condemn towards anyone whether good or bad, happy or unhappy, ego-less or egoistic, wise or ignorant, compassionate or compassionate-less, peaceful or peace-less.
There’s no sin or punishment from anyone or ‘God’ if someone didn’t practice correctly according to the Scriptures or teachings, or when someone wants to stop practicing yoga, or when someone doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like some parts or all of the teachings and practice of yoga, or the Truth, or the Dharma.
‘Heaven and hell’ is in the present moment now, in our mind. It’s in this moment now, whether our mind is influenced or uninfluenced by ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, unhappiness, painful sorrow, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt or guilt, ill-will, ill-thinking, restlessness, fear and worry, and all kinds of impurity and suffering, that determines whether we are in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ within our own mind. It is not about how much good or bad we do or don’t do in this life existence, and then we will be judged and either go to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’ after death, or when this life existence comes to an end.
We can be doing a lot of good actions and don’t do any bad actions according to what the religious teachings said or judged as good or bad actions, but we still can be experiencing unhappiness and suffering, if our minds are not free from ignorance and all the by products of impurities that derived from ignorance.
Yoga practice is about free the mind from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion and all sorts of impurities. In this present moment now, peace and compassion is there when the mind is free from ignorance. We won’t be peaceful nor compassionate if our minds are not free from ignorance and all the impurities even though we have been performing rituals and prayers frequently, or studying and memorizing all the teachings in any religious Scriptures, or we have been performing yoga and meditation practice frequently, or studying and memorizing all the text in the Yoga Scriptures.
Yoga practice is about perform all our actions, duties and responsibilities without egoism, attachment, identification, intention or expectation towards the actions and the fruit of actions. It’s not about “Do good as it makes us feel good and happy”, or “Do good and don’t do bad, so that we will go to heaven and not going to hell”, though there’s nothing wrong in this to encourage more people to do more good in this life existence.
If our minds are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving and aversion, and all sorts of impurities, then even though we think we have done many good actions and didn’t do any bad actions, we will still be influenced, be disturbed and be determined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, as the mind unceasingly reacts towards all the names and forms based on what the mind believes what things are, and won’t be peaceful nor compassionate.
Being able to show sympathy or empathy towards other people’s suffering also doesn’t guarantee that we are free from ignorance and impurities. We can still be disturbed and influenced by anger, hatred, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear and worry towards names and forms that our minds don’t like and don’t agree with. This is not the same as compassion, as compassion is being aware of the reality as it is, without being disturbed or influenced by the reality that our minds don’t like and disagree with. There won’t be any impurities derived from the mind reaction towards any unpleasant or undesirable condition and situation. Compassion is free from discrimination influenced by the likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements of the impure egoistic mind.
Feel free to practice yoga, or not. It is our own freedom of choice for what we want to do with this body and mind, or this life existence.