Some yoga practitioners may expand their practice into the religious realm of Hinduism or Buddhism, but the spiritual practice of yoga is not a religion on its own. It simply facilitates the search for meaning, connection with the true Self, and union with a higher power.
Traditional yogis use their yoga practice to experience Spirit and become aware of the spiritual energy within. Asanas and meditation may be used as daily spiritual practices that clear the mind, with the goal of discovering spiritual Truth.
The Sanskrit word for this type of spiritual practice is sadhana, which translates to “realization.” In addition to asanas and meditation, sadhana may involve the use of sacred gestures (mudras) and recitation of repeated words or phrases (mantras).
Without its spiritual aspect, yoga is just a fitness and relaxation practice.