Sikhism & Yoga

Bani Concerning Yoga

Similarities

Yogis did not recognise the caste system

They had no scruples about the impurity of certain foods and some were non-vegetarian.

Some yogis led married lives.

Free kitchen, many in western India operate free kitchens open to all twice a day.

Differences

The practice of Yoga is more or less physical in nature, through chanting, breathing and other exercises one tries to achieve physical mastery over the body. The Gurus rejected this because it does not help the yogi to get rid of egoism, selfishness and does not help in the process of building up moral character or interaction with others, so essential for a householders life.

"One may be the knower of six schools of philosophy,
He may do the work of inhaling, exhaling and holding the breath
He may practice, Divine knowledge, meditation, pilgrimages, and ablutions,
He may cook his own food, touch not others and abide in wilderness,
If in his heart, he bears not love with the Lord's Name, then all that he does, that is perishable. Superior to him, deem thou the lowest pariah, O Nanak, in whose heart God, the Nurser of the Universe abides." (Guru Arjan, Pauri, pg. 253)