Is Yoga Philosophy Dogmatic?

Namaste, my friends!

One of the questions I always get when I travel around the world to teach is whether Yoga is Dogmatic. I have not seen a discipline in the world as non-dogmatic as Yoga. Yoga talks about practice and detachment as the fundamental pillars of its success. It does not talk about the idea that we must conform to a particular standardized set of practices or rules.

The beauty of Yoga is the concept of Viniyoga that is presented already in the Yoga Sutras and that was subsequently expounded by Acarya-s like Nathamuni, Yogacarya T Krishnamacharya and more recently Acarya TKV Desikachar. What the principle says is that all Yoga principles must be adapted and applied according to every individual practitioner and not be standardized. The concept of standardization does not exist in Yoga but rather Yoga is talking about applying different principles in a unique manner to every individual because Yoga teaches us to honour every individual as a unique being.

Hence my friends, Yoga is definitely non-dogmatic. You don’t have to be a believer of a particular religion to practice Yoga. You don’t have to be in a particular state of flexibility to practice Yoga. You don’t have to be belong to a particular cult or a sect to practice Yoga. Yoga is non-dogmatic and universal. The only condition that it requires is that you are dedicated in your practice through daily sadhana.

Therefore, my friends please embrace Yoga as a non-dogmatic principle and teach Yoga as a non-dogmatic principle.


Dr.Kausthub Desikachar, Viniyoga® Teacher
Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation, Chennai, India