Religion In Karen Armstrong's Homo Religiosus

963 Words 4 Pages
Religion has existed since the beginnings of humanity. People have always yearned for a divine being that is both distant and familiar to the common man. While religion stems from the spiritual teachings of a religious leader, it can also be defined merely as an outlet or activity pursued with keenness and dedication. Much like music, art, and dance, which is open to interpretation, religion allows people to escape reality. However, because of the ideas and beliefs that religion entails, it is much less tangible than other outlets and requires a different method of practice. In Karen Armstrong’s Homo Religiosus, Armstrong introduces various life lessons that result from religious teachings. Armstrong touches upon various examples of religion, …show more content…
Yoga, the mental, spiritual, and physical practices exercised to achieve a state of peace, comes from the various religious practices in India, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It requires concentration, determination, and willingness and takes time to become accustomed to. Armstrong refers to yoga and states that “it [is] mentally demanding and, initially, physically painful. The yogin [has] to do the opposite of what [comes] naturally,” (Armstrong, 15). The mental demands of having to stay still “like a plant or a statue” and the physical demands of “controlled… respiration” or sometimes the need to “exist for long periods without breathing at all” makes yoga an activity that requires much endurance and effort (Armstrong, 15). Yoga requires not only momentary concentration but an extreme focus for extended periods of time. Although it requires overcoming pain and hardships, yoga allows individuals to further embrace their humanity by introducing that peace of mind can be obtained through practice and conviction. It is an activity that teaches individuals to work hard to achieve their goals. Understanding and experiencing yoga can lead to a modification of thoughts through the process of meditation. Likewise, by having Fredrickson to look at love as a connection of “micro-moment,” individuals learn that although it takes an immense effort, any two people can

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