I was raised Episcopal and went to church every Sunday with my parents and brother. I sang in the choir, played an angel in the Christmas pageants, and ate graham crackers with apple juice while listening to Biblical tales about Noah's Ark, Jonah's Tale, etc. I actually loved church when I was little.
But my high school years can be described as anything but religious, let alone spiritual. I lost sight of any kind of connection with a higher power during those years. In no way am I saying that I was unhappy. I was just a teenage girl who just wanted to think about boys, drinking beer, sneaking out of my house, driving, and oh yeah- sometimes that school thing.
Once I got past those years of rebellion and oblivion, I started to realize there is a lot more to life than what I was going to wear next, who is cheating on who, and how wasted I could get on the weekends. I tried the church thing again during my freshman year of college, but it didn't really make sense to me. All these people go to church and say they are Christians, but a lot of the times, I saw feelings of superiority spewing from their beings.
To make myself clearer, here is an example of what I am talking about: My grandmother is a die-hard Presbyterian and is constantly shoving Bible verses down my throat and telling me gays are sinners. I am not gay, however, I think it is 100 % ignorant for anyone to say being gay is a sin. I also love my grandmother, but I do not love the fact that she feels like she can act better than other people because they are not Christians.
To this day, my grandmother does not understand my infatuation, devotion, and love for yoga. But that is okay. She doesn't have to. I just do not want to be a part of the religious divide that I believe many people have created to separate themselves from other fellow human beings.
So, yoga serves as my church. And yes, yoga's core is rooted in Hinduism. But when I go to yoga, there are all different kinds of people with all different kinds of backgrounds, skin colors, and sexual orientations. But it doesn't matter because nothing is separating us from each other. We are all just doing yoga. We all have different reasons to why we're there but we don't question. We just are who we are, doing yoga.