How do Buddhism and yoga work together?

I’ve been practicing yoga for many years and love it. Recently I’ve become interested in Buddhism. How do the two practices work together?

Lion’s Roar
4 January 2017
Illustration by Nolan Pelletier.

Buddhism and yoga came out of the same spiritual culture of ancient India. In fact, many people believe that when Siddhartha was a wandering ascetic, he undertook yogic practice before the awakening that made him the Buddha. There are significant similarities in both philosophy and practice between Buddhism and Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras, and the tantric school of Buddhism works with flows of energy in the body in ways that would be very familiar to serious yogis. So it’s not surprising that today, many people have discovered that yoga is a great complement to their Buddhist practice, and vice versa. Many Buddhist teachers recommend yoga for the flexibility, balance, and relaxation that are so important for meditation. Conversely, yogis find that Buddhist meditation is an ideal complement to their yoga practice, both for its own benefits and to help them practice yoga mindfully. So Buddhism plus yoga: go for it!

Lion's Roar

Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar is the website of Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. Sign up for the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion’s Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.