The Connection Between Muslim Prayers (Namaz/Salah) and Yoga Poses



Islam isn’t only about religious supplications; instead, it is also about human well-being. Some of us, Muslims, can also be unaware of Salah’s benefits and connection to yoga. People do yoga to stay fit and healthy, but most Muslims don’t understand how Islam promotes healthy living through prayers.

According to many case studies and researches, it is founded that Muslim prayers and Yoga poses have direct connections. Most mental health care clinics treat Muslim prayers as a basement to treat Muslim patients. In a stress-ridden world, it is not easy to stay mentally healthy or fit. People often need the right amount of counseling and therapy. Therapists search for novel ideas and strategies to treat patients. They try to implement new things to cater to patients’ problems. Reiki, Yoga, etc. are some of those methods that therapists attend to. Apart from these methods, religion, as a whole, plays a significant role in healing the mental illness of patients.

There’s therapeutic efficacy when the religious patients are connected with religious belief. Several research pieces concerning this new order have brought the direct connection between salah and Yoga to light. People have started looking for the reason why Muslim prayers have so much significance. Well, let me tell you why and how Yoga poses resemble Muslim prayers. 

How Does Yoga match With the Muslim Prayers?

Yoga is an ancient style of meditation and physical acts that was initiated by Hindus. There are so many scientific proofs concerning the healthy benefits of Yoga. Today, people around the world follow Yoga despite its religious connection. It has become one of the famous fitness programs in the world. 

However, Muslims have got the chance to enjoy similar benefits as Yoga through their prayers, which has been practiced for fourteen hundred years. It is a daily activity that Muslims around the world practice.

The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) has said “إن فى الصلاة شفاء” means “There is a cure in prayers.”

The word “Chakras” is used by Yogis, and it is attainted only when all the yoga poses are performed flawlessly. This is similar to the “feeling” that Muslims get when they perform all the salah postures. When salah is performed five times a day, it gives tremendous energy and stamina to run the day effectively. This is similar to the boost that you get when you perform yoga poses.

So there are similarities between yoga poses and Salah, let’s check them below.

Top Three Yoga Poses That Are Similar to the Postures of Muslim Prayers

  1. Qiyam vs. Namaste

Both Namaste and Qiyam require keeping both feet evenly distributed; thus, it balances the body and eases the nervous system. The body gets positive energy when the posture is maintained perfectly. In Muslim prayers, certain Quran verses recited while the individuals are in Qiyam position. According to research, it is stated that sound vibrations from the Quran verses stimulate the thyroid, heart, adrenal glands, pituitary, and lungs. It also uplifts and purifies them.

In a prayer, Qiyam begins with recitals while keeping the body straight in a standing position. While the person remains in the position, he/she will make sure to keep the back, and the overall body straightened. This will not only help steady blood flow but also increase the focus. According to Muslims, this position increases self-awareness and the health of the overall body. Next, when the person engages in dua (prayers), the chakra is activated. This is how the feelings of harmony, love, and peace play a role in the prayer.

In Yoga, Namaste isn’t very much different to Qiyam rather, and it’s just the same posture with a slight difference in what we say and how we move. Namaste means “I bow to you or Bow me you.” If you see the way how Yogis perform this movement, you will witness a slight difference. Instead of placing one hand over the other as Muslims do in prayer, they will place the hands at heart to enhance the divine love. Along with this, they will also close their eyes and bow their head to increase the flow of love.

During Namaste, Yogis come to a standing position in which their body muscles tighten. Yoga helps your body’s metabolism and blood flow, so you don’t have to engage in an intense workout. Also, the motions involved in Yoga will develop flexibility and efficiency.  

  • Ruk’u vs. Ardha Uttanasana

Both the positions support the muscles in the lower back, thighs, front torso, and calves. When engaging in these positions, your upper torso will receive adequate blood. The muscles in the stomach, kidneys, and abdomen will also be toned when you follow these positions.

In a prayer, Ruk’ u is performed by bending forward to portray the submission to Allah. It shows how a Muslim let go of his/her pride and lowers down to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has advised to lower oneself in Ruk’ u with much calmness and come to a standing position only when the body gets relaxed.

In Yoga, Ardha Uttanasana is a forward fold that in a half-standing position. This Yoga pose promotes relaxed breathing and increases the mind’s calmness. However, both the poses strengthen the spine and back while promoting body posture. When you perform the poses correctly, the muscles get stretched, resulting in ease of pack pain.

Besides, the positions send pressure to the abdomen; thus, it helps relieve peristaltic movements and constipation.

  • Sujud vs. Balasana (child pose)

This is the most critical position of Muslim prayer. Sujud stimulates the frontal cortex of the brain. When Muslims perform sujud, their heart gets placed in a top position than the brain, so the upper part of the body gets enough blood flow. Mainly, your lungs and head. According to hadith, it is mentioned that Muslims are closer to Allah when they are in sujud.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state)” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The belly fat can be controlled with Balasana and Sujud positions. Knees, forehead, and feet are on the ground, which means there’s more pressure for the abdomen’s muscles to get stronger.

In Yoga, a similar pose to sujud is called child post (Balasana). This is also treated as a famous stretching exercise that can be added to his/her daily routine. This pose relieves tension in the chest, shoulders, and back. As per certain researches, this pose activates crown chakra that deals with a spiritual connection with the world and spiritual pursuits. It also clears mental toxins.

Wrapping Up

People around the world perform Yoga to increase mental peace, stamina, and calmness. When they engage in Yoga, they chant the mantras in a low tone to increase efficiency. However, this is also similar to what Muslims do when they engage in prayers. Quran verses that are recited serve as a guidance and good deed.

Just like Yoga, salah serves as enlightenment and a source of peace. According to Islam, peace and guidance are promoted through five-times prayers. Through prayers, meditation is encouraged, so for example, whenever a Muslim feels worried or disturbed, they can easily get rid of it through prayers.

On the other hand, Quran verses deal with a lot of sociological and psychological benefits. I believe now it’s safe to say that we, Muslims, have been following Yoga since 1,400 years!

Five-time prayers is the Muslim version of Yoga!


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