When we think about practicing yoga we are only familiar with different postures and advance positions, but yoga has many more things to show us.The origin of yoga is not only a part of Hinduism but it also includes Jainism and Buddhism. The followers of Jainism are less than 2 million in India and there are also some other reasons which conclude why Jain yoga is not accessible.
With Jainism comes the very strict adherence to ahimsa (non-violence) and it definitely makes Jain Yoga very difficult to follow. Over many years, or say millennia, the Jain tradition kept the non-violence as their highest priority. All the practitioners are strictly vegetarian. Not only non-vegetarian food such as meat, but several roots such as potato and onions are strictly prohibited. It is very difficult for a person like a farmer to follow the non-violence traditions as the process of farming is considered to be the disruption of microscopic life. That’s why all the Jain followers are traders, jewelers, and merchants.
The vows that are taken by the monks and nuns as Jain followers are difficult to maintain in the modern life. The monks and nuns cannot use any form of transport and must keep their mouth covered to prevent accidental destruction of life. Moreover, they can only eat in the homes of Jains where the food has been cooked with some strict rules.
The only tradition of Jainism is that only one of all the esoteric mystical traditions are not influenced by any kind of historical changes in the past or any kind of contact with other religion such as Islam or Christianity. It also comes with many traditions that are way too inflexible and many modern Jain families find it very difficult to adhere to the strict rules and regulations.
The scriptures and text of Hinduism and Buddhism are translated to English language and are available to many people outside the community. But this is not the case with Jainism as the text and books remain in the ancient language of Pali or some maybe in Gujarati or Hindi.
The teaching of Jainism has one more problem, which has never been a problem with Buddhism or Hinduism. In the later ones the text is translated in many languages so there are many teachers and followers. But there are only a few teachers when it comes to Jainism who are monks called as ‘munis’ and nuns called as ‘sadhavi’ and they speak only in the local Indian languages.
With many difficult and strict rules along with lack of proper teaching made the world unaware of the concept of Jain Yoga, which in turn makes it almost inaccessible.