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Truth about yoga (a article for discussion)

jungle boy2010-07-03 21:25:06 +0000 #1
someone send me this email and i thought i will post it here for discussion.

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This article is from Christianity Today: www.christianitytoday.com/

The patron goddess of Yoga is Kundalini the Hindu snake goddess.

Subject: Truth about Yoga

Friends of Jesus,

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Yoga led Laurette Willis into a New Age lifestyle. Now she's warning others of the spiritual pitfalls. The attractive couple on the television screen gracefully moved their bodies into the next yoga pose: arms extended, head tilted slightly back, a deep breath in. In front of the TV set, a seven-year-old girl and her mother did their best to mimic the posture. The little girl, Laurette, loved this special time with her mom.

It was 1965, and Laurette's mom, Jacquie, didn't think twice about exercising along with this yoga program that came on the TV after Jack La Lanne. She developed a passion for yoga, and began instructing free classes in her home. Laurette served as the demonstration model for her mom. The young girl relished the attention-and her family never suspected this seemingly innocent exercise would open the door to a New Age lifestyle that would affect Laurette for the next 22 years. Speaking Out: Now 46, Christian speaker/author Laurette Willis tells everyone she meets about the dangers of yoga. The Oklahoma resident addresses groups across the country, speaking from personal experience and her knowledge as a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor. So what caused Laurette to become vocal about yoga? And is yoga really all that bad? Her testimony is a bold answer to both questions. Throughout her childhood, Laurette's family regularly attended church. "If someone had asked us, we would have said we were Christians," she says. "But we never heard the message of salvation at our church."

Lacking knowledge about the Christian faith, Laurette's mom found herself drawn to New Age practices, and began reading books by Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce(both claimed to have psychic abilities) and taking Laurette to an ashram, a Hindu yoga retreat. As an adult, Laurette immersed herself in every New Age and metaphysical practice she came across: chanting, crystals, tarot cards, psychics, channeling spirits. "I tried everything-Kabbalah, Universalism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism - because I was spiritually hungry," Laurette says. "I call the New Age movement 'Burger King' because it's like the fast-food restaurant's motto: 'Have it your way.' That's what the New Age movement tries to do, to achieve God on its terms."

There was one thing Laurette wasn't remotely interested in pursuing:Christianity. "I thought Christians just wanted to give me a bunch of rules and dogma," she says. "I didn't know they were speaking about a relationship with Jesus."

But in Laurette's quest to find herself, she only found a deepening sense of loneliness. "God will use whatever it takes to bring you to your knees," she says. "I'd made a mess of my life. I was an alcoholic. I'd been promiscuous. I tried every form of religion, never coming to

Any knowledge of the truth."

One day in 1987, a thought popped into Laurette's head: What if everything I thought about God was completely wrong? Two days later, she fell to her knees. "I didn't know anything about the Bible or Jesus. I just cried out to God from the depths of my soul, 'I give up! You win! If you can do something with my life, you can have it.' "As Laurette asked God to take control of her life, she felt a physical weight lift from her body. "I learned much later that the weight was sin," she says. "I hadn't realized sin was real. New Agers think the word 'sin' is an acronym for 'self-inflicted nonsense.' That's the deception of the Enemy, because if there's no sin, then you don't need a Savior." She remembers the change at the moment she accepted Christ: "I felt peace descend upon me for the first time in my life." After giving her life to God, Laurette began devouring the Bible. She burned her New Age books and disengaged from everything associated with her turbulent past-including yoga. The Problem with Yoga: The physical benefits for which yoga is often touted: improved flexibility, weight loss, reduced stress, and improved circulation, to name a few. The goal of all yoga, Laurette explains, is to obtain oneness with the universe. That's also known as the process of enlightenment, or union with Brahman (Hinduism's highest god). The word "yoga" means "union" or "to yoke." "Yoga wants to get students to the point of complete numbness in their minds. God, on the other hand, wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through his Word," Laurette says. Before she became a Christian, Laurette used subliminal tapes to train her mind to empty itself. These tapes are often used in yoga classes, she says. She also taught yoga classes and instructed her students in astral projection, or "stepping outside" of the body, which Laurette says poses a serious spiritual danger. "If there's nothing in your mind, you're open to all kinds of deception. After coming to Christ, I wondered who-or what-came into my body when I 'stepped out.' While I don't believe Christians can become possessed, I do believe we can become oppressed by demonic spirits of fear, depression, lust, false religion, etc. These are all things designed to draw us away from Jesus Christ." But what about hatha yoga, the less overtly spiritual form of yoga taught at most gyms? Even in this format, Laurette says there are commonly used words and poses antithetical to God's Word. For example, the word "namaste," often said at the close of yoga classes, means, "I bow to the god within you. "The sound "om," chanted in many yoga classes, is meant to bring students into a trance so they can join with the universal mind. And the "salute to the sun" posture, used at the beginning of most classes, pays homage to the Hindu sun god. Laurette believes it's impossible to extract Hindu spiritualism from yoga-and she's gotten a bit of confirmation on this from an unlikely source: "I received an e-mail from a staff member of the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy in New Jersey. The staff member wrote, 'Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone should be aware of this fact.' This staff member included that she didn't appreciate my 'running down the great Hindu/Yogic religion,'" Laurette says.

Her statements about yoga have also drawn criticism from some Christians. Some accuse Laurette of being judgmental. Others say her fears about yoga are irrational. She doesn't back down from her stance on yoga.

When she speaks with Christians who practice yoga, she encourages them to pay close attention to any hesitation they feel-and then to check out the facts for themselves. Numerous Christian women have told Laurette they decided to quit yoga after learning about its Hindu roots.

It's a hard decision for those who've invested many years and many dollars into the practice. Laurette says, "I tell people that if their reasoning is, 'But I've already paid for these yoga classes,' or 'But I just bought these cool yoga pants and a yoga DVD,' to ask themselves: Am I willing to give these things up to know the truth?"

Proceed with Caution:

There's a new practice popping up at churches and fitness clubs around the country. Dubbed "Christian yoga" or "yoga for Christians," these programs supposedly offer the physical benefits of yoga along with Christian spirituality. But is it really possible for yoga to be transformed into a practice for Christians? Doug Groothuis, author of Confronting the New Age and a professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary, says proponents of "Christian yoga" are misled-and are misleading others. "'Christian yoga' is an oxymoron. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and cannot be separated from it," he says. "There's nothing wrong with stretching and calming down one's breathing. But yoga isn't really about that; it's aimed at transforming human consciousness to experience the Hindu god, which is a false god." TCW found several "Christian yoga" instructors who are affiliated with secular yoga organizations that have a Hindu or New Age bent.

When investigating a Christian yoga class, be on the lookout for: Sanskrit language. Many words commonly used in yoga pay homage to Hindu deities. Metaphysical jargon. Phrases such as "breathing in positive energy and breathing out negative energy," "focusing on the third eye," and "getting in touch with the divinity within you" have New Age implications. Projection. Beware being told to empty your mind or to step outside your body. Feelings of discomfort. Pay attention to those feelings. Even if you can't pinpoint why you're uncomfortable, this may be the Holy Spirit's way of letting you know the class isn't for you. -H.V.R.

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I am very new to yoga and from the little reading that i did, i found yoga teaching similar to Buddhism. I will appreciate if anyone can discuss more on those statements that I have bold. thank you.


happyyoga2010-07-03 21:40:09 +0000 #2
yoga isn't christianity, nor is it 'new age'. it's just that some 'new agers' happen to say they do yoga (they also say they do tai chi, and do it verry incorrectly).

both yoga and taichi are ancient practices, nothing 'new' age about them. Perhaps its new age that's evil, certainly not yoga!

I highly recommend the book 'happy yoga' by steve ross, to answer your questions in detail in a clear way that will show you how not only is yoga (when done right) amazing, but that it's one of the best things anyone, religious or not, can practice.
firefly2010-07-03 21:33:27 +0000 #3
Hi all

I would love to hear more comments on this. I am a devout Christian but also believe in the benefits of many philosophies. I am particularly interested in yoga for the stress relief and for having a quiet moment for myself just to reflect.

I certainly do not want to pay homage to any other gods in doing so. Are there any yoga practicing Christians that can comment on this? Also do you have to use specific mantras? Are there ones you can use specifically to honor God?

Thank you,

Robin
firefly2010-07-03 22:29:56 +0000 #4
Hi all

I hope it is appropriate to post this. I found it very enlightening and comforting that I can pursue Yoga and not have it damage my faith but strengthen it.

Here it is:

YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY

By

SRI SWAMI CHIDANANDA

I shall speak to you at some length upon the subject of 'Yoga and the Christian Religion' because most of you are from a Christian background, very pious and very religious. Some are only Christian because they are born Christian, but some are halfway going to the Church once in two months, but all are from a Christian background, may be some Roman Catholic, may be not, may be Protestant, may be Methodist, may be some other. Some of you are Jews. Whatever religion you belong to, when I speak about Yoga and the Christian religion, it could equally apply to Yoga and any other religion. So, what is the connection between Yoga and one's religion? One takes it for granted that Yoga is of the Hindu religion, and asks: 'What is the connection between, this Hindu thing and my religion?' Anyone belonging to another religion must wonder. So, it is worth-knowing how to relate Yoga to religion. Is it like other religions or are there sharp divergences between Yoga and other religions? If these things are not clear, may be some would feel a sense of guilt. 'O, I am a Christian, am I doing the right by coming and taking to Yoga? Perhaps, I am being a little irreligious in the particular area of my interest in Yoga.' Thus, a vague sort of uneasiness may be felt.

First and foremost, it has to be known that Yoga has arisen from a background or basis of the Hindu religion. It has its origin in India and it is part of the Hindu religion. But it is not Hindu. It is a universal science that has arisen out of the Hindu religious ground-a science that has risen above religion. It is a universal technique. Because in Yoga, as it is given in the Yoga-Darsana of Patanjali, one of the six systems of philosophy, no particular dogma is laid down and no particular God is pointed out for your worship. Yoga doesn't say that you must worship Rama or Siva or meditate upon Krishna, or you must worship Kaali or Durga, or Hanuman; Yoga has nothing to say upon all these things. Yoga doesn't say that you must repeat any particular Name of God. Yoga only says that repetition of one of the Divine Names is one of the ways of concentrating the mind. It says repetition of the Divine Name. You may repeat the Divine Name, you may say the prayer of Jesus, you may say Allah, you may say Rama, you may say the name of Siva, or you may say some other Name if you are in some other religion, but it does not specify that Name and also whom to worship. The All-perfect Divine Being, who is ever-free, ever-perfect, free from all the imperfections, ever-free beyond Maya, the Supreme Purusha, means the Supreme Being, Almighty Father in Heaven, Allah, Jehovah, you can call it by any name, it does not matter, the ever-free Being is not bound by Maya, and who is free from affliction, who is of the nature of Bliss-Absolute, Consciousness-Absolute; that is the object of meditation to be attained, that is the goal of Yoga. So, it does not give for you a goal other than the goal of Yoga; it does not give for you a goal other than the goal of your religion. It does not point out a God different from the one pointed by your own religion—Christianity, Islam, etc.—and it does not give a special name of that God so that you will have to change Gods. It does not give any special name to the one God. Emerging from the ground of Hinduism, it goes beyond religion.

Yoga is a Religious Science, which means that it goes beyond religion, and assumes a universal characteristic. Secondly, Yoga is a science for Man. It is not a science either for an Easterner or a Westerner, an Oriental or an Occidental. Yoga is for man on earth. It was given to mortal man on this earth of birth, pain and death. It was given to man on earth, no matter what he is or who he is; and it is given to man for all times. It was not given to an ancient man or medieval man or a modern man, or anyone who might come, wanting to go beyond all sorrow, pain and suffering, go beyond bondage and delusion. If he takes to this path, it brings him to the place of supreme experience. So it is the answer to the need of mortal man, on this earth plane. So it is something that is the property, the heritage of humanity—Yoga is the heritage of humanity. It does not interfere with religion. What does Yoga do? Yoga supplies to the life of man and makes up for certain lack brought about by religion failing man or man failing religion. There is a condition created by the failure of religion administering to man's highest needs, or the failure of man to take advantage of religion or properly utilise his religion which it is, we cannot say.

Some say religions have failed. I say, no. Man has failed to follow religion. It is not due to religion that man suffers. It is due to the neglect of religion, the ignoring of religion and its teachings and its wisdom. Mostly, this is the situation. But in some places where religion has become totally institutionalised, it has become a great impersonal structure, and lost living contact with the individuals. Under it, then, it becomes barren of real spirit. It becomes only a pattern for dogma and ritual, and ceremony and belief. You are a Christian; if you say 'I believe in salvation through the blood of Christ'. Yes, I believe, then you are a Christian. You are a very good Christian; so go your way. Do what you like, drink, smoke, break all the ten commandments, but you are a Christian. Religion has come to mean just accepting certain things which an institution has set to be the very heart of religion—a set of dogmas, and if you say you accept all this, then, you are a religious man. But, then, this is not religion. In each religion there is a certain spiritual content which has direct relevance to that part of you which is your innermost essential being, which is your innermost reality, a true, essential reality, and where religion fails to touch that part of your being, and loses its concern with that, and only concerns itself with the way in which you live, your social life and pattern of your social life, and your domestic life, whether you pay your tithe and whether you attend the Church regularly once in a week, or whether you go through all the various sacraments. You Baptise, and you are Christian. It is interested only in that but not in that highest part of you. It never asks you to question yourself or query 'What is the purpose of my life? Why have I come here? What have I to attain? What is the true meaning of my life? What is my goal?' In organised religions, the structure does not encourage you to ask these questions, does not insist that you raise these questions and seek an answer and make life a quest of that great goal which you ascertain through the answer. In such case, religion is not ministering to you in depth, while it is ministering to you on the surface. It fails to deal with you in that dimension of your being where you are the real being. Other dimensions are touched and affected, but that dimension is left untouched.

So, when the spiritual content in religion is no longer active, no longer progressive, then that religion has petrified. It is not alive in such cases. Yoga is a wonderful answer because the prime concern of Yoga is the spiritual reality within you, the attainment of the spiritual goal for which you have taken this human birth; that is the prime concern of Yoga. Yoga is the path to God-realisation. Yoga is the path of Divine Experience, and the Divine Experience is the heart of religion. Trying to attain God-realisation is the very heart, the very essence of religion. That is the inner spiritual core of religion, and where that spiritual core has been neglected and cast aside, and is forgotten, then religion is only there as a great forum; a great structure is there, but inside there is no one living. There are a hundred houses, only a built palace is there, no one is living. It is a deserted palace. Like that, religion becomes a huge imposing structure with no life; and if such has become the religious life of any person, be he a Christian, a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Parsi, or a Muslim; if such it has become, then Yoga comes as life-giving waters, the living waters to revive that withering, languishing inner spiritual core, that innermost spiritual path that has been neglected and dried away. Yoga comes as the life-giving force. Once again it makes spring into life the spiritual centre of your religion. It makes your religion alive for you. It can make religion alive for anyone, be he a Christian or a Muslim, and it gives back to you the life within your religion. It is the common experience of many people that after Yoga came to them they started being really religious. After Yoga came to them a Christian became a real devoted Christian, started going to Church, started reading the Bible and trying to find out more interest in the words of Jesus, began to understand the meaning of many things he is now doing in the name of Christianity, which he otherwise stopped doing because he found it to be meaningless,—'I find no meaning, it is mechanical'. It has no meaning, and once now he has found meaning, he begins to get interested in it. He begins to practise the teachings. Many things which were just meaningless once, become now meaningful. So one becomes a better Christian. In many cases Yoga has helped a person to find the inner meaning of his religion. He begins to see the reason behind the practice and then he begins to take more interest in his own religion, understand it better than he understood it before. Yoga restores to people whatever religion they may belong to. It restores to people the inner spiritual content of their religion. It restores to people the spiritual life which is the centre of any real religion, lacking which religion becomes merely an external facade. Yoga restores, makes it alive, makes it green, brings it forth into life. Yoga can be applied to Christianity and to any other religion.

In what way does it differ? That also we shall see. It differs in its refusing to accept the doctrine of 'original sin'. It does not call man a sinner. It may call man a fool but it doesn't call him a sinner. Man is God playing the fool, or, man is God who has lost his way home, wandered away, stumbling and running about in circles. It clears up the path, puts light and puts man on the path again and says, 'go ahead now, go straight to your home'. So it doesn't want you to consider yourself a sinner. And the other thing is this: Much of Christianity, unfortunately, in certain of its areas, becomes wholly a preoccupation with avoiding hell, trying to avoid hell, and somehow or other slip past the doors of heaven; somehow or other, even if you are not fully qualified for it. Yoga says: 'This is a little childish, you have got something more glorious. Why do you play this game of heaven and hell?' Yoga rejects hell, and Yoga rejects heaven also. Go to the Creator of heaven, the Master of heaven. Why heaven? Heaven is also a petty desire. You don't want it. 'I want God. I want to experience God, the Supreme Being, the Master of heaven'. Yoga concerns itself with God, not heaven or hell. You can say these are some of the differences, the way that Yoga differs from Christianity. It is where orthodox Christian doctrine differs from Yoga.

Yoga restores the most precious part of religion, which, unfortunately, by and large, is not present. In most of the major religions of the world, except in a microscopic section of people who enter into monastery for all life, the nuns and the monks, who somehow or other concentrate all their life upon this spiritual content, except for them, by and large, normally, the spiritual content is found to be lacking in religion. But since the impact of Yoga over the past fifty years, gradually, we see a very wonderful phenomenon, a revival is taking place in the Christian world, emphasising this inner spiritual aspect, your connection with this Godhead. There are many such examples. Some of them are working like the apostles. In the early days, some of them were really fired, like Pentecostal inspirations. They are all good signs. Yoga is presently doing that, restoring to religion the religious life of any being. It restores to him the spiritual quality, the spiritual factor and that is the greatest thing that it does. It doesn't disturb your religion. It doesn't contradict your religion. In no way does it contradict anything. It says: 'wherever you are, whatever you are, try to find God, try to live a noble life. Purify yourself of the lower nature. Shine with virtue. Create in yourself divine qualities and awaken the divine within you, and move towards God.' That is the central message of Yoga. It can be harmoniously incorporated into any religion and the religious life of any being, any faith to enrich that religion and make it alive and take you towards the true goal which is the goal of any religion.

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Chandra2010-07-03 23:12:12 +0000 #5
"There is only one God but his names are countless, and countless are the aspects under which He can be considered. Name Him with any name and worhsip Him in the form you like best, you are sure to reach Him."

---Ramakrishna
shahalad2010-07-03 22:04:24 +0000 #6
I really don't want to use the hated phrase "politically correct"; but I can't think of any other way to say this. Those who try to separate Yoga from Hinduism are denying reality to make others feel good.

The very word "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj" (to yoke). The purpose of Yoga is to unify, or yoke, the atman (soul) with the brahman (God or the Ultimate Reality, take your pick). It is supposed to lead to moksha (Liberation). Space does not permit me to mention karma, dharma, samsara,

and nirvana in any detail. Let's just say that all of these are also important to Yoga.

None of those concepts are part of Western philosophy and religions. Hatha Yoga, the physical asanas, are just one part of the Ashtanga (8 Limbs) of the sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. I'm not saying that every Yogin has to convert to Hinduism. But anyone who does the asanas and ignores the practice's Hindu roots is fooling themselves.
yogadave2010-07-03 23:24:49 +0000 #7
If you are a Christian but are looking for the physical benefits of Yoga, then look for a studio that is just focused on the physical postures (there are many). Most power yoga studios fit into this category.

Yoga is a wide path with many branches, look around,pick the one that works for you.

If you feel conflict with a certain studio, move on and find another.

Good luck
dsforce2010-07-03 23:16:54 +0000 #8
With so much just fundamentally wrong here, there's much to say about this article.

But, I just want to make an appeal to all (Christian or otherwise) to take the time to weight the facts for yourselves before rushing to judement.

As seems to be common with many Christian commentators, the author writes from an "us vs. them" stance, in the process condemning anything so called "non-Christian" with shaky claims, half truths and mistaken conclusions.

Using the intellectually lazy device of labelling yoga as "New Age", the author then trots out a familiar list of reasons why Christians should avoid yoga. For those Chrstians with little familiarity with yoga, or with only vague knowledge of it, the word of a fellow Christian who has practiced yoga for some time seems credible. But based on the author's own description of her experience, it bares little resemblance to the yoga I've studied, known and practiced.

My main point is simply this: don't mindlessly take the word of someone whose experience is uniquely hers, not yours! If you're really interested to learn more, make the effort to do so! It's so easy to condemn, but much more difficult to truly understand.
Chandra2010-07-04 00:08:21 +0000 #9
As an example of a yogi who has merged the two rivers of spiritual devotion - Christianity and Yogic Philosophy - I would point to Paramahansa Yogananda. Swami Yogananda, on October 6, 1920, addressed the International Congress of Religious Liberals in Boston, MA.

"Religion. he maintained, is universal and it is one. We cannot possibly universalize particular customs and conventions; but the common element in religion can be universalized, and we may ask all alike to follow and obey it."

(from Autobiography of a Yogi)

His legacy continues in the Self Realization Fellowship, teaching Yoga and Christian practices, and through Roy Eugene Davis, his disciple and founder of the Center for Spiritual Awareness.

Paramahansa Yogananda wrote this "Prayer for a United World", which is found in a small publication of Metaphysical Meditations published by SRF. This small book contains many references to Christ Consciousness and expresses a devout blending of the two spiritual paths.

"Prayer for a United World

May the heads of all countries and races be guided to understand that men of all nations are physically and spiritually one: physically one, because we are the descendants of common parents - the symbolic Adam and Eve; and spiritually one, because we are the immortal children of our Father, bound by eternal links of brotherhood.

Let us pray in our hearts for a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity. May we work for the creation of a United World in which every nation will be a useful part, guided by God through man's enlightened conscience.

In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization."

-----------

In my opinion, the experience of the immanence of God is innate. The variety of cultural and personal experience provides the "coloring" of the lense of this perception and explains the rainbow of descriptions of how to reach this something - greater than ourselves - of which we are a part and indivisible from. Even Einstein, the scientific genius that he was, felt and wrote about his personal experience of a spiritual connection to this. We can name the parts which we perceive, and like the 6 blind men describing the various aspects of the elephant they are each touching, and denying the reality of the other's perceptions, we can fall into the misconception of believing we are holding the one and only "truth" .

Yoga is about connecting to the deepest core of our being - the font. If the spiritual component does not appeal to you, you are free to take only a drop from the bucket - greater freedom of the physical body - deeper relaxation of the mind - freeing of the energy as you unlock tight muscles and constricted thought patterns.

There is a spiritual component to Yoga. It is the part which feeds my soul and connects me to the deepest part of my being. But it is not the only path, and I honor and appreciate the other ways we can be inspired, nourished and encouraged to manifest the noblest qualities of our awareness. Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Yogis, Jains, Moslems. We are all striving to be real, to be authentic, to be loved and loving, to find peace in our hearts, peace in our minds and peace in our lives. May we learn from each other, and recognize the unity of our human exprience as we embody the Spirit which enlivens.

A final thought - my favorite part of "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therfore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul."

With Great Respect and Love,

Chandra
mpenugonde2010-07-04 01:33:01 +0000 #10
Interesting. A few months back, I read an article published on Time magazine's website called Yoga for Christians or Christian Yoga or something similar. It discribed how several Christians and churches were incorporating yoga as a form of exercise and worhisp. This article may still be available and could be worth reading.

- Muk.
mpenugonde2010-07-03 22:12:36 +0000 #11
A follow-up to my previous post. The article is called Stretching for Jesus (Aug. 29, 2005) and is still available from Time's website (I'm new and can't post the direct link).

Provides a different perspective on yoga form other Christians. Note that the woman quoted in the original artical above, Lynette Willis, is also quoted in this article.

- Mukunda
oak3332010-07-03 23:31:48 +0000 #12
Quote:

Originally Posted by mpenugonde



Interesting. A few months back, I read an article published on Time magazine's website called Yoga for Christians or Christian Yoga or something similar. It discribed how several Christians and churches were incorporating yoga as a form of exercise and worhisp. This article may still be available and could be worth reading.

- Muk.

christianyogamagazine.com/
Techne2010-07-04 02:04:56 +0000 #13
My take on it (as a Catholic and asanas practicer) is, never ignore an opportunity to call out to God, and honor your own faith when you do. Anyone not anchored in what their own faith is will take to the faithful expressions of others the way a thirsty person drinks deeply.

Continuing with my take on it, from a metaphysics and human nature standpoint, the ancient yoga folks paid attention to the human need for God and studied our spiritual capacity without the benefit of Judeo-Christian revalation. I think they got some things right (techniques that use human mind and spirit) and some things wrong (purpose in doing so.) Specifically, the pursiut of samadhi reminds me of the special _temptations_ my tradition (specifically John of the Cross) identified as reserved for spiritual persons. As the author of the posted article described it, having a spiritual experience on one's own terms.

Catholics, as a tradition, have practice in taking what is more likely inspired from other cultures and incorporating it -- the educational potential offered by Classic Greece, Nordic holidays celebrating the return of the sun changing to a holiday celebrating the coming of the Son, a new light in the world. . . (I often think the trail would have been blazed for me if Thomas Aquinas had studied Patanjali rather than Aristotle. In fact, lots of the world might have been different with that switch.) Protestants, as a tradition, have practice in rejecting such developments as off-mission. My choice (I hope) is fairly obvious, but I respect that others feel a calling to their own way as well.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 00:11:21 +0000 #14
"Beware the man of only one book."

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."

Both quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas
TonyTamer2010-07-03 23:18:30 +0000 #15
Different religions are like the different fingers of the same hand , reaching for God.-Kahil Gibran Where is God ? God is everywhere. Catholic Catechism

The only thing everywhere is everything - Physics

Christianity has it's mystics also that believe in mantras eg. Lord Jesus Christ , Have Mercy on me a sinner. See " The Pilgrims Progress", the Our Father is considered a mantra by many and the rosary is obviously done as a repetitive process to get beyond the mind. We are all together in this but get fooled by appearances, names, maya. Reaching for God should not cast shadows, but light. TT, Cheers
Pandara2010-07-04 00:57:46 +0000 #16
Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyTamer



Reaching for God should not cast shadows, but light. TT, Cheers

Beautiful!

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