BBC article: Does doing yoga make you a Hindu?

I don’t practice yoga, but just thought this is an interesting article:
from BBC News Magazine: Does doing yoga make you a Hindu?

For many people, the main concern in a yoga class is whether they are breathing correctly or their legs are aligned. But for others, there are lingering doubts about whether they should be there at all, or whether they are betraying their religion…

A fairly lengthy article, appears to be well researched.

It includes a brief exposition of PraiseMoves, a Christian adaptation of yoga. I disagree with the founder’s disapproval of tranquility (emptying your mind), but I suppose her approach has some merit.

I don’t think yoga’s an issue if you focus purely on the exercises. It’s possible to treat it in a completely secular way without worrying about your chakras being aligned,etc.

Occasionally I listen to a Catholic radio station out of New York, and this question has been asked of a priest more than once. Same response: as long as you’re not participating in the spirituality/religion aspect of yoga, but rather using it only for exercise, then you’re fine. I think if it was a problem, the Church would forbid using it as exercise.

One group of people doesn’t have ownership over how humans can move their body. For example, in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration I will kneel down on both knees and put my face very close to the floor. Obviously, I’m adoring Jesus, not a Hindu god even though Hindus use a similar body movement.

Additionally, one must always be mindful of how they’re tempted. If you’re tempted to stray from the Church via religions, spiritualities, New Ageism, etc., then you should stay away from yoga. Avoid what weakens your faith, and go to what strengthens it.

Does wearing a hat make you a cowboy? :stuck_out_tongue:

No, but add in the boots and spurs and it makes you a pitiable poser. Same thing with those who call their stretching “yoga” and use much of the language of yoga’s Eastern religious origins while pretending there is no religious context to yoga incompatible with Christianity.

Let yoga be what it is: an expression of eastern (Hindu?) religious worldview. There are plenty of ways to stretch and exercise without absorbing bits of other religions in the process.

In short no it does not.

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