Can Catholics participate in yoga?


#1

I was told during my bible study today that practicing yoga is forbidden by the Catholic Church and that it opens the body/soul to demons. How is this possible if no deities are praised/spoken about and all I am doing is stretching and praying silently?


#2

Someone in your bible study is quite paranoid. Stretching …yes in yoga, never been to a session at the YMCA that added praying…lots of stretching…:shrug:


#3

Keep digging and searching. You will find that yoga is not recommended at all.

There are a lot of people that believe this is a paranoid reaction by the catholic church. However, the catholic church has been around for over 1900 years. It has accumulated a great deal of experience and recognizes yoga for what it really is.

Do not take my word for it though. Keep researching and collecting data from authentic catholic resources.

There are plenty of other exercises routines and programs to participate in. I recommend avoiding this one. Eternal life is more than worth this small sacrafice.


#4

[quote="Samuel63, post:3, topic:260502"]
Keep digging and searching. You will find that yoga is not recommended at all.

There are a lot of people that believe this is a paranoid reaction by the catholic church. However, the catholic church has been around for over 1900 years. It has accumulated a great deal of experience and recognizes yoga for what it really is.

Do not take my word for it though. Keep researching and collecting data from authentic catholic resources.

There are plenty of other exercises routines and programs to participate in. I recommend avoiding this one. Eternal life is more than worth this small sacrafice.

[/quote]

Dude Yoga is simply an exercise system! The spiritual element drawn from Buddhist and Hindu spirituality is totally optional. The church has never condemned it. Dude don't listen to him! go to yoga! I find it quite relaxing!


#5

Here's an answer to the same question by CAF Apologist, Michelle Arnold.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=14225

Exercise is fine, yoga spirituality isn't.


#6

The stretching part of yoga is just exercise. Avoid the spiritual stuff, and focus on the stretches, and you will be fine.

The stretches I learned in yoga allow my back to not be so exceedingly sore every day. Without those stretches, my back seizes up and I become immobile.


#7

[quote="mrld20, post:4, topic:260502"]
Dude Yoga is simply an exercise system! The spiritual element drawn from Buddhist and Hindu spirituality is totally optional. The church has never condemned it. Dude don't listen to him! go to yoga! I find it quite relaxing!

[/quote]

I'm going to second this.

Yoga is AMAZING for both flexibility and strength training. Just don't start chanting to Buddha and trying to meditate on the "natural energy" and you're good.
:thumbsup:

As an interesting side note, did you know that early pharmacology were the "potions" that witches brewed? They used the natural medicine found in plants and added a spiritual element to their administration to the sick. Yoga is the same - it's an exercise system that came with a spiritual element.

Just as science has taken the spiritual aspect out of modern pharmacology, a christian and health enthusiast takes the Buddhist spirituality out of yoga!


#8

Interesting that you have not cited any resources. Please tell me where in the Bible or in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that it forbids yoga. This is purely exercise for me…not worshipping other deities. So, if I do yoga stretches in my house I am worshipping a demon or breaking some sort of Catholic Law!!!


#9

This is one of the more repeated thread topics. If you do not believe yoga is to be avoided, just keep doing some research.

If you want to keep doing yoga, fine. But do not expect the church to be in support of you. You are taking your own risk and defying church recommendations. In other words, you are reaching out for that attractive item from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Go ahead, it will feel good!


#10

Here is a link to get started. This is based on a google search for +catholic +yoga.

You can search too - catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0275.html


#11

So let me get this straight... I can't exercise/stretch while praying to and meditating on God.

What happens if I accidentally think of Jesus when I do these exercises? I'm opening my soul up to demons?


#12

haha.

One of my favorite things to do is throw on some worship music when I’m on the elliptical and sing out my praise to God while getting my heart rate up. It almost feels like joyous dancing for the Lord and it’s just SO great!!! God created us as physical beings and knows what a joy it can be to worhsip him in our physical activities! even yoga :wink:

Heck, I’d be willing to bet you sould reform the whole practice, get into a yoga pose, say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and it’s time to change poses. hmmmmm…:hmmm:


#13

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:12, topic:260502"]
haha.

One of my favorite things to do is throw on some worship music when I'm on the elliptical and sing out my praise to God while getting my heart rate up. It almost feels like joyous dancing for the Lord and it's just SO great!!! God created us as physical beings and knows what a joy it can be to worhsip him in our physical activities! even yoga ;)

Heck, I'd be willing to bet you sould reform the whole practice, get into a yoga pose, say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and it's time to change poses. hmmmmm...:hmmm:

[/quote]

Amen.


#14

a list of a couple times an apologist responded to this question: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=219842.

In short: stretches are fine. Praying to God while stretching is fine. Engaging in non Christian new agey stuff is not fine. The spirituality normally associated with the word yoga, in addition to the self directed mind clearing centery stuff, is in the not fine category.


#15

[quote="Iron_Donkey, post:14, topic:260502"]
a list of a couple times an apologist responded to this question: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=219842.

In short: stretches are fine. Praying to God while stretching is fine. Engaging in non Christian new agey stuff is not fine. The spirituality normally associated with the word yoga, in addition to the self directed mind clearing centery stuff, is in the not fine category.

[/quote]

EXACTLY! And every time Sharon Lee Giganti is a guest on Catholic Answers Live, this question come up, and every time, she points to the encyclical: vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html
Stretching of course is fine. Doing yoga is New Age and therefore not fine. Yoga that is practiced here in the West is more than just stretching because it is a Hindu practice from the Bagavad Gita to open yourself up to the wisdom of their god Vishnu. Find some other way to stretch and be flexible, even if a stretch may appear to be a yoga pose, stretch away.


#16

Yoga postures are based on paying homage to specific Hindu gods. The teachings of the Catholic Church are based in Scripture AND Tradition. Current suggestions suggest that participating in the practice of Yoga is unwise and exposes our souls to elements outside of Christian spirituality and even dangerous. Why is it so difficult to practice obedience without demanding proof? As of now we are asked to avoid these postures so why become incensed that you are being asked to listen to the authority that probably knows more than you do?


#17

Because some people want to learn the basis for things… And quite frankly, some assertions need to be backed up with either doctrine or tradition. If we remove this element, Catholicism runs the risk of encouraging ignorance in the laity.

Some people want to know why the sky is blue. Those who are our teachers should be encouraged to teach.

My wife comes from an Orthodox Jewish background, and there is a (misconstrued) doctrine that mandates that every Jew obey his or her rabbi, without question.

…the result that I’ve witnessed in the community of her upbringing is blind, spiritually empty adherence to law… and a whole lot of ignorance.

(Naturally, this isn’t true of all Orthodox Judaism… But I’ve seen too much of it.)


#18

[quote="Maureen_Brilla, post:16, topic:260502"]
Yoga postures are based on paying homage to specific Hindu gods. The teachings of the Catholic Church are based in Scripture AND Tradition. Current suggestions suggest that participating in the practice of Yoga is unwise and exposes our souls to elements outside of Christian spirituality and even dangerous.

[/quote]

Then how does one justify the readings of Greek mythology in Catholic schools or universities? Just asking.


#19

[quote="Maureen_Brilla, post:16, topic:260502"]
Yoga postures are based on paying homage to specific Hindu gods. The teachings of the Catholic Church are based in Scripture AND Tradition. Current suggestions suggest that participating in the practice of Yoga is unwise and exposes our souls to elements outside of Christian spirituality and even dangerous. Why is it so difficult to practice obedience without demanding proof? As of now we are asked to avoid these postures so why become incensed that you are being asked to listen to the authority that probably knows more than you do?

[/quote]

No one has shown any Church directive that yoga cannot be practised because there is none. You appear to be more incensed then those who say yoga poses are fine.


#20

Greetings all,

I am not an expert on Yoga, so I cannot comment on the specifics; however, I will say that IF any of those postures are indeed based on acts of homage to Hindu gods- that should be enough for any self-respecting Catholic who loves his/her God and their Faith to avoid Yoga. You shouldn't need to see a dogmatic treatise every time these types of subjects come up, (it is the same story with Harry Potter books, etc, etc.).

It is all part of humility and obedience to general consensuses based on a body of knowledge far greater than our own- just accept it for the love of God and leave it at that. If you need to question every aspect of the faith and need empirical evidence for every facet of it- you might as well forget it altogether because that is not what practicing the Faith is about.

Oremus pro invicem,

Sean C. :knight2:


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