One of our local Catholic high schools just sent out a mailer regarding “continuing education” during off hours. Now here is my problem with this. 2 of these classes are Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. Any bit of research shows that these types of yoga are not just physical disciplines, but New Age style meditative techniques. Does anyone have any idea how I would go about making a complaint regarding this?
Why would you complain?
I agree… what’s the problem? A Catholic high school building being used off hours by a secular group. So what?
This is troublesome. Obviously the school supports and encourages this new age stuff. I would write the Bishop and talk to the school’s chaplain.
Well it depends on what “secular” group is using it. If a Karate School wanted to conduct classes there that is one thing but New Age practices are a false religion and have been condemned by many Bishops and Cardinals.
This is a new age meditation group. Isn’t meditation a form of prayer?
Would you have a problem if the classes were classes on Jewish prayer, or Greek philosophy?
Yoga at a Catholic school ]
There are some differences. Most Jews make pretty clear that it is necessary for a Catholic to repudiate the Church if he wishes to become Jewish.
Though you can argue that Greek philosophy had a religious component, the religion is not a live one, and it is unlikely that a teacher would encourage worship of Greek gods.
A yoga teacher, on the other hand, is likely to represent religious and semi-magical beliefs as a technology for attaining health, and tell vulnerable people that they are “unhealthy” if they do not adhere to his program.
New Age meditation is Transcendental. That is not a proper form of Catholic/Christian prayer.
Also I resent your signature line re. pro choice
If Thomas Merton could study Buddhism and still be deeply and profoundly Catholic, I don’t see what the problem is with folks learning some Yoga. What’s the big deal?
I would only have a problem with it if the classes were being used to teach a philosophy as an alternative to Catholic beliefs. Learning to breath and center yourself is no danger. It seems to me that might be helpful to some for being more contemplative on their own beliefs. How could that hurt them?
Because the goals of yoga are to open your “chakras”. Why would someone willingly open themselves up to demonic influence, if they knew thats what it really does? Why not let Satanists perform rituals too?
It’s dangerous. That’s like saying one can consult a psychic and still be a good Catholic…it is dabbling in dangerous territory.
Way off topic, but I think the signature line is great! It shows how hypocritical ‘pro-choice’ people are! ‘Prochoice’ folks are really “pro-death”, since every baby chooses life!
Regarding the yoga class, – good grief, the building is being used AFTER HOURS. It’s not it’s a class being offered to high school students during school hours!
Our Catholic high school rents space from a Jewish communicty center during school hours! I’m sure some of the religous topics being discussed during class go against the Jewish faith! Is it a problem?! NO!!
Meditation = prayer.
Thats the point right there. Meditation = prayer. And if you are using Hindu meditation, just who are you praying to??
Most people are aloof to the fact that the practice of Yoga is a trancendental form of “dvining” that believes in the attainment of some sort of higher level of existence. It is contrary to Catholic teaching simply by its understanding of what God is. Yogists (the serious ones) imply that God is not a separate creator, supreme spirit who is omnipotent, they believe God is a concept or philosphy. Yogists believe divinity is a level of attainment. Their notion of what God is, implies a denial (although not outwardly) of the God of Abraham that Us Catholics Worship as our Father/Creator. It can be a very very dangerous practice that Leads us away from god and inward towards ourselves and ultimately attemptin to indiviudually attain a “nirvana” state. Adam and Eve were very simliar, though certainly didn’t practice yoga, they did shove god aside in a similar manner and focussed on themselves. Which is what Yoga is. Yoga is Self.
Independently of the discussion about yoga it appears to me that the Catholic school is sponsoring the event as “continuing education” and sending out fliers.
Now going back to the religious implication of some aspects of yoga, is that to be considered an appropriate extracurricular activity for a Catholic school?
The way it is presented in the OP appears to me that the Catholic school is offering continuing education, and by doing that, yoga with all his aspect is considered non dangerous to the student spiritual life. (This is not my take but just my understanding from the OP.)
Renting out a school hall to a Hindu group, with the understanding that the people who participate in their activities will be Hindus or those with an interest in converting to Hinduism, wouldn’t be a big problem.
Renting it out to a yoga group for activities which are presented as a form of physical exercise but in fact involve “learning how to breathe” and “centering oneself”, whatever that means, suggests that the church endorses or at least considers yoga to be harmless.
A building is a building is a building. Consider this. Are there posters in the room that is being rented? Do those posters have pictures of Jesus, Mary, or Pope Benedict? Do they have Catholic phrases or contain biblical passages? If you answer yes, then perhaps some who come will look at those posters and ask more about the Catholic faith. Who knows, they might convert.
You’re right, saying Hindu chants for meditation is not Church Teaching. Yet at the same time, those who are doing it off hours are not hurting anybody. Think of this. Maybe those who attend these excercises will think better of the Church because they’ll believe that the Church is tolerable to other religions. It improves inter-religious relations. So why do you protest when the 2 examples that I’ve shown you lead to good?
Just because there might be a good result doesn’t make or justify the methods of reaching those results:
For example, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. This allowed him, through other events, to be in a position to help his family when the famine hit. Good result, but nasty way of getting there: being sold into slavery and being falsely accused.
Funny. So how does suffering in Purgatory and on earth lead us to eternal happiness?