Evil Yoga?


#1

Why are some Christians so opposed to Yoga? It doesn’t have to be a religious endeavor. It can be exercise with meditation. So what’s the problem?


#2

I’m staying out of this for health reasons, but have a snack:

:popcorn:


#3

Well, did you know that Yoga have its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is because of fears relating to the issue of idolatry that some Christians are opposed to it, especially due to its unchristian origins. As for me…well, I hardly even exercise and I’m not into the Yoga stuff.

I hope this helps.


#4

Do these people look for Satan under their beds before they go to sleep?


#5

Maybe if all yoga instructors called their classes “Evil Yoga” we would know to stay away! :slight_smile:


#6

Why do you need to? Is clearing your mind, letting go of stress, stretching, and strengthening muscles against Catholic Doctrine?


#7

I’m not getting into this debate! I just thought the title of your thread was amusing. I tend to side with those who think it is our intention that matters most.


#8

What if Catholics developed a way of stretching that mimicked our postures in the worship of our God? What if the “exercises” Were kneeling with hands together on a pew kneeler, what if the sign of the cross were made over and over in repetition? What if decades of the rosary were said to control breathing? What if we prostrated ourselves in homage to God? What if we bowed, held our hands in the orans position and mimicked the elevation of the Eucharist at consecration?

There are lots of aspects on why a Catholic would NOT want to do yoga. We could debate those all day and not be clearer on it. But I think the real question is why it bothers some that some Catholics would not feel comfortable or even be against incorporating postures and things that others use to worship a false god.

I guess what I am saying is why don’t buddhists incorporate Catholic things into yoga? Um, because it is a different religion. But nobody thinks it odd that they do not do that. Somehow Catholics are the ones who must take the risk of inviting worship of a false deity.:shrug:

Catholics should know better than ANY religion about signs and postures. We are famous for it. We kneel, and it means something, the priest holds his hands a certain way and it means something. We cross ourselves and call the Holy Trinity upon us. So it should be no surprise that we might shy away from postures and forms from another faith.

I have never understood this push to get Catholics to do yoga. Why does it matter if someone does not feel comfortable doing it?

If the situation was flipped and non Christians were somehow doing an exercise that had the sign on the cross incorporated into it almost every Catholic on here would say that it would impart graces on them even if they did not intend it. But somehow if you change that to a lotus position and a Catholic, we are told that it is a silly superstition.:shrug:


#9

I’m not an expert either, but I found this quote: ‘Each of the poses in Yoga have religious and spiritual significance. Each of the poses have a blessing attached. They were created by Hindu priests as a means of dispelling Karma and becoming “one” with the Hindu god, Brahman.’
(source: orderofsaintpatrick.org/shaman/yoga.htm)

Here’s another site you might want to look at from a Catholic perspective. It is cautionary on the subject.
ewtn.com/expert/answers/yoga.htm


#10

Well…how would I know, I’m not a stalker that stalks Christians who are fearful against Yoga and see what they do before they sleep.


#11

Have you TRIED yoga? It can be pretty dang strenuous.

… Christmas trees…

More likely because they don’t find it useful. I can’t imagine they panic at the sight of a rosary.

I don’t have issues with not wanting to do it. I have issues with fear mongering about it.


#12

Sorry. It speaks to how out there some of these folks are that I couldn’t be sure if you were being sarcastic.


#13

What I am reading onto your question and attitude is that Catholics fear monger yoga? Perhaps when talking to other Catholics but in general we don’t do that. We don’t drive by a yoga stand and “panic at the sight” of anything. I find that odd that you would think that.

Here is my question to you. Eastern religions do not have a monopoly on meditation. Catholics have developed very effective meditative forms for thousands of years! So here is what I think you should do to more fully understand some things.

Go to the nearest Church that has Adoration of the Eucharist. Kneel down in front of the monstrance. (this does not have to be spiritual) after all you would need not worship what we believe is God in the Flesh, you could just look at a piece of bread. And meditate. Control your breathing, perhaps using some breath control methods of the Western Meditators, like the Jesus prayer. Perhaps you could incorporate some lectio devina (scripture reading meditation) into the process. Do this for one hour, it should not matter that you are kneeling before a God you do not believe in if he does not exist. Perhaps use a Rosary to keep focused. Using each 10 beads to represent a time of your meditation. Repeatedly make the sign of the cross.

Gee, why don’t more non Chirstians do this? Why don’t more pagans? Is it because they are silly superstitious people? Or are they looking for boogie men in the adoration chapel.:rolleyes:

I am serious though. If you wonder about yoga and it’s benefits, perhaps you should be more open minded to other forms of meditation and actions that can be helpful to your body and mind.

Will you do this?


#14

Remember, yoga predates Christianity. Some very holy people practiced it as a method to find God in the understanding of God they had without the benefit of the Bible or Jesus or the Catholic Church. Are all pre-Christian religions evil?

There are many threads and many posts on this forum that say almost all that can be said on both sides of the debate.


#15

My dog and yours does stretching after sleep. So does your cat if you have one. Other animals follow suit. Stretching muscles have clear medical benefits. Nothing wrong with stretching exercises for humans either. Nothing wrong with staying limber.

Staring at mandela’s, lighting candles during certain postures, rituals, THAT is the stuff of idolatry, not stretching IMHO.


#16

Who are “these folks” and how “are” they?

A little charity and respect and a little less thinly veiled cynicism and contempt and superiority would seem to be in order.


#17

I can direct you to a thread on Taichi? I’m not saying the all do it. My father is a very strong Catholic and does yoga.

I’m aware the question is directed at the people who freak out about yoga.

Because I’m in a place sacred to a God I don’t honor. Where that God’s present was very recently invoke. Not to mention I’m unwanted there.

Because they vehemently disagree with the theology behind it and therefore avoid it like the plague.

They don’t go to your adoration for the reasons I don’t. But invoking a deity into some inanimate object and using that object as a focus for prayer? I think pagans actually did that first…
I’ve also known pagans who’ve adapted the rosary to their tradition because they find the structure beneficial.


#18

I don’t know about that. You probably have to predate judaism as well. And if you subscribe to a biblical worldview you would have to acknowledge a “religion” of the one true God going back to the First Couple. So I am not sure what you mean by predates christianity. Christianity came into existence about 2000 years ago. So lots of things predate it. Including judaism which Christians would claim as well. So as far as worshiping false gods (the first commandment since 4000 years ago.) There has probably always been a prohibition against that if you believe in the God of the Jews and Christians. I honestly have never met a Catholic that says that a buddhist should not do yoga.:shrug: But I do know a few that have reservations of a Christian doing it.

I also do not know about “holy” people that you speak of. I do know a list of Holy people in the bible and saints. But I don’t know by what authority you speak of these other people that were not judeo christian and predating christianity as holy. Who says? How do we know what their hearts contained?


#19

I’m aware the question is directed at the people who freak out about yoga.

Because I’m in a place sacred to a God I don’t honor. Where that God’s present was very recently invoke. Not to mention I’m unwanted there.

Because they vehemently disagree with the theology behind it and therefore avoid it like the plague.

They don’t go to your adoration or he reasons I don’t. But invoking a deity into some inanimate object and using that object as a focus for prayer? I think pagans actually did that first…
I’ve also known pagans who’ve adapted the rosary to their tradition because they find the structure beneficial.

I think you just answered your own question!


#20

Yes, I was being sarcastic. :wink: Alright, I will enter the debate. I have no personal stake, not being a yoga practitioner myself (way too old and stiff to start now), but I do perform some simple stretches that I have seen are quite similar to yoga poses. My stretches came from a book on dealing with back pain, and that is my intention. I’m not thinking about or conjuring up Shiva, or any other spirit. In fact, I always finish my stretching with a prayer of thanksgiving to God, for health and healing.

But just to offer another perspective (as if we don’t have enough), because I have also seen a great fear over yoga, here is an interesting site:

christianspracticingyoga.com/wp/spirituality-of-the-body/father-jean-marie-dechanet/

The late Benedictine Jean Dechanet had a different view of yoga - not only that it was simply good for the body, but could be very good for the soul as well. Be sure to check out the “Addressing the Fears” link there, too.


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