Evil Yoga?

Congratulations! If you go to your original question and substitute non christians for christians and adoration for yoga and then read your response you have answered your own question!

I still have not seen this freaking out that you directed your questions to. You seem to have a stereotype in mind.:shrug:

Did you read my response to the comparison of adoration?

Well we do not know the hearts of anyone. I was just rephrasing what the Church has said about those who employ “ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust.” Sounds like holinesss to me.

  1. From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.

Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust.


I think the false gods can be found everywhere.

Actually that part was an answer to non-Catholic Christians.
I continue with how Pagans don’t mid editing Christian practices or indeed any practice if it works for them.

Careful when rephrasing. “they” might freak out;)

I would agree with all of that. Could you speak to the idea of the thread though. The idea of the thread is not that buddhism should not participate in yoga, but why some Catholics might not want to or believe it is a good thing. And I tend to agree. MEDICAL stretches would be fine in any circumstance, there is no “magic” posture that conjures the devil. But I think the idea of a system developed and employed to worship in a different religion is potentially problematic. Lots of faiths have impressive devotions that bring benefits. But we don’t face mecca and pray 5 times a day because it does not define us as Catholics. Could it be beneficial to do this at the same time 5 times a day with such devotion that we would pull over our cars on the freeway to pray to God? Sure! But even as a modern Catholic you would have to think twice if this thread used that image instead of yoga.

I would certainly welcome you to my local adoration chapel and would even help you to learn the meditations.

The offer stands. Or are you just afraid of Evil Adoration.:wink:

I don’t go places with strangers. Frankly I’ve gone to such things. It does nothing for me but I don’t refuse to go. Notice everything is still in a catholic CONTEXT though. You can strip yoga down to exercise and meditation. I can utilize the techniques of Catholic adoration. I’m quite up to it actually.

Hah! “There is no magic posture to conjure the devil.” I like that. But some people do seem to feel that certain postures honor certain demons regardless of the intention of the person doing them. You said, “But I think the idea of a system developed and employed to worship in a different religion is potentially problematic.” I agree. But the potential is always everywhere, even in Catholic practices that can become superstitious.

I kind of like the 5 times a day thing. In fact we do have the Liturfy of the hours that we could be more faithful with. I personally believe that God is everywhere and always has been, even India and China long befor Christianity. But the same can be said for evil.

Welllllll… there’s at least 2 schools of thought on this… and a whole range in between. I’d like to supply some sites/quotes, for your perusal.

This one says IT’S FINE AND DANDY, especially in a new form, that of “Jesus Yoga!”


(QUOTES BELOW - have been copied directly from the site, so please do not blame me for any mis-spellings, of which there are many throughout this particular site)

*JESUS YOGA - The practice of prostration prayer is a very old and biblical form of prayer. It includes the whole body, breath and mind. Beside the spiritual benefit there is a huge health benefit too. To do a series of prostration includes also a a complete bodyworkout.

Jesus used this form of prayer:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”< Mt 26,39

This is the form of prayer and communication that was already in use in Old Testament:
1 Moses 17,3 >Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,…<
1 Moses 17,17 >Abraham fell facedown;…<
Josua 4,14 >Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence,<

We can alsofind some discriptions about posture:
1 Kings 18 >Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees<

About movement
1 Samuel 20,41 >and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times<

About breath
4 Moses 16,22 >Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things,<

About the apearance of the glory of the Lord:
4 Moses,6 >Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.<

… more can be found in Bible.*

… and… this one says HECK NO…



*Christian Yoga? It’s a Stretch

There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing. But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible. By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure. But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus.

A little over a year ago, I said yoga was demonic. My stance hasn’t changed since then, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide a much fuller and comprehensive teaching on what yoga is and why it is in fact demonic.*

…and finally…


(QUOTE)For some Christians, Jesus is Lord and Guru -
Yoga’s Christian Army

In fact, by all appearances, the Christian yoga movement is growing, with groups like “Holy Yoga,” “Praise Moves,” and “Christoga” offering classes in all 50 states, and in various foreign countries, including Belgium, Germany, South Korea, and the Philippines. Holy Yoga, started in 2001, even has a nationwide teacher-training program, and its founder, Brook Boon, has authored two books, including Holy Yoga: Christian Exercise for the Body and Soul. She and “Praise Moves” founder Laurette Willis, who started her rival group in 2003, sell DVDs on their respective web sites and have posted a slew of free instructional yoga videos on You Tube.

All of this hoo-hah about Yoga - and the newly-developed hybridized branches - makes me wonder whether there would be similar issues with regard to Tai Chi Chuan***** (martial art vs. moving meditation), Judo, Karate (a`la The Karate Kid series of movies with Mr. Miyagi, rest his soul), Pilates, etc., and any other form of physical exercise/dance,sports which may have at the core a “spiritual source” from years ago.

gotquestions.org/Tai-Chi-Christian.html - nope, it’s no good*****

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=497748 - Karate is A-OK… or is it??

According to the link below: All Martial Arts “. . . are a form of fighting which combines physical techniques or movements with a pantheistic religious philosophy… . . The Bible does not specifically address karate or the martial arts, but it does warn us to avoid eastern philosophies and the pursuit of enlightenment apart from the one true God revealed in the Bible. . . .”


Some Christians choose not to engage in yoga but will do exercises that do not have a spiritual undertone, such as pilates. Why are you so opposed to that? What’s the problem?

so many sources! :love:

Exactly. We have liturgy of the hours. We have meditation, we have postures. I don’t understand this fascination with yoga or why it is such a fad now.:shrug: When I talk to other Catholics who do yoga they almost never are aware of other meditations within our own faith. Liturgy of the Hours? Lectio Divina? THE ROSARY!? How do I pray that!?

Ask them the name of the skinny little latte sippin yoga chick who teaches hot yoga in a strip mall next to the fro yo stand and they got that, heck they know the names of her dogs and what year her subaru outback is. But if you ask them the readings for sunday they will usually tell you that they don’t know because they wont be there on sunday because soccer practice is going on now and little johnny has to be rushed off.:smiley:

There, I thought as long as the OP can pigeonhole and stereotype so can I!:wink:

I’m not opposed at all. I just wondered. I’m not talking about the people who logically decide eh I’m not gonna risk it. I’m talking: :eek: GET THEE AWAY SATAN WITH YOUR DEMONIC YOGA! people.

Hmmm… maybe we’re just more rational in Canada. I’ve never actually met the type of Christian you’ve described.

Well stretching involves the body while most other Catholic practices really do not to the same degree. Nor do they involve a skinny little latte sippin yoga chick. Sign me up, by the way.

None of the activities you have include physical excercise.

I’m not pigeonholing. I’m asking about a SPECIFIC type of Christian. As I said my Catholic father does yoga and my mother as well. I’m asking about those who react like a vampire to garlic.

I’ve never encountered one in the wild. But I’ve seen it several times online. THOSE are the Christians I’m referring to in the OP.

I am sorry, I guess I am not qualified to speak to this issue because I have never witnessed what you are describing. Outside of the occasional evangelical protestant I have never seen that kind of reaction. Since this is a Catholic site with Catholic people I cannot speak to someone would speak in olde english screaming about yoga. :rolleyes::shrug:

So far in three pages of mostly rational respectful discussion the only one finding boogie men and freaking out is, well, you.

This seems to be quite emotional for you. But try not to let your frustration malign a group of people who may have religious beliefs that would not want them participating in yoga. While I may not agree with a person’s superstition about it I certainly would respect their beliefs enough to understand why they would think it even evil. If I knew a person (I don’t) who thought yoga was akin to dabbling in the occult and using a Ouija board I might disagree with them personally, but I would respect and count as valid their belief. If you post on a muslim board this question or on a baptist board this question or ask an Orthodox Jew why they believe pork is bad and don’t do yoga then you would be applying things fairly, but dollars to doughnuts you are just viewing Catholics in this way. Honestly, it gets old and while you might not mean it to be, it comes across as mocking.

We are talking about Catholics here. We are talking about people who ask for saints intercessions, who wear medals and scapulars because of a belief. A people who believe in Transubstantiation. We have saints who could bilocate, fly, and perform miracles. MOst of us believe the sun danced and other miracles. So if you post that some people “look for boogie men” and freak out about yoga you really are being disrespectful to our faith.

Much is made in hollywood of a rite in the faith that we have. Exorcism. But it is a legitimate rite in the faith. It is fully Catholic. It is used to combat the demonic which as Catholics we must believe in. So going around saying**


** is disrespectful. Do I claim that if a Catholic does yoga that they will be possessed? No, but I do not discount that some may have a legitimate concern about that and I choose not to mock them for it. And in some ways they may indeed have a point.

Here is the gamut


The three best arguments I’ve heard against Catholics practicing Yoga are these:

  1. The Yogic forms were developed and designed specifically for Hindu spirituality, and thus, engaging in these forms knowing of their unique spiritual nature constitutes a form of idolatry.

  2. Because there is a current trend toward religious relativism, that one religion is no better or worse than another, and that all religions represent equal paths toward God, engaging in Yoga by a Catholic might cause scandal in this regard. As Catholics, by engaging in a clearly Hindu practice, we may inadvertently scandalize others into the belief that the practices of one religion are as good and legitimate as another.

  3. There are reportedly connections between Yogic practice and the occult, including possession. While this is not widespread, indicating that the casual practitioner is likely not at immediate risk, there are certainly some cases of this, the suggestion being that the more one delves into the spirituality behind Yoga, the more one becomes susceptible to these forces. This is concurrent with the widespread spirituality found in Hinduism that makes use of spiritual possession in the practices of Witch Doctors, and the like. Like devices such as Ouija Boards, the practitioner may not be deliberately calling up these forces, but may still do so inadvertently through the use of the device.

Even if you reject 3), and think that 1) can be rendered meaningless if you dissociate yourself from Hindu spirituality, 2) is still enough reason in my book to find other stretches to use instead of Yoga, as a Faithful Catholic.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.