I read this fascinating post today on Care2 about Christians and the practice of yoga.
In Delia Quigley's piece posted Sept. 25, "Christian Belief Misunderstands Yoga," Quigley opens with:
As more people are experiencing the benefits of yoga, Christian leaders are telling their flock that yoga will lead them astray. I’ve heard this before, actually 30 years ago when I began a serious practice of yoga. According to the Christians I encountered at the time yoga was considered an abomination, a link to the devil. I was damned for practicing it and I was doubly damned for walking away from the Church. I was pretty well damned, and yet I knew in my heart that it brought me closer to the divine.
She goes on to quote Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as saying this week via a USA Today story:
“Most [Christians who practice yoga] seem unaware that yoga cannot be neatly separated into physical and spiritual dimensions. The physical is the spiritual in yoga, and the exercises and disciplines of yoga are meant to connect with the divine.”
Ultimately yoga is not about the physical body, but about revealing one’s true self and one’s connection to God, regardless of one’s religion.
I've participated in yoga classes here in the Springs with both Christians and those of other faiths, and I've never heard talk of this. But then, a quick search for "yoga" on the websites for both New Life Church and Focus on the Family comes up blank.
What do you think? Can you practice yoga as a Christian?