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Christian Belief Misunderstands Yoga

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Christian Belief Misunderstands Yoga

“When we practice looking deeply, we have the insight into what to do and what not to do for the situation to change. Everything depends on our way of looking.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

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.

The thinking today, according to Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is that Christians who practice yoga, “Most 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.” And herein lies the misunderstanding.

According to the sage Patanjali, who recorded what we know about the Eight Limbs of Yoga some 5000 years ago, Asana (hatha yoga postures), are of little importance and are practiced merely to calm and focus the mind of a beginner and to prepare the physical body to sit for long periods of time in meditation. 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.

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: brcleanse.blogspot.com and. To view her website go to www.deliaquigley.com

162 comments

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3:10PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Interesting. Thanks Delia.

3:09PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Interesting. Thanks Delia

9:48AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

There are extremists in every group including those who practice yoga. That being said, I have never been comfortable in an organized religion. However, that's just me. Some find great comfort and peace in organized religion. I am not a Christian per se, I am a Christ follower and judgement is not my prerogative.

6:15AM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:35PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Interesting. Thanks Delia.

11:44PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

I've heard it all now... I think yoga, if anything, brings out your inner peace. It should go together.

11:42AM PST on Dec 6, 2010

It's the way fanatics are.
But all of as used to think this way. If we see somebody is doing something - we have to make our mind about it. If for some reason it's strange, we don't want to do it etc. - we have to tell ourselves that it's wrong, demonic, stupid ...

5:23AM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

what hasn`t been of the devil, that doesn`t come from christianity.

4:38AM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

Really interesting. Thanks.

3:16PM PDT on Oct 14, 2010

thanks

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