Skip to comments.Yoga? It's too Hindu for church: Priest bans exercise class because it's 'not Catholic'
Posted on 09/26/2012 9:17:56 PM PDT by Jyotishi
-Yoga instructor Cori Withell was told activity was part of Hindu religion -37-year-old banned from using Catholic church hall despite paying up beforehand -She said the class was just for exercise and did not feature meditation -Ban not Catholic church policy - decision left to discretion of individual priests
Banned: Fitness instructor Cori Withell was told she could not hold her yoga class at a Catholic church as it was a Hindu religious activity
She meant her yoga classes to be a calming and relaxing experience for all those concerned.
Instead, Cori Withell has ended up flustered and frustrated after a priest banned her from his church hall because her lessons are not compatible with the Catholic faith.
The 37-year-old instructor was told by Father John Chandler that yoga is a Hindu religious activity and therefore not in keeping with his rules on promoting Catholic activities.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
thumbs up - a priest who knows his priorities
Way to go Priest.
Too Hindu for any Christian. Anything Hindu is far from Christianity.
I think it’s past time for Catholic churches and retreat centers to clean out all the yoga, reiki, eastern religious stuff and centering prayer.
So? I’m a baptist, and I wouldn’t want it in my church either.
Way to go Father!
I looked because I thought maybe she’d be innocent, and now I feel guilty for doing so. Thanks a lot, St. Isidore’s.
WOW, I was under the impression only Muslims had the monopoly on religious intolerance.
Good for the Catholic Church. Excerpts from article below:
“Syman describes yoga as a varied practice, but she makes clear that yoga cannot be fully extricated from its spiritual roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. She is also straightforward in explaining the role of sexual energy in virtually all forms of yoga and of ritualized sex in some yoga traditions. She also explains that yoga is one of the first and most successful products of globalization, and it has augured a truly post-Christian, spiritually polyglot country.
Reading The Subtle Body is an eye-opening and truly interesting experience. To a remarkable degree, the growing acceptance of yoga points to the retreat of biblical Christianity in the culture. Yoga begins and ends with an understanding of the body that is, to say the very least, at odds with the Christian understanding. Christians are not called to empty the mind or to see the human body as a means of connecting to and coming to know the divine. Believers are called to meditate upon the Word of God an external Word that comes to us by divine revelation not to meditate by means of incomprehensible syllables”
Huh...my wife does yoga, I’ve done it, never saw anything spiritual in it. I guess this piece doesn’t change my mind. It really helps with flexibility and core strength.
That is a strange comment in the context of this story.
Yoga is based on Hinduism and has practices like astral projection, OBEs, chanting, and the stretches and positions can be used to honor the gods. (small g) Would you call them intollerant if they banned a Celtic winter solstice event?
By Lori Smith
Yoga from a Christian Perspective Resources - Christians Practicing Yoga
> WOW, I was under the impression only Muslims had the monopoly on religious intolerance.
Yes Muslims do have the corner on intolerance but it can be found almost everywhere.
Do not stretch your tendons and muscles. It’s satanic!
I never heard of anyone talking about or practicing yoga during my first 20 years of life growing up in India as a Hindu. And my family was pretty devout religious, which I am not. My wife and kids are Christians. Only after arriving in US at age 21 I heard of all these yoga classes going on everywhere. I never have attended a single yoga session in my life. So I do not know first hand anything about it. But my impression is it has more to do with physical exercises than religious rituals. If indeed they were pushing Hindu religiosity during yoga sessions, I do not think it would be so popular here.
> I never heard of anyone talking about or practicing yoga
> during my first 20 years of life growing up in India as a Hindu....
The practice of Yoga, especially the physical postures and exercises are much more popular in western countries than in India, the land of Yoga’s origin. Some general information about it and Hinduism from about.com:
Introduction to Yoga Philosophy - The Bhagavad Gita
Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita
By Ann Pizer, About.com Guide
Updated September 16, 2012
About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic poem. In the Gita, Arjuna, a great warrior, is faced with a difficult decision: whether or not to fight in a battle between his kinsmen. He is torn between his duty to fight alongside his brothers for a just cause, and his reluctance when he sees those he must fight against include his other relatives and mentors. Krishna takes the place of Arjuna’s charioteer and offers Arjuna advice on how to deal with the situation. Included in this allegory are lessons on how to lead a moral life, which form the foundations of the spiritual practice of yoga.
Although we say that the Bhagavad Gita in an ancient yoga text, it has very little to do with the physical practice of yoga (asana). The Gita follows Arjuna’s quest for spiritual guidance, and Krishna’s answers to his questions on how to realize his inner spirituality and take responsibility for his life and role in the world. Krishna counsels Arjuna to practice:
karma yoga, the yoga of service
jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge, particularly self-knowledge, and
bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.
Have you heard of the Kudilini and Chakra? Many of these things along with ideas like acupuncture, reflexology, accupressure, rake, and other eastern practices have their roots in eastern religion. Even martial arts practice channeling your interal spritual energy for maximum effect. (although this is often exagerated in the west to mystify it and to fleece money from idiots)
My ex-girlfriend does yoga and she’s Satan.
Mixing the profane with Christianity is the first step down a slippery slope. - I had a Bible study teacher several years ago who was a frustrated yoga teacher; slipped in a few of her guided imagery ideas and yoga ads into the class in a, I am sure, misguided theory that she was helping us. (She was the preacher’s wife, and my husband was very attached to both of them - which made it difficult when I left there.)
Once had a devout christian come to my martial arts training class a few years ago. He didn’t come back after the first session, as he considered reing (bowing) to the sensei at the beginning and end of the session to be an idolatrous act and was too pig-headed to be persuaded otherwise.
Becasue we all know how much the bible condemns breathing and stretching exercise.
If one takes the philosophy too far, it is then Hindu spirituality specifically Tantric and vedic, which asserts about emptying the mind. This is quite the opposite of Christian meditation
Hence, if one does the whole-blow yoga with meditation, this is not Christian, but yoga just for exercise is ok imho
To 21twelve -- I think (note, my opinion) that replacing the meditation on the self as divinity which is Hindu and replacing it with meditation on Bible verses is a good approach for Christians
to susie -- I don't agree that yoga can't be separated out.
Yoga is great exercise. When I took classes, I’d tune out the “meditations” and meditate on scriptures instead.
If some Muslim or Hindu teachers refuse to teach Western classical music because it’s too Christian, what would be our reaction?
“replacing the meditation on the self as divinity which is Hindu and replacing it with meditation on Bible verses is a good approach”.
And the best part is that the Hindu’s won’t start world-wide protests or try to chop of your head!
Fr-freak - couldn’t agree more it is not intolerant or bull-headed for the Priest - who is responsible for the going’s on in his Parish and on Church grounds - to refuse usage of such to anything he feels is not of spiritual benefit to his congregation.
We should all rejoice that an individual takes responsibility for his role and makes other’s accountable in doing so - isn’t this some of what fr ultimately is all about!
I don’t think any of us really understand how much of this PC tolerance stuff has infected even our own lives.
in the same way martial arts in many cases is based on Chinese philosophy.
I think we need to separate out the Hindu religious part from the exercise, just as how many of us have done so for martial arts
I do believe that some of the deep breathing, focusing on say Rama etc. is not Christian
But yoga-dance is neither Hindu nor Christian, it's exercise.
I'm not going to comment on Hindu beliefs more than that the belief in one worshipping the self and emptying the mind are not Christian beliefs. The stretching etc is of course, non-religious :)
western classical music is not based on Christianity in the same way as yoga is. Yoga in its original sense was a way to commune with the gods
Hindus won’t care. They’re good people. I don’t agree with their religious views, and I know they don’t completely agree with mine, but they are good people and know how to live alongside other faiths.
People are often attracted to that which is new and exotic to them. There are many Catholics who wouldn’t think of praying a rosary or spending time in Eucharistic adoration because they are “old fashioned” but who will happily meditate as part of a non-Catholic practice. Ommmmmm
Then a sheetload of Freepers must be Muslims.
My daughter is a competative swimmer and they do Yoga two days a week. I have no problem with it; I see Yoga on the same level as Cross Fit and other programs that increase strength and flexibility.
Athletes need to be in tune with their bodies and Yoga provides that.
Now if the purpose is spiritual, such as you would find in a church, then I have a problem with it.....
I do the Wii Sports Yoga and have yet to turn into a Hindu.
Though I am super flexible with incredible balance.
It's not about "religion."
Pilates okay, Yoga bad.
I take a yoga class at my Methodist Church. I wouldn't call it relaxing or very spiritual. In fact, brutal is the word that comes to my mind.
My church offers all kinds of free classes that are just about having fun and getting together with other church members.
This is just silly. Obviously, no one is going to a Catholic church to practice Hinduism.
I have a list of things I do in my spiritual walk, that if I were to share it with fellow Christians, they would basically disown me and say I was unChristian. I know this from experience.
And if you look at the things that I do that they find objectionable, it doesn’t come down to doing inappropriate things, it comes to thinking inappropriate things.
I always heard a group of Christian friends trashing a certain pastors book, and out of curiosity I checked out the book. What they found objectionable, is that the man imagined holding the hem of Jesus’ robe, while he was in prayer. They said that was visualizing, visualization was new age, so they trashed him.
Many times I felt that while God is doing all he can to bring people into his house, some Christians are doing all they can to keep people out.
I wonder what you’d think if you’d been born in India?
It would have been very beneficial to me to get into Yoga in the late 1970s, I had gotten close to the biggest Yoga operators in San Diego, so I immersed myself into the decision of whether I could do Yoga with a clear conscience.
While not a theologian, I finally came to the conclusion that it was a wrong path, that there was something anti-Christian in there somewhere, and that for me, I best choose not to start down that path. I have done a lot of impulse sinning, but when I have time and consciousness of deliberately choosing a path, I try to avoid spiritual confusion, or subtle spiritual seductions.
I’m not interested in arguing Yoga with people, but I will reveal my simple vote, I vote with the Priest.
Then why are Christians in India being persecuted by Hindus?
I wonder what Hindi's would think about having Mass in their temples?
Yoga IS a Hindu religious practice.
You can get “denatured” yoga, pretty easily, though. Or find some other low-impact exercise regime.
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