Repost: Why Can’t Yoga Just Be an Exercise?

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Editor’s Note:  I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of yoga exercises. Even the popular Insanity DVD by Beach Body includes a session on yoga. This article warns Christians about the dangers of opening ourselves up to yoga to fully, due to it’s origin and the fact that many of the positions are worship poses to various Hindu gods.  However, as one friend pointed out, “It is only worship to those gods if those gods exist. If they do not exist, there really isn’t any worship involved unless you want there to be.”  Although another minister, “That’s not true. Worship to false gods is an abomination against the Lord.”  What is your opinion?

Christianity and Yoga

While it’s true that most yoga positions are designed to be positions of worship to Hindu gods, some Christians find it hard to believe that there’s any danger in practicing the moves when it’s just being done as an exercise.  But is it just exercise?

Let’s look at this from a purely logical point of view. First of all, anyone who truly understands yoga (such as a Hindu) will tell you that yoga positions were never designed to be exercises. They were designed to do one of two things – worship one of more than three million Hindu gods and/or facilitate the flow of prana (life force energy) through the body.

Christianity and YogaAs Fr. Pacwa states in his book, Catholics and the New Age, ” . . . (H)indus did not devise these exercises for athletic limbering or muscle building. All were meant to lead the practitioner to enlightenment and awareness of his or her inner divinity.” (pg. 33).

Legendary guru B.K.S. Iyengar confirms this in his book, Light on Yoga, where he says that some yoga positions “are also called after gods of the Hindu pantheon and some recall the Avataras, or incarnation of Divine Power.”

Having said all that, we come to a purely logical conclusion – it’s not possible to “just do them as an exercise” when the so-called “exercises” aren’t just exercises.

[Read the rest of the article at Women of Grace.]