Why is there such a dispute over Christian's using Yoga as an exercise?
I've read some of the online content concerning Spirituality, mysticism and such relating to the use of Yoga; however, I don't see or understand how a person can open themselves up to a spiritual attack from unknown sources unless they are "inviting" those sources into their spirit.
Hi tamsing4him, this is a real good question. At one time I wanted to take yoga because it seems like great exercise- then I researched it and this is what I found.
Yoga has its roots in Eastern religion (Hinduism), and therefore teaches that "all reality is one." Every system of yoga seeks to merge the self (samkhya) with Atman (or god--the true self). But Atman is not the God of Christianity. In the systems of yoga, god is part of the problem, for "god" is impersonal, changeable, and lacks a sufficiently high vantage point to give solutions to the problems he is also embroiled in. The Hindu gods remind us of the gods of Greek mythology in some respects.
One word: Xenophobia. Yoga is not a religion, it is a system of exercises. The practice of Yoga is not an act of worship any more than doing pushups or running laps is an act of worship. (Though the way some exercise freaks worship their own bodies, perhaps this isn't always the case... )
Some folks will of course try to tell you that you shouldn't be doing yoga because it will necessarily lead to you abandoning your faith (whatever that faith may be). It won't. Of course, the people telling you this may genuinely be concerned for your welfare, figuring that since they're so easily led astray, you must be equally vulnerable. Or, they may just be interested in controlling you, making sure that you don't do anything they wouldn't approve of.
My advice: don't sweat it. If you find, after taking a yoga class, that /your/ faith /is/ wavering, maybe you should reexamine both yoga and your faith. If you conclude that yoga is a threat to your faith, stop doing it. Simple.
I'm a Christian man and I've done Yoga and will do Yoga again I'm sure.
There is a difference between exercises of Yoga and the actual spiritual/meditative form of Yoga.
I am also a Black Belt in Karate and there is a spiritual side of Karate that is taught by some martial artists.
I don't subscribe to any of the spiritual forms of either of these disciplines because I'm a Christian.
It is the way of Christians to warn others about potentially harmful spiritual practices. The meditative practices of Yoga and the martial arts are actually opening you up to demonic forces.
You can do the exercises associated with these disciplines; just don't do the meditative stuff. Great exercises.
You'll be fine.
Thanks for all the responses. I too see a difference between a spiritual practice and one of exercise. It's all in the intent of the heart and mind.
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