Downward dog is part of a downward spiral toward hell, says a Southern Baptist leader who is encouraging all Christians to give up the practice of yoga, claiming it is not a pathway to righteousness.
Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions aren't a Christian pathway to God. He objects to "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine."
He isn't the first Christian leader to take such a stand, either. Pat Robertson called the practice "really spooky" while Pastor John MacArthur said it was a "false religion." Muslims are banned from the practice by clerics in Egypt, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
What nonsense. One can practice yoga, receive the fitness benefits, and not be a devil worshipper. Seriously.
What is wrong with these people?
The chanting and the spiritual aspects of yoga are one component of a powerful, life-affirming practice that is amazing for the body.
Athletes from all sports use the practice to increase their flexibility and provide an antidote to their cardio-heavy, weight-bearing exercises.
For some, there is a spiritual component, but for many, many others, there is not.
Stephanie Dillon, who has injected Christian themes into her studio in Louisville, said yoga brought her closer to her Christian faith, which had faded after college and service in the Army. "What I found is that it opened my spirit, it renewed my spirituality," Dillon said. "That happened first and then I went back to church." Dillon attends Southeast Christian Church in Louisville and says many evangelical Christians from the church attend her classes.
For some who are not well-traveled or well-versed in the ways of the world (or who are close-minded), the practice can seem weird. But any longtime devotee would tell you that the spiritual aspects are but one of the many powerful parts of a yoga practice.
Don't like the chanting and spirituality? Focus on the physical part.
Belonging to a religion that told me what I could and could not do for exercise would never sit right with me. I prefer to make my own decisions and I assume most devotees of yoga feel the same way and will not give it up because of one judgemental man with a narrow vision of the world.
Do you think yoga is anti-Christian?
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