Should a Christian practice yoga?

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by scottmaciver, Jul 6, 2019.

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  1. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Sophomore

    Some brief thoughts from Todd Friel at Wretched (Here).
     
  2. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I'm not too familiar with yoga, but what my friends call yoga, I call stretching, and pretty much do the same thing. As far as spiritualism, any exercise I do I try to pray and listen to the Bible during it. Just making the best use of my time.
     
  3. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

  4. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, that's true Jimmy. I think the point where Friel finds issue with yoga is when it goes from stretching & exercise into elements of Hinduism & similar religions.

    I do think that, perhaps for a lot of people, yoga is merely a form of exercise. However, I think Friel has helpfully brought to the fore other issues of concern, which we ought to be aware of.
     
  5. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I don't disagree with Friel. I only point out, that for me, as well as other like minded individuals, stretching is exercise that has no correlation with yoga.
     
  6. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I’ve seen ‘Christian’ recommendation of, along with the stretching and different positions, also making use of mindfulness and breath prayers, repeating a phrase or word with biblical connotations. That’s definitely amiss. I don’t guess there’s anything wrong with the positions themselves (?) Except you can hurt yourself!
     
  7. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, so I actually watched the video and agree 100%. Including that we shouldn’t call stretches we do “yoga” (even if they are also used in yoga) and shouldn’t participate in anything by the name. I did not know that yoga is the Hindu way to salvation. Informative, thanks Scott!
     
  8. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    As long as one understands that "salvation" as the Christian understands it is not a Hindi or Buddhist (reformed Hinduism) concept (as I am sure that you know, Jeri).

    Overcoming maya, transcending karma, escaping samsara, and achieving nirvana are "salvation" for the Buddhist, meaning that it is their aim, realized in the extinction of desire and personal consciousness, "when the dewdrop slips into the shining sea." Yoga is a part of the realization of this.

    The Hindi speak of the journey within, in which the atman (the most essential self) discovers that, at core, it is Brahman (divine). Classically, Hinduism speaks of four "paths" of yoga (the practice itself having eight "limbs"), though there are a number more, all calculated to enable the discovery that "all is one and it is divine." So, yes, yoga is a part of Hindi "salvation," though to say that without some of this explanation is not helpful to people who've not studied these religions.

    I would not call any kind of exercise, as you note Jeri, that I as a Christian might do "yoga." It is the practice of a false religion and false religions are demonic. Todd Friel is correct, though he could be more informative in his discussion. [Just as a side note, I can't quite stomach his presentation style, though I suppose that others like him quite well. I'll just let it go at that!]

    Peace,
    Alan
     
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  9. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    “realized in the extinction of desire and personal consciousness...”

    So terribly sad!
     
  10. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    It is not just any kind of stretching. It is certain movements, poses, breathing used in a different religion.

    Best comparison I can think of is crossing yourself. Fingers to head, chest, then each shoulder. Now imagine folks in the middle east or India found some health benefit to doing that. They start crossing themselves as part of their exercise regiment. It's a religious sign, used inappropriately nonetheless.
     
  11. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    I remember reading somewhere that what most people think of as yoga was actually invented in the 1950s or early 1960s in England (I think, something to do with British army exercises) and has nothing to do with India or Eastern religions.
     
  12. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I used to do it as part of P 90X, but I could never make it through the whole workout because it was too hard.

    I don't think every yoga pose is a genuflection to Shiva. Otherwise getting in a football stance is yoga. On the other hand--well, that gets into the demonic and spiritual warfare.

    To get mobility I started doing bodyweight exercises and Taekwon-do.
     
  14. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I prefer the Scottish Covenanter stretches: :cheers2:
     
  15. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    His presentation style is unique for sure (though his radio broadcasts do not seem to be so exaggerated), but I have found his content generally useful. He seems to be a Calvinistic dispensational Baptist, in the vein of John MacCarthy, so there are going to be points that one who is confessional may not agree with at times. He also recently said some things that sounded to me like Eternal Subordination of the Son, so listening to him just requires some attention.
     
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