Should Christians Practice Yoga?

Recently, my wife, Laurie, started taking yoga classes and has gotten a lot out of it. (you can see some of her comments here).

Years ago, I heard Christians murmur against yoga as an “eastern” or “spiritual” practice that ran against fundamental Christian teaching. I never concerned myself with it since I didn’t really care much about yoga.

But now, my wife is a fledgling yoga darling and I am increasingly seeing my need for it. All of this got me remembering the good ol’ days of warnings against yoga and got me reflecting again.

Mohler’s argument is essentially that yoga is a New Age practice and you can’t really divide the exercise from the spiritual purpose. He cites postmodern spiritual confusion for the reason many Christians (like my wife!) ignorantly practice it resulting in a form of syncretism meaning the mixing of religions.

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The Practice of Being Comfortable in Being Uncomfortable

A new yoga studio recently opened near our home. I was excited when a friend informed me about it. Over this past Labor Day weekend, we traveled to visit Mark’s brother and his family. While there, my sister-in-law invited me to attend her Gentle Yoga class. It was wonderful. We stretched, breathed and relaxed for an hour. After the class, she and I walked to the coffee house next door and sat in the sun, sipped our drinks and chatted away. I still feel peaceful when I think of that morning.

Naturally I was thrilled when I heard about the studio. Was it possible that I’d be able to experience this peaceful yoga on a weekly basis? My blood pressure was lowering at the thought of it.

A week ago I entered the studio for my first class. The staff informed me of an introductory offer of “20 days for 20 dollars.

Stress, Yoga, and the Distracted Life

Got stress?

 It’s nothing that a good yoga session can’t fix. A couple of stretching positions and some focused breathing can dissolve your troubles in a half hour. Between soccer practice, taxes, car repairs, bizarre co-workers, and bad hair days, stress levels are soaring in my California community. I guess a lotus position makes perfect sense.

Day spas are booming, too. A half-day’s program, with themes like “Utopia” and “Tiny Bubbles at Waikiki” sets you back about three hundred bucks. You need the first three hours to ameliorate the stress you incur with the cost of the treatment, leaving that last hour, baby, for a sweet fix. Sir Thomas More and Don Ho would be proud to be associated with such fine programs.

In my neighborhood, everyone likes the word stress. It’s blamed for male pattern baldness, bad marriages, lousy karma, and the common cold. Who knew? If I had known stress was such a killer, I would’ve signed up for yoga classes long ago and saved myself a lot of trouble.

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