Thanks for the very good question. This is a big concern of mine.
I have been doing yoga for the
past six months only to recently find out, from some family members,
that it is evil.
From my experience it's a bunch of stretches that make
you more limber and help in maintaining one's weight. I am
very vexed — terribly, terribly vexed. There is no talk
of gods, mantras, meditation, or anything. If there is any
of that, I wouldn't know because I fast-forward to get to the
- Is there any credence in what some of my family members have said about yoga?
I would tend to agree with your family members. I have several references, one
from the Vatican, that I think are very good on this issue:
What I got out of Clare's video is:
It depends on to what stage you get involved.
I don't think anyone will disagree that stretching to make you a
more limber person is healthy for you, as with any exercise. I should probably be exercising more than I am today!
problem comes in down the road when they start offering meditations
Per Clare's video, what you have experienced are stages 1 — 4 of yoga. What your family and I are concerned
about are stages 5 — 8. The Christian who gets involved past stage
4 of the stretching and exercises would be persuaded to do and say
things against their own faith.
These Yoga instructors have alternative motives other than just physical
exercise, but are obviously going to deny this. I remember Fr. Mitch
Pacwa giving a talk on this topic. In the later stages of yoga, the
suggested mantra is something where one has to say something that
denies their Christian faith to get in union with God. This could be something related to a basic teaching of the faith or something referring to another deity that has a sensual overtone to it.
I believe that the Christian who practices yoga has to be cautious
to ensure that their yoga exercises are kept at a certain exercise
stage, instead of allowing themselves to be pulled into a group
think type of conformity, where everyone will say:
Come on Nicole! Everyone else is doing it. Why aren't you?
Most of these mantras are from Far East spiritualities because yoga originated in India, mainly a Hindu country.
She states in the third paragraph:
The fifth stage is withdrawal of the senses. The next three stages
involve deep concentration, deep meditation and lastly the state
of samadhi or
self-collectedness, in which the mediator and the
object of meditation become one.
This is the final stage before
union with God or with the Self (as others believe) and the final
release from the cycle of rebirth.
I hope this answers your question.