Sunday, June 26, 2011

Should a Christian Do Yoga?

Oh, the arguments out there in the world wide web, both for and against! This can be such a heated topic for sure, so please keep in mind that these are simply my thoughts for myself. I'm not imposing anything on anyone. If you are convicted you should not do yoga, then by all means, don't do it.

A lot of Christians I know shy away from yoga simply because they don't understand it. They usually immediately think of someone sitting cross-legged in a garden "ohming" their brains into oblivion. I, too, shied away from yoga for many years, not wanting to cross that line and disobey God.

Then, I got into Pilates. Funny thing is, a lot of Christians I knew thought Pilates was another pagan religious practice. Pilates is named after the man who created the exercises. I enjoyed doing pilates, loving the poses and stretches. I soon realized that there's some yoga in pilates, so I decided to look into yoga more. I was also spurred on by the inflammation in my inner ears that caused terrible vertigo. I had read in a book on the subject that yoga is very beneficial to controlling that. Surgery to correct the issue has an extremely high chance of leaving me deaf. I found a workout DVD that had absolutely NO religious practices. It was simply the exercises. I was careful, though, not wanting to disobey God.

I started doing the DVD and loved the challenge. I also loved that it helped with my poor balance and did indeed seem to reduce the inflammation in my inner ears, thus lessening my vertigo. I also dropped several more pounds, breaking through the post-baby plateau.

So, my final thoughts on yoga are:

1. I, as a Christian, should not do any of the religious aspects of yoga. If I get a DVD that has any meditation in it, or any other practices that prick on conscience, I send it back.

2. I, personally, don't see anything wrong with doing the exercises themselves. I don't see any sin in the positions. They're just positions, stretches. Many stretches we do on our own are similar or the same as yoga positions. The cat-back exercise often taught to pregnant women in Lamaze or Bradley class is a yoga exercise.

3. It's exercise. That's it. Nothing more. I'm not going to go all Yogi, feng shui my house, and play sitar music while I empty my brain.

4. Yes, I'm aware of Praise Moves and her background. I understand how she was affected by Yoga and how it influenced her, but basically Praise Moves is nothing more than renamed yoga exercises, at least in my eyes.

No comments: