Spiritual Warfare Forum: Yoga

Yoga QUESTION from neroli on December 27, 2002 Hi there,
i wish to find out, if we Christian could practive Yoga. and it seems to me that there are different types of yoga.
please kindly clarify where the boundry lies. thanks and God bless.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 27, 2002 Dear Miss Neroli:
Yes, there are several different kinds of Yoga and some are worse than others from a Catholic point-of-view.
But I cannot recommend getting involved in any kind of Yoga.
The postures, breathing, and exercise of Yoga is specifically designed to effect the body, mind, and soul according to a worldview and philosophy that is contrary to the Christian worldview.
There is some debate as to whether one can practice Yoga without the effects of the philosophy that is behind Yoga. How can we separate the Yoga from the philosophy that created and fuels Yoga? Frankly, the prudent thing is to error on the side of caution I believe.
The Eastern Catholic Monks of 1000 - 1500 years ago already looked into these Eastern methods of meditation, contemplation, and exercise and sifting from them all that is not consistent with Christianity. We have more than 1000 years of proven track record from the Eastern Catholic Monks testifying that what they did remains Catholic.
Given that, there is no need for Catholics to borrow today from the East. What can be borrowed from the East has already been borrowed and tested over 1000-1500 years of monasticism.
It is better and safer to stay close to the Church and avoid these non-Christian forms.
There is a document from the Church that speaks to this issue somewhat. It can be found at: Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation

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