Warning: This is a fairly religious post. I don't do them often, but this is something that has got me all wound up. Unfortunately, my yoga classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays...
I was irritated about a week ago when my Dad pointed out to me that by practicing yoga I am practicing Hinduism. (Side note: LOVE my Daddy.) I brushed it off, stating that he was wrong. I later found out that the sermon at my parents' church had been about just that the week before. I am sorry I missed it, because I would have gotten up and left in the middle of it. As many of you know I have been practicing yoga for almost a year now. I LOVE IT. I would go every day if I had time. I don't do chanting. I don't worship Buddha. What I do "do" is relax. Exercise. Take a moment out of my busy life to focus on myself. My breathing. Just being. I was even more horrified to see this headline on Yahoo today: Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Read the article here.
On his website, Mr. Mohler continues to defend his opinion, stating that he is getting hundreds of emails from Christians who are practicing yoga. He says, "The first lesson — count the cost when you talk about yoga. These people get bent out of shape fast." Ha ha. Isn't he funny? Not. The people contacting him are the prime example of how it is possible to practice yoga AND be a Christian. It's people like him that drive people away from church. He is passing judgement. I'm sorry, did your Son die on that cross? No? I didn't think so.
Let's recap. I was baptized and raised in the same church almost my entire life. My parents still attend the church (which will go unnamed for now) and I attend when visiting them. It is a Baptist church, with Southern undertones, for sure. I was disappointed to hear that such a sermon was preached there, but I know in my heart what yoga means to me.
So, if you haven't tried it, do not judge it. Every studio, every class, every teacher is different. keep going until you find one that makes you comfortable. I have, so let me know if you want to join. It works miracles for your mind, body, and spirit.