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Poll: Should Christians Practice Yoga?

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  1. #1

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    Christianity and Yoga

    This topic has generated a surprising stir among the Hindus and Christians in the United States, and I just wanted to see what you all think about it.

    Should Christians, practice yoga? Personally, I am vehemently opposed to the idea. Yoga and meditation are, first and foremost, Hindu practices. They are firmly rooted in Hindu thought and an essential part of Hindu philosophy, theology, scripture, worldview, and way of life. Yoga is not some "universal practice" that just anyone can do, without any spiritual association. This is a barefaced LIE. Yoga cannot be divorced from its Hindu roots and retain any meaning because the entire existence of the discipline is to achieve spiritual goals that are unique to the Dharmic tradition.

    Christians who practice yoga have hijacked the practice and diluted it. They use it to win converts to Christianity and have even renamed the asanas (positions) with Christian names! Yoga has now become a commercialized health fad used to sell yoga pants, mats, CDs, precisely because there is absolutely no link between yoga Christianity, to which it has been so clumsily grafted. Because Christians lack a true understanding of what yoga is, the result is a shallow, worthless shell of what yoga truly is. That the West has shamelessly stolen yoga while denying its Hindu roots (and thus propagating the stereotype that Hinduism is some kind of mysterious and perverse mixture of voodoo, black magic, and superstition) is fraudulent.

    There can never be anything called "Christian Yoga" or Jewish Yoga, or Muslim Yoga. It is not necessary to do yoga to be saved. Christians do not seek union with God in the sense that yoga is meant to achieve. Yoga involves the worship of a God that is not Jesus and is thus inimical to Christianity. Christians believe that humans are sinners, not divine, as Hindus do, and such pessimism is a repudiation of yogic optimism. Christians believe that suffering is beneficial, and the ultimate goal of Hinduism is to be free from death, and thus end suffering. Thus, Christians practicing yoga while remaining Christian is like trying to climb a mountain by digging a hole next to it and jumping in. It is because the two are so radically opposed to one another that Christians with any sense at all have harshly condemned the practice.

    In short, when Christians practice yoga, they insult both the Hindu tradition and the Christian tradition, despite their best efforts. It is best for Christians to disassociate themselves entirely from yoga, for their own spiritual benefit. And by "dissociate," I mean COMPLETELY dissociate. Even Christians who are suffering from psychiatric problems should not engage in meditation, even if it is recommended by a doctor. Christians suffering from back pain or arthritis, should not do yogic exercises for pain relief. Yoga is an rich and intensely spiritual practice, not a mere set of stretchy exercises for mundane purposes. To flirt and dabble with the practice without any serious commitment is an insult to its sanctity, depth, and profundity. It would be like using the Holy Nails to repair something or using the Holy Sponge to wipe a table.

    More importantly, it is an insult to Yahweh, the Lord Most High. I have been told that Yahweh will damn anyone who denies him, even on pain of death or torture. If this is the case, flippantly denying him while doing yoga is certainly a one way ticket to hell. Yoga is, therefore, spiritual poison to a Christian; they should avoid it like the plague. There is simply too much to lose.

  2. #2
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    More importantly, it is an insult to Yahweh, the Lord Most High. I have been told that Yahweh will damn anyone who denies him, even on pain of death or torture. If this is the case, flippantly denying him while doing yoga is certainly a one way ticket to hell. Yoga is, therefore, spiritual poison to a Christian; they should avoid it like the plague. There is simply too much to lose.
    Clearly there is much for you to learn about Christianity. The above is patently false.

    Yoga, while a spiritual experience to you and other Hindus, is popular because of the health benefits. And because of the spiritual overtones to it, it would be inappropriate for Christians to embrace Yoga as Hindus do. Therefore, renaming positions that would be offensive to God, would be the proper thing to do.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Clearly there is much for you to learn about Christianity. The above is patently false.
    Then why do you suggest that the offensive parts be renamed? If there are no spiritual consequences involved, then Christians should not have any problem practicing yoga with all its spiritual associations. Clearly, God has a problem with yoga, and Christians know this, and fear the consequences. If they have a problem with yoga, then they shouldn't practice it. Bastardizing yoga in the way that Christians have done is immoral and disgraceful. As I have said, yoga is a Hindu practice, steeped with religious and spiritual significance that cannot be removed without rendering it meaningless. EVERYTHING about yoga is Hindu; the postures, the breathing exercises, everything. Lying about it and covering it up in the way that Christians have done is dishonesty and outright theft. There is no compulsion in place forcing Christians to practice yoga that might necessitate an adjustment to accommodate Christian religious sensitivities. Christians practice yoga of their own accord. If they are offended by certain parts of yoga, they can certainly cease practicing it. However, if they do practice it, it is common courtesy that they do so in the way it was MEANT to be done.

    Yoga, while a spiritual experience to you and other Hindus, is popular because of the health benefits. And because of the spiritual overtones to it, it would be inappropriate for Christians to embrace Yoga as Hindus do. Therefore, renaming positions that would be offensive to God, would be the proper thing to do.
    Renaming the portions that are insulting to God does not remove the intent of the practice, any more than renaming a car as an apple makes it cease to be a vehicle designed for transportation. Yoga was certainly not popularized by the ancient sages of India to be degraded into a commercialized "feel good" money-spinner of a practice as Christians have degenerated it into. Nor can it ever lead to a deeper relationship with Jesus; despite what Christian who practice yoga may say, nowhere in Christian history has any figure of importance prescribed anything resembling yoga. You forget that notable Christian organizations like the Vatican and the Southern Baptist Convention have called for Christians to abandon the practice, fearing Satanic influence and such. Clearly, yoga can give Christians no spiritual benefit.

    What the Christians are doing is an insult to yoga itself, and a denial of what yoga truly is. Yoga is not the Christians' plaything to be tampered with as they see fit. If Yahweh's precious ego will be offended by yoga, then Christians should not practice yoga. It would benefit everyone involved. It doesn't matter if there are health benefits to it; Christians should forgo it entirely. Raping an ancient religious tradition to suit their personal whims is disgustingly ungrateful.

    Indeed, it is evidence that Christians believe themselves to be above establish societal customs like mutual respect and dignity. Christians need to learn that the world does not center around them (or their God, for that matter); voices to the contrary exist and will rightfully protest against whatever perverse notions Christians may harbor. Christians do not have the right to pervert a culture in the way that they have done with yoga, simply because their God might be offended by it in its pure form. Other cultural practice certainly have the right to exist, and Christians do not have the authority to judge whether these cultures are in need of modification. That this repugnant idea is apparently the norm among Christians is evidence that Christians suffer from delusions of grandeur, and must be brought back to reality.
    Last edited by The Great Khan; November 28th, 2010 at 12:00 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Can it be shown that there are health benefits from doing yoga exercises? If so then there should be nothing wrong with Christians doing the exercises as long as they don't accept the religious and philosopical beliefs associated with them. The Bible says that the body of a Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit and so we have an obligation to keep it in good health.

    The question of yoga's association with Hinduism seems to me to be similar to the practice of eating food sacrificed to idols, which Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 8. He said that there is nothing inherently wrong with food which had been sacrificed to idols but if a Christian found he couldn't eat it without thinking of that association it would be better for him to abstain. The same principle applies to yoga exercises. The exercises aren't inherently wrong but if a Christian can't avoid associating them with Hinduism it would be better for him not to do them.

    Paul also said that a believer who has no problem with the food should still refuse to eat if his eating would be a stumbling block to a believer who felt differently. It seems to me that we should apply these principles to the practice of yoga. If you feel it is too strongly associated with Hinduism or if your participation would cause a problem for a believer who feels this way it is better for you not to have anything to do with it. The health benefits to be obtained from it aren't worth causing spiritual harm to yourself or to another Christian.

  5. #5
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    I think there should have been an option on the poll for "I don't care."
    It doesn't matter to me whether or not they are practicing yoga.
    I also don't see why you are mad about the fact that they changed it for their own purposes. This happens all the time with ideas.
    Some people I know meditate to pray (to Yahweh.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Yoga is not some "universal practice" that just anyone can do, without any spiritual association. This is a barefaced LIE. Yoga cannot be divorced from its Hindu roots and retain any meaning because the entire existence of the discipline is to achieve spiritual goals that are unique to the Dharmic tradition.
    Why can't they?
    What's wrong with them taking ideas and changing them for their own benefit?
    As long as it is not for the spiritual methods of Yoga, rather just for the health benefits, then why is it insulting Yahweh?
    Last edited by Dionysus; November 28th, 2010 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Added member to quote tag
    Udabindu yathāpi pokkhare
    Padume vāri yathā na lippati,
    Evaṃ muni no palippati
    Yadidaṃ diṭṭhasutaṃ mutesu vā.

  6. #6
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Then why do you suggest that the offensive parts be renamed?
    As I previous stated:

    Yoga, while a spiritual experience to you and other Hindus, is popular because of the health benefits. And because of the spiritual overtones to it, it would be inappropriate for Christians to embrace Yoga as Hindus do. Therefore, renaming positions that would be offensive to God, would be the proper thing to do.
    Turning it into an exercise, is not offensive to God. Making it a spiritual exercise, would be.

    Bastardizing yoga in the way that Christians have done is immoral and disgraceful.
    You mean "in the way that non-Hindus have done". This isn't necessarily a Christian thing. Well, unless of course you wish to give all other groups a pass who practice Yoga purely as a non-religious, physical exercise activity.

    Lying about it and covering it up in the way that Christians have done is dishonesty and outright theft.
    What is the lie specifically? That Christians want the health benefits while rejecting the spiritual rituals and beliefs? That's not a lie, that's a modification to the physical act.

    There is no compulsion in place forcing Christians to practice yoga that might necessitate an adjustment to accommodate Christian religious sensitivities.
    Well, any type of spiritual belief/tradition that is counter to Christianity would be the compulsion to modify the practice.

    Christians practice yoga of their own accord. If they are offended by certain parts of yoga, they can certainly cease practicing it. However, if they do practice it, it is common courtesy that they do so in the way it was MEANT to be done.
    You mean, if a non-Hindu wants to go through the physical routines of Yoga, one must convert to Hindusim?

    Renaming the portions that are insulting to God does not remove the intent of the practice, any more than renaming a car as an apple makes it cease to be a vehicle designed for transportation.
    It isn't merely renaming, it is not practicing or engaging or believing in any of the spiritual beliefs or tradition that Hindus engage in.

    Yoga was certainly not popularized by the ancient sages of India to be degraded into a commercialized "feel good" money-spinner of a practice as Christians have degenerated it into.
    You mean "non-Hindus". It's well understood by this community that you absolutely hate Christians and Muslims, with a fierce, hostile and malevolent passion. But to suggest that this is purely a Christian thing is a gross misunderstanding of reality.

    Your argument is against all non-Hindus who would use it to seek better health and reject the spiritual claims and traditions.

    .Nor can it ever lead to a deeper relationship with Jesus; despite what Christian who practice yoga may say, nowhere in Christian history has any figure of importance prescribed anything resembling yoga.
    It isn't about Christianity. It is about removing Hindusim from the physical exercise.

    What the Christians are doing is an insult to yoga itself, and a denial of what yoga truly is.
    You mean what the non-Hindu is doing. All because they want the health benefit. I was unaware that Hindu's had a monopoly on physical exercise.

    Indeed, it is evidence that Christians believe themselves to be above establish societal customs like mutual respect and dignity. Christians need to learn that the world does not center around them (or their God, for that matter);
    You mean the entire world needs to understand that the world centers around Hinduism. It isn't just Christians doing it.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    Can it be shown that there are health benefits from doing yoga exercises?
    Yes. Loads.

    If so then there should be nothing wrong with Christians doing the exercises as long as they don't accept the religious and philosopical beliefs associated with them.
    That is an impossibility and attempting to do so is an insult to the yogic tradition. It is dishonest, fraudulent, and arrogant. If Christians do yoga, common courtesy demands that they do it properly. The prevailing watered down New Age nonsense that passes for yoga today is revoltingly superficial and downright wrong.

    I think there should have been an option on the poll for "I don't care."
    I'll see if I can add it, but if you didn't care, I don't see why you'd want to vote or post on it at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren
    It doesn't matter to me whether or not they are practicing yoga.
    I also don't see why you are mad about the fact that they changed it for their own purposes. This happens all the time with ideas....Why can't they?
    What's wrong with them taking ideas and changing them for their own benefit?
    I'm annoyed because they copy Hindu practices like monkeys (all the while denouncing Hinduism as primitive superstition, devil worship, witchcraft, and denying its philosophical, spiritual, artistic, literary, scientific, and other achievements) and then act like there's nothing wrong with it, and even deny that yoga is Hindu. As I said, yoga is not a Christian's plaything to be modified and dabbled in like Play-Doh. It is an inherently spiritual practice that is part of the Hindu tradition. Period. That Christians reduce it to a mere exercise is a distortion and a denial of what yoga is. It's dishonesty, and its shameless theft.

    As long as it is not for the spiritual methods of Yoga, rather just for the health benefits, then why is it insulting Yahweh?...Some people I know meditate to pray (to Yahweh.)
    People who use meditation or yoga to reach Yahweh are deluded. Yahweh cannot be reached through meditation or yoga. He's not that kind of God, Christians make that very clear. Why would Yahweh be offended? Because yoga by its very nature must accept the existence of a God unlike Yahweh, which Yahweh finds intolerable.

  8. #8
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    I'll see if I can add it, but if you didn't care, I don't see why you'd want to vote or post on it at all.
    Lol, no it's not like that. It just seems that the poll is almost a false dilemma. I don't think that ALL Christians SHOULD practice Yoga. I also don't think ALL Christians shouldn't be allowed to practice Yoga. And the option "It depends" implies that it depends on their circumstances, which I think that whatever their circumstances they should be allowed to practice yoga. It's like I don't necessarily think that all kids SHOULD eat ice cream, but I don't think that they SHOULDN'T either. And "It depends" just doesn't sound quite right....



    I'm annoyed because they copy Hindu practices like monkeys (all the while denouncing Hinduism as primitive superstition, devil worship, witchcraft, and denying its philosophical, spiritual, artistic, literary, scientific, and other achievements) and then act like there's nothing wrong with it, and even deny that yoga is Hindu. As I said, yoga is not a Christian's plaything to be modified and dabbled in like Play-Doh. It is an inherently spiritual practice that is part of the Hindu tradition. Period. That Christians reduce it to a mere exercise is a distortion and a denial of what yoga is. It's dishonesty, and its shameless theft.
    Ok I can understand that. But do you know all Christians do this? In other words, some Christians might be denying that yoga is traditionally Hindu, but there are also some Christians who are corrupt in other ways (like Westboro Baptist Church) which isn't a good reason to dismiss it entirely.


    People who use meditation or yoga to reach Yahweh are deluded. Yahweh cannot be reached through meditation or yoga. He's not that kind of God, Christians make that very clear. Why would Yahweh be offended? Because yoga by its very nature must accept the existence of a God unlike Yahweh, which Yahweh finds intolerable.
    Could you support with some scripture that Yahweh would be opposed to the idea?
    Udabindu yathāpi pokkhare
    Padume vāri yathā na lippati,
    Evaṃ muni no palippati
    Yadidaṃ diṭṭhasutaṃ mutesu vā.

  9. #9

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Turning it into an exercise, is not offensive to God. Making it a spiritual exercise, would be.
    The very fact that it needs modification indicates that there are spiritual consequences for failing to do so. As such, your assertion that I am wrong in asserting that there are spiritual consequences for doing yoga is in and of itself incorrect.

    You mean "in the way that non-Hindus have done". This isn't necessarily a Christian thing. Well, unless of course you wish to give all other groups a pass who practice Yoga purely as a non-religious, physical exercise activity.
    The thread is about whether it is appropriate for Christians to practice yoga. Though non-Christians have bastardized yoga, we're not talking about them at the moment.

    What is the lie specifically? That Christians want the health benefits while rejecting the spiritual rituals and beliefs? That's not a lie, that's a modification to the physical act.
    The spiritual aspect of yoga cannot be rejected. EVERYTHING in yoga is spiritual, including that which Christians think is not. In saying that it can, and in attempting to do so, Christians are lying. Christians also say that yoga is some kind of universal spiritual practice that is not Hindu in origin. This too, is lying.

    Well, any type of spiritual belief/tradition that is counter to Christianity would be the compulsion to modify the practice.
    The existence of spiritual beliefs/traditions that are counter to Christianity do not compel Christians to modify them. There is nothing forcing Christians to meddle with everything they disagree with.

    You mean, if a non-Hindu wants to go through the physical routines of Yoga, one must convert to Hindusim?
    Yoga cannot be properly practiced without understanding its ultimate goal. And its ultimate goal is a Hindu theological concept.

    It isn't merely renaming, it is not practicing or engaging or believing in any of the spiritual beliefs or tradition that Hindus engage in.
    That is impossible. What Christians have created is watered down, meaningless nonsense whose elements have been stolen from Hinduism, and whose spiritual significance is ignored. That Christians feel it is perfectly okay to steal in this manner is evidence of a distorted, bigoted Christian worldview.

    You mean "non-Hindus". It's well understood by this community that you absolutely hate Christians and Muslims, with a fierce, hostile and malevolent passion. But to suggest that this is purely a Christian thing is a gross misunderstanding of reality.
    On the contrary. I have repeatedly said that I have nothing against Christians and Muslims as people. However, I find the Christian and Islamic religions to have objectionable content, like justification for the wanton slaughter of innocents, gross injustice, bigotry, and other objectionable practices. Simply voicing that this is so is neither fierce, hostile hatred nor malevolent passion. Indeed, people have been criticizing Christianity and Islam for centuries based on these humanitarian concerns. Christians and Muslims need to understand that beyond their own community, there exists a world that actually examines Christianity and Islam from a skeptical viewpoint and repeatedly finds the two religions wanting in just about every category. Don't blame me for pointing out the human rights abuses that abound in Christian and Islamic scripture; I didn't put it there. Christianity and Islam are certainly not flawless and free from anything that can be construed as a fault. Indeed, I don't think that there is any ideology or belief system (including Hinduism) that is free from something that someone somewhere can criticize.

    Your argument is against all non-Hindus who would use it to seek better health and reject the spiritual claims and traditions.
    In general, yes. But not in this thread.

    It isn't about Christianity. It is about removing Hindusim from the physical exercise.
    It is indeed about Christianity, because Christianity is the motivation that causes the attempted removal of Hinduism from yoga.

    You mean what the non-Hindu is doing. All because they want the health benefit. I was unaware that Hindu's had a monopoly on physical exercise.
    I never said that Hindus did.

    You mean the entire world needs to understand that the world centers around Hinduism. It isn't just Christians doing it.
    I never said that the world centered around Hinduism.

  10. #10
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Yoga and meditation are, first and foremost, Hindu practices.
    Meditation is not an exclusively Hindu practice. The Bible itself says that Christians should spend time meditating on it and on God.

    The spiritual beliefs associated with yoga are Hindu and should be rejected by Christians. But how can Hindus claim ownership of the exercises themselves? God created our bodies and any exercises that can improve their health belong to God and can be used by anybody.

    People who use meditation or yoga to reach Yahweh are deluded. Yahweh cannot be reached through meditation or yoga. He's not that kind of God, Christians make that very clear. Why would Yahweh be offended? Because yoga by its very nature must accept the existence of a God unlike Yahweh, which Yahweh finds intolerable.
    I agree with this completely. Jesus is the only mediator between us and Yahweh. But I don't see anything wrong with using any exercises that can improve the health of our bodies, even if some other religion uses these exercises for its own purposes.

  11. #11
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by KHAN
    That is impossible. What Christians have created is watered down, meaningless nonsense whose elements have been stolen from Hinduism, and whose spiritual significance is ignored. That Christians feel it is perfectly okay to steal in this manner is evidence of a distorted, bigoted Christian worldview.
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support that body postions or movements can be owned, such that using them without permission is THEFT.

    If you can not, then you must withdrawn your accusation of stealing.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  12. #12
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    I, personally, think it is a shame and a statement of the sad state of spiritual awareness of the world that ANYONE would consider doing yoga without a spiritual association to it.

    First, I'd just like to make a distinction here. There is Yoga, which is the discipline that encompasses mind/body/soul that is rooted in Hinduism. It is much more than a series of movements to improve health. This is the totality of the movements that is inseparable from a spiritual practice. Then there is yoga (with a little "y"), which is just the movements of yoga that anyone can do.

    I think, as long as the distinction is made as to which type of yoga one is doing, then Christians should be permitted to practice it. Personally, I think anyone should be able to have a Yoga practice regardless of religion, as it is NOT a religious practice, but rather a spiritual practice. But I get why it would be opposed by Christians, because the philosophy of Yoga is not rooted in anything Christianity...at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatKhan
    Yoga is not some "universal practice" that just anyone can do, without any spiritual association. This is a barefaced LIE. Yoga cannot be divorced from its Hindu roots and retain any meaning because the entire existence of the discipline is to achieve spiritual goals that are unique to the Dharmic tradition.
    While I agree that Yoga is rooted in Hinduism, I disagree that it is meant for only Hindus.

    My reasoning for this is "spontaneous yoga," which is an energy-induced flow (usually linked to kundalini rising) that moves the body into postures as opposed to the person initiating the movement. Spontaneous yoga is documented and is commonly included in the description of kriyas during the kundalini awakening process.

    NO, I am not here to debate the existence of chi or debate what "kundalini" is or whether it is real. I only bring this here to refute that Yoga is a "Hindu only" practice, because if it was, spontaneous yoga would be an impossibility.

    It is my belief that Yoga is in our DNA as much as any other genetic thing. Everyone already knows Yoga, they just don't know they know it. I know this is irrelevant to the debate, but it's my position.

    One who truly understands Yoga knows that it is a path to spiritual awareness and also understands that yoga/Yoga are not interchangeable. To claim it exclusively for one religion is well...anti-spiritual.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  13. #13
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    The very fact that it needs modification indicates that there are spiritual consequences for failing to do so. As such, your assertion that I am wrong in asserting that there are spiritual consequences for doing yoga is in and of itself incorrect.
    Yes, Christians practicing Yoga the way Hindus do, would be offensive. That's why they change it. You made an argument that changing it would be offensive to God. That's not true and you have failed to support it. So...

    Challenge to support a claim.
    You are challenged to support that Christians exercising without meditating about false religions (which is what Christianity views any religion other than its own), is offensive to God.

    The thread is about whether it is appropriate for Christians to practice yoga. Though non-Christians have bastardized yoga, we're not talking about them at the moment.
    Very well. So let's get the argument out in the open here.

    10 people do X.
    Of the 10 people, 1 who does X is singled out and is blamed for all the wrong doing of doing X and as such, this 1 person, by doing X, believes that the world revolves around him (even though he's just doing what 9 other people are doing).

    That...just is not a reasonable position Kahn. Like I said, it's well known how spiteful and hateful you are to religions you do not understand and who do not agree with you, but it is patently absurd to suggest that 1 group is to blame for all of Hindu's woes (like non-Hindus exercising).

    The spiritual aspect of yoga cannot be rejected. EVERYTHING in yoga is spiritual, including that which Christians think is not. In saying that it can, and in attempting to do so, Christians are lying.
    What specifically is this lie?

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support that ALL non-Hindus (since non-Christians do the same) are lying by exercising using movements similar or the same as yoga.

    Christians also say that yoga is some kind of universal spiritual practice that is not Hindu in origin. This too, is lying.
    1) Only Christians say this?
    2) Who is this Christian or Christians?
    3) Support that who is spreading these vicious, horrible rumors, speak for all of Christendom.

    The existence of spiritual beliefs/traditions that are counter to Christianity do not compel Christians to modify them. There is nothing forcing Christians to meddle with everything they disagree with.
    If a Christian wants to exercise using the physical movements of yoga, then yes, a Christian is compelled to remove the spiritual references thereof.

    Furthermore, you mean non-Hindus since what Christians do is no different than anyone else practicing yoga who isn't Hindu.


    Yoga cannot be properly practiced without understanding its ultimate goal. And its ultimate goal is a Hindu theological concept.
    Sure it can. It's great exercise.

    And it's successfully practiced in thousands of gyms across this country.

    That is impossible. What Christians have created is watered down, meaningless nonsense whose elements have been stolen from Hinduism, and whose spiritual significance is ignored. That Christians feel it is perfectly okay to steal in this manner is evidence of a distorted, bigoted Christian worldview.
    It's not impossible. I've seen it. I've done it. I have a Wii. I know personal trainers who teach it in their gyms and studios. They don't introduce any spiritual mumbo-jumbo (Hindu, Christian, Muslim, New-Age, etc...) into their workouts. It's great physical exercise. And it does exist whether a Hindu believes it exists or not.

    On the contrary. I have repeatedly said that I have nothing against Christians and Muslims as people.
    Oh please. That's like a racist saying "I have plenty of negro friends." We all know your views on those who disagree with your religion Kahn. At least be honest about it. It's ok, this is quite a diverse community, we get all sorts. We even have an extremist Marxist in our midst. It's fine. Let's just not pretend about something that simply isn't.

    In general, yes. But not in this thread.
    Sure it is. Since this is not a Christian issue, it's a non-Hindu issue. Christians are merely doing what all non-Hindu's do. You have said yourself that you take offense that someone not taking in Hindu's spiritual understanding and practices during Yoga. That includes ALL NON-HINDU's.

    To target only Christians is just more exposure of the extreme hate, prejudice and hostility shown only to one group. It's saying "Everyone but Christians can deface my religion." It's nonsense.

    It is indeed about Christianity, because Christianity is the motivation that causes the attempted removal of Hinduism from yoga.
    No, all non-Hindus do the same thing.

    I never said that Hindus did.
    But that's the extension of your argument (which is completely unsound btw).

    I never said that the world centered around Hinduism.
    That's the extension of your argument. Using the same illogical reasoning to blame Christianity for what everyone else does...we can argue that Hindus think that the world revolves around them.

    Some non-Hindus practice yoga for the physical benefits only.
    Christians are some of the non-Hindus who do this.
    Therefore, all Christians think the world revolves around them.
    That is your argument. It's absurd.

    Using the same fallacious reasoning...

    Hindus don't want anyone to use Yoga who isn't a Hindu.
    Those who do so are wrong to seek physical benefits through yoga.
    Therefore, all Hindus think the world revolves around them.

    Another absurd argument...but one that you must accept considering that it's the same reasoning employed.

    It's a completely unreasonable, invalid and untrue argument. Yet, one you insist on employing.
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Muslims religiously wash before prayer, with the intention of purifying themselves before entering communication with Allah. This includes washing the hands, face, neck, and feet. I suppose, by your logic, they "own" the practice of hygiene, and all non-Muslims should stop washing themselves immediately.
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Yes, Christians practicing Yoga the way Hindus do, would be offensive. That's why they change it. You made an argument that changing it would be offensive to God. That's not true and you have failed to support it. So...

    Challenge to support a claim.
    You are challenged to support that Christians exercising without meditating about false religions (which is what Christianity views any religion other than its own), is offensive to God.
    It is impossible to do yoga without focusing on the false religion of Hinduism. Everything about yoga is Hindu, even the parts that Christians think is not, like the breathing or the stretching or the chanting.

    10 people do X.
    Of the 10 people, 1 who does X is singled out and is blamed for all the wrong doing of doing X and as such, this 1 person, by doing X, believes that the world revolves around him (even though he's just doing what 9 other people are doing).
    Yes. Non-Hindus who do yoga (like atheists) ALSO believe that they can just steal yoga and bastardize it. They think that the world revolves around them as well, and that they corrupt other people's spiritual practices because they want to. Atheists are just as bad as Christians in this regard, Apok, just like Muslims and Jews who practice yoga as if its some kind of free for all that anyone can just dive into and make their own version of yoga to sell to the masses. The reason I keep saying "Christians" instead of "non-Hindus" is because I'm not concerned about Muslims, Jews, or atheists. I'm concerned with Christians specifically.

    That...just is not a reasonable position Kahn. Like I said, it's well known how spiteful and hateful you are to religions you do not understand and who do not agree with you, but it is patently absurd to suggest that 1 group is to blame for all of Hindu's woes (like non-Hindus exercising).
    I never said that Christians are responsible for all of the woes Hindus suffer.

    What specifically is this lie?

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support that ALL non-Hindus (since non-Christians do the same) are lying by exercising using movements similar or the same as yoga.
    They are denying its Hindu roots and Hindu spiritual connection. They insist that there is no connection between yoga and Hinduism at all:

    Quote Originally Posted by American Yoga Association
    No one knows exactly when Yoga began, but it certainly predates written history. Stone carvings depicting figures in Yoga positions have been found in archeological sites in the Indus Valley dating back 5,000 years or more. There is a common misconception that Yoga is rooted in Hinduism; on the contrary, Hinduism’s religious structures evolved much later and incorporated some of the practices of Yoga. (Other religions throughout the world have also incorporated practices and ideas related to Yoga.)
    This is a lie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian yoga practitioner and author Brooke Boone
    "Christ is my guru. Yoga is a spiritual discipline much like prayer, meditation and fasting. No one religion can claim ownership."
    This too is a lie.

    1) Only Christians say this?
    2) Who is this Christian or Christians?
    3) Support that who is spreading these vicious, horrible rumors, speak for all of Christendom.
    I never said that they did. Recall that I have cited Christians who agree with me and insist that Christians should avoid yoga; so I know that these Christians are not representatives of the entire Christian faithful.

    If a Christian wants to exercise using the physical movements of yoga, then yes, a Christian is compelled to remove the spiritual references thereof.
    You misunderstand. You're talking about compulsion AFTER the Christian decides to do yoga. I'm talking about the fact that there is nothing compelling Christians to exercise using yoga AT ALL. They specifically choose yoga because they want to. If they would like to, then they should show the practice the proper respect, and do it as it was meant to be done. If they don't want to do it they way it is supposed to be done, then they shouldn't do it. Sodomizing it as Christians currently do is hurtful and arrogant.

    Furthermore, you mean non-Hindus since what Christians do is no different than anyone else practicing yoga who isn't Hindu.
    Yes. But not here, and not now. Now I want to talk about Christians. Not atheists, not Jews, not Muslims. Christians.

    Sure it can. It's great exercise.

    And it's successfully practiced in thousands of gyms across this country.

    It's not impossible. I've seen it. I've done it. I have a Wii. I know personal trainers who teach it in their gyms and studios. They don't introduce any spiritual mumbo-jumbo (Hindu, Christian, Muslim, New-Age, etc...) into their workouts. It's great physical exercise. And it does exist whether a Hindu believes it exists or not.
    You misunderstand. Allow me to invoke traditional yoga practitioner Prashant Iygengar:

    Quote Originally Posted by Iyengar
    There is no physical yoga and spiritual yoga. If it is exclusively physical, it won’t be yoga. Yoga is dealing with the entirety; it is a union.
    What Christians are doing is attempting to delink the spiritual side of yoga. Except it cannot be delinked and retain any semblance of anything yogic. What Christians have is an empty shell that they call "yoga" and that too, deny that this dead carcass was once a living part of the Hindu tradition.

    Oh please. That's like a racist saying "I have plenty of negro friends." We all know your views on those who disagree with your religion Kahn. At least be honest about it. It's ok, this is quite a diverse community, we get all sorts. We even have an extremist Marxist in our midst. It's fine. Let's just not pretend about something that simply isn't.
    I actually do have Muslims and Christian friends. I have nothing against Christian and Muslims as people. What I have a problem with is their exclusivistic, divisive, and arrogant belief systems. Recall that the people of Europe and the Islamic world were once very pagan and proud of it. It was when they accepted Christianity and Islam that the problems began, and the world was rent asunder.

    Sure it is. Since this is not a Christian issue, it's a non-Hindu issue. Christians are merely doing what all non-Hindu's do. You have said yourself that you take offense that someone not taking in Hindu's spiritual understanding and practices during Yoga. That includes ALL NON-HINDU's.

    To target only Christians is just more exposure of the extreme hate, prejudice and hostility shown only to one group. It's saying "Everyone but Christians can deface my religion." It's nonsense.
    How is targeting Christians alone exposing them to hate, prejudice, and hostility? I'm telling Christians to do yoga properly. Is that hateful? I'm asking them to give credit to the Hindu tradition where credit is due? Is that hateful? I'm asking Christians to show yoga some genuine respect, since they seem so eager to practice it. Is that hateful? Merely branding everything I say as hateful is ludicrous.

    I'm not excluding non-Christians to single out Christians. I'm excluding Muslims and Jews because there are no active Muslims and Jews here that I know of. I'm excluding atheists because there is no theological compulsion for them to give up yoga, like there is with Christians. Further, Christians, unlike atheists, have their own perverse practices like "Scripture Yoga" which only adds to the absurdity of the whole situation.

    No, all non-Hindus do the same thing.
    Yes, yes we get it. But I don't care about them at the moment. I want to talk about Christians. I acknowledge what non-Christian yoga practitioners are doing, but I want to focus on Christians here. What's wrong with that?

    But that's the extension of your argument (which is completely unsound btw).


    That's the extension of your argument. Using the same illogical reasoning to blame Christianity for what everyone else does...we can argue that Hindus think that the world revolves around them.

    Some non-Hindus practice yoga for the physical benefits only.
    Christians are some of the non-Hindus who do this.
    Therefore, all Christians think the world revolves around them.

    That is your argument. It's absurd.

    Using the same fallacious reasoning...

    Hindus don't want anyone to use Yoga who isn't a Hindu.
    Those who do so are wrong to seek physical benefits through yoga.
    Therefore, all Hindus think the world revolves around them.

    Another absurd argument...but one that you must accept considering that it's the same reasoning employed.

    It's a completely unreasonable, invalid and untrue argument. Yet, one you insist on employing.
    In the former, the reason I said Christians who steal yoga think the world revolves around them is because they feel that they can steal and corrupt whatever they want. In your own version of the argument involving Hindus, the Hindus are defending yoga from corruption. It is not selfish or arrogant to protest against appropriation of one's culture, so your version of the argument does not apply.

    ---------- Post added at 10:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    Lol, no it's not like that. It just seems that the poll is almost a false dilemma. I don't think that ALL Christians SHOULD practice Yoga. I also don't think ALL Christians shouldn't be allowed to practice Yoga. And the option "It depends" implies that it depends on their circumstances, which I think that whatever their circumstances they should be allowed to practice yoga. It's like I don't necessarily think that all kids SHOULD eat ice cream, but I don't think that they SHOULDN'T either. And "It depends" just doesn't sound quite right....
    I'll see if I can change the poll, then if it means so much to you.

    Ok I can understand that. But do you know all Christians do this? In other words, some Christians might be denying that yoga is traditionally Hindu, but there are also some Christians who are corrupt in other ways (like Westboro Baptist Church) which isn't a good reason to dismiss it entirely.
    I don't care about Christian corruption in general. I'm talking about Christians stealing yoga, because it is a form of corruption that relates to Hindus in general, and Hindus in the U.S. (like me) in particular. I never said that all Christians steal yoga, only that those who practice end up stealing and bastardizing it, and I find that abhorrent.

    Could you support with some scripture that Yahweh would be opposed to the idea?
    Yoga involves reliance upon of false gods, reliance upon false scripture, and the recognition of false spiritual goals, for starters. Given that Yahweh has a zero tolerance policy regarding false gods, he'd no doubt object to scripture and religious practice relating to them.

    ---------- Post added at 10:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    Meditation is not an exclusively Hindu practice. The Bible itself says that Christians should spend time meditating on it and on God.
    Christian meditation is crude, simplistic, and rudimentary. By meditation I mean meditation the way Hindus (and the adherents of the daughter traditions, like Buddhism, Jainism, etc) do it, which is totally different. I have no problem with Christians practicing Christian meditation ASSUMING that it is the meditation prescribed by Christianity. I have a problem with Christians practicing what is clearly Hindu meditation, as is done in yoga studios nowadays, and thinking that what they have done is a commendable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by theo
    The spiritual beliefs associated with yoga are Hindu and should be rejected by Christians. But how can Hindus claim ownership of the exercises themselves? God created our bodies and any exercises that can improve their health belong to God and can be used by anybody.

    I agree with this completely. Jesus is the only mediator between us and Yahweh. But I don't see anything wrong with using any exercises that can improve the health of our bodies, even if some other religion uses these exercises for its own purposes.
    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Support that body postions or movements can be owned, such that using them without permission is THEFT.

    If you can not, then you must withdrawn your accusation of stealing.
    Guys, I'm not talking about "theft" and "ownership" in the sense of intellectual property rights. The problem is that the Christians in question did not just randomly come up with an exercise system similar to Hindu yoga. The took what they do directly from Hinduism without acknowledging that they did so, and even flat out deny it. They stripped yoga of its identity and sodomized it by turning into a shallow, commercial enterprise. Taking advantage of a lofty spiritual practice in such a manner is demeaning and degrading. It's like making Einstein mop floors instead of teach physics, or using King Arthur's Excalibur to chop vegetables.

    ---------- Post added at 11:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:52 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady View Post
    I, personally, think it is a shame and a statement of the sad state of spiritual awareness of the world that ANYONE would consider doing yoga without a spiritual association to it.
    Here is where I agree with you.

    First, I'd just like to make a distinction here. There is Yoga, which is the discipline that encompasses mind/body/soul that is rooted in Hinduism. It is much more than a series of movements to improve health. This is the totality of the movements that is inseparable from a spiritual practice. Then there is yoga (with a little "y"), which is just the movements of yoga that anyone can do.
    And here, you go off the deep end. Yoga with a little "y" is the bastard child of Yoga, which is the legitimate practice. This bastard child SHOULD NOT EXIST. It is a result of Christian Arrogance (TM) and their willingness to engage in spiritual plagiarism.

    I think, as long as the distinction is made as to which type of yoga one is doing, then Christians should be permitted to practice it. Personally, I think anyone should be able to have a Yoga practice regardless of religion, as it is NOT a religious practice, but rather a spiritual practice. But I get why it would be opposed by Christians, because the philosophy of Yoga is not rooted in anything Christianity...at all.



    While I agree that Yoga is rooted in Hinduism, I disagree that it is meant for only Hindus.

    My reasoning for this is "spontaneous yoga," which is an energy-induced flow (usually linked to kundalini rising) that moves the body into postures as opposed to the person initiating the movement. Spontaneous yoga is documented and is commonly included in the description of kriyas during the kundalini awakening process.
    Your usage of kundalini negates your sadly naive idea that yoga is for non-Hindus too. Christians condemn kundalini with particular venom. Even Rabi Maharaj, a Hindu convert to Christianity speaks of it with fear and thinly veiled disgust. When Christians seem to despise kundalini yoga with such vehemence, it is clearly NOT FOR THEM. As such, their appropriation of yoga is an attempt to have their cake and eat it too, which is hypocritical and wrong.

    NO, I am not here to debate the existence of chi or debate what "kundalini" is or whether it is real. I only bring this here to refute that Yoga is a "Hindu only" practice, because if it was, spontaneous yoga would be an impossibility.

    It is my belief that Yoga is in our DNA as much as any other genetic thing. Everyone already knows Yoga, they just don't know they know it. I know this is irrelevant to the debate, but it's my position.
    If yoga was in our DNA, then non-Hindus would be naturally drawn toward it, never having heard of it. This is not true.

    One who truly understands Yoga knows that it is a path to spiritual awareness and also understands that yoga/Yoga are not interchangeable. To claim it exclusively for one religion is well...anti-spiritual.
    Incorrect. It is an acknowledgment of the genius of Patanjali, Swami Svatmarama, B.S. Iyengar, and other yoga trailblazers who understand, respect, and treasure yoga's spirituality. It is a repudiation of "Christian Yoga" which is a black sheep, a freak of nature, an ugly perversion of the glorious vision of ancient sages of India, to which the Hindus are heirs and protectors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
    Muslims religiously wash before prayer, with the intention of purifying themselves before entering communication with Allah. This includes washing the hands, face, neck, and feet. I suppose, by your logic, they "own" the practice of hygiene, and all non-Muslims should stop washing themselves immediately.
    Non-Muslims developed the practice of washing independently of Muslims. Non-Muslim washing is thus not a perverted form of wudu, the Islamic practice of ablution before prayer. Non-Muslims do not claim to be doing wudu. Normal washing and wudu are thus two completely separate practices that happen to seem the same. As noted previously, Christians did not develop "Christian Yoga" on their own. They stole true yoga and sodomized it, resulting in silliness like "Christian Yoga." Christians who do yoga think what they are doing is actually genuine yoga, quite unlike non-Muslims who suffer no such delusions of grandeur regarding washing themselves.

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    I'll see if I can change the poll, then if it means so much to you.
    Nevermind, it doesn't mean that much.


    I don't care about Christian corruption in general. I'm talking about Christians stealing yoga, because it is a form of corruption that relates to Hindus in general, and Hindus in the U.S. (like me) in particular. I never said that all Christians steal yoga, only that those who practice end up stealing and bastardizing it, and I find that abhorrent.
    But if they change it, is it stealing?


    Yoga involves reliance upon of false gods, reliance upon false scripture, and the recognition of false spiritual goals, for starters. Given that Yahweh has a zero tolerance policy regarding false gods, he'd no doubt object to scripture and religious practice relating to them.
    Maybe traditional Yoga, but if they change it then it doesn't have to rely on those false things.
    Is your anger over the fact that they changed it but still call it Yoga?
    IMO that's a pretty silly reason.
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    Nevermind, it doesn't mean that much.



    But if they change it, is it stealing?
    They didn't just change it. They stole it, and then changed it to make it look like it wasn't stolen.

    Maybe traditional Yoga, but if they change it then it doesn't have to rely on those false things.
    Is your anger over the fact that they changed it but still call it Yoga?
    IMO that's a pretty silly reason.
    It is impossible for yoga not to rely on those. The breathing exercises, the postures, etc all come from there, you see. Christians have not changed yoga to the extent that you seem to think that they have. Christians simply pretend that their yoga does not depend on its Hindu roots, and that dishonesty rankles.

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    They didn't just change it. They stole it, and then changed it to make it look like it wasn't stolen.
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support or retract that Christians stole it first then after stealing they changed it.

    It is impossible for yoga not to rely on those. The breathing exercises, the postures, etc all come from there, you see.
    They may come from that but they don't have to rely on that.
    Christians have not changed yoga to the extent that you seem to think that they have. Christians simply pretend that their yoga does not depend on its Hindu roots, and that dishonesty rankles.
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Udabindu yathāpi pokkhare
    Padume vāri yathā na lippati,
    Evaṃ muni no palippati
    Yadidaṃ diṭṭhasutaṃ mutesu vā.

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Wait...so "yoga" was created by Christians and when doing so, Christian spiritual tenets were included?

    So it is not the case that Joe Schmoe who manages the neighborhood gym, decides that there is a market for a yoga class, develops a class, hires trainers, markets, then conducts yoga classes as physical exercise?

    That doesn't happen?

    And if a Christian happens to be taking the class...that Christian better sure as hell stop going. But an atheist in the same class...no problem sir...go right ahead. Ah, there's Mrs. Muslim...she's allowed to take the class. There's a Jew...that's fine, go right ahead.

    But at the door of the facilities...there should be a sign hanging that says in the classroom "No Christians allowed", all other belief systems welcome?

    Surely...you can see how ridiculous of an argument you are making here Khan.
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support or retract that Christians stole it first then after stealing they changed it.
    Groups like the American Yoga Society freely admit that their techniques came from texts like the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and others. Yet they insist that there's nothing Hindu about yoga. So they stole it (used the texts without giving credit), lied about stealing it (denied yoga's Hindu roots,) and changed it (renaming postures, mantras, etc).

    Indeed, it's kind of an obvious thing. Yoga is a discipline of spiritual genius that the West cannot comprehend even today, let alone independently discover, categorize, and popularize.

    They may come from that but they don't have to rely on that.

    Challenge to support a claim.
    They must. Without postures, breathing, etc. Hatha yoga (the only limb of yoga the West cares about) cannot be done. It's like removing the wheels and engine from a car.

 

 
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