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Poll: Should Christians Practice Yoga?

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  1. #41
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Well, that depends. I mean, you make screwdrivers to help people build stuff, and that's exactly what the guy was doing. However, I'd understand if you got angry because your screwdriver is a luxury screwdriver that shouldn't be used for mundane purposes like removing nails. However, wouldn't you get mad if they were using your screwdriver as part of a weird sexual fetish?
    Hell no! A sordid story like that would generate MAD press and probably sell a crap ton of screwdrivers.

    But, what is the harm of "perverting" a religious practice by adapting it into another one? Consider this - the more people study and practice yoga, the more people that will become acquainted with the spiritual aspect of it. I mean, if the spiritual aspect is inherent in "true" yoga, why should that benefit be barred from use by others, simply because they don't believe as you? Further, isn't it possible that some would be drawn more closely toward the yogic tradition and perhaps seek the "true" meaning behind it?

    It sounds like nothing more than sour grapes, perhaps wild fear of being marginalized. To that, I say "Boo. Hoo."
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  2. #42

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    There's nothing that Sikhs, Buddhists, or Jains do in yoga that Hindus would object to? Really?

    1.) If you mean "The purpose of yoga is to help obtain moksha/nirvana", then sure. But in doing so you'd basically be saying nothing, because moksha/nirvana/liberation means entirely different things between these groups. Buddhists reject the purpose of gods in yogic and meditative practices or, more strongly, in nirvana itself; Hindus view this, in general, as an essential point of yoga (Or at least in bhakti yoga). Is it okay for Buddhists to reject this type of yoga? Is it okay for their practice of yoga to not have any theistic relationship to it? The Jains are likewise; in Buddhism the notion of a god is somewhat ill-defined, but Jains are positively atheist. Their version of moksha is closer to Hindus than Buddhist's nirvana, but the meaning of attaining liberation is still entirely different.
    Atheism is fine. Patanjali himself did not specifically say that yoga was solely for union with God. Patanjali instead speaks of kaivalya, or separation. From a Hindu perspective, it is this separation from bondage that is union with God. From a Buddhist and Jain perspective, it is the separation from bondage that is nirvana. Patanjali implies that both theists and atheists can benefit from yoga.

    2.) And so I would have to say, Khan, if we're redefining the "purpose" of yoga as broad enough to fit Buddhism or Jainism or Sikhism especially, we're easily allowing Sufi Muslims, gnostic Christians, or practitioners of Baha'i faith to fit into this category --and from there it's just gradation. There was a gnostic Christian sect known as Manichaeism, which (similar to Islam and Sikhism) venerated many Prophets of the one God. One of these Prophets was Buddha, and I'm guessing that they practiced forms of yoga. If their goal, let's say, was to practice yoga similar to Buddhism but in the name of a god (so now it's at least theistic), would you support Manichaeists, an Abrahamic religion, practicing yoga? Here they wouldn't have to fit it into their religion or worship of Yahweh, it would fall out more or less naturally.
    The reason yoga is acceptable for Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs to practice is because their theology has room for it, having openly and unashamedly derived it organically from Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism evolved in a yogic environment. Yoga is natural for them. Manichaeism is an interesting case. I don't know enough about it to say for sure. However, the deciding factor would be Manichaeism's specific theological scope. Is the Manichaeist goal something that can be achieved by yoga? Is there anything in Manichesim that specifically prohibits something yogic, like an idea of heresy or apostasy? These are questions that need to be answered.

    In contrast, significant Christian groups (like the Vatican) have said that yoga degenerates into a "cult of the body" and that mystical yogic experience CANNOT create love of God, which is apparently what Christianity is all about. Christianity DID NOT evolve in a yogic environment, and thus must clumsily graft yoga onto itself, unlike the Dharmic religions like Buddhism etc. where it fits naturally. Even more extreme Christians think yoga is about summoning demons and worshiping Satan. So there is a clear difference between what Dharmic religions see yoga as and what Abrahamic religions see yoga as. Manichaeism seems to fall somewhere in between. Recall that the whole point of my argument is that yoga should be practiced as the ancient sages prescribed. If Manicheists can do that, if they can fully embrace its Hindu roots, techniques, and goals proudly, I'm all for it.

    Khan, do you celebrate Christmas or Easter with any of your friends? I would be willing to wager that most Hindus in the United States do, because it is a secularized holiday. But certain Christians would argue that any non-Christian celebrating Easter or Christmas (in any fashion) is stealing from . If you were to "celebrate" Christmas in any form (e.g. buy your friend a gift), how seriously would you take these Christians claims that you were "bastardizing" their practice?
    I'd take it seriously. Recall that there are Christians who want to "put Christ back into Christmas" However, recall that Christians did appropriate the practice itself from paganism, without giving credit, which weakens the Christian claim considerably. If the Christians themselves have stolen and corrupted Christmas from its pagan roots, then my practicing of it is merely a continuation of a process that the Christians themselves have started.

    A better example would be a PURELY Christian practice.

    This is sort of like saying that Christianity "lifted" many practices of the Jews in the Middle-East. It's true, it's just not entirely meaningful or surprising at all, really. It's not like Muslims are trying to hide the fact that they're religiously connected to Christianity and Judaism.
    Ah, but Western Yoga DOES hide this face and DOES try to erase everything Hindu about yoga. This is a crucial difference.

    ---------- Post added at 08:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Hell no! A sordid story like that would generate MAD press and probably sell a crap ton of screwdrivers.
    But you sound like a master craftsman with genuine pride in your work. Do sales really matter to you that much? Consider Bill Watterson, creator of the famous Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Watterson loved what he did. He could have commercialized Calvin and Hobbes, and put them on t shirts, mugs, hats, made a TV show, movies, etc. He could have been rich, richer than Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield (who created a character specifically for marketing purposes, and whom Watterson has criticizer for precisely that). But Watterson didn't like that. He was proud of the fact that he drew every single Calvin and Hobbes strip himself (unlike Davis, who lets his staff do it, and signs off on the finished product). He used the strip to express his opinions of various subjects (unlike Davis, who relied on slapstick humor). Watterson considered comic strips an art form, and protested to being given too little space in comic strips to express himself. Eventually he gave up Calvin and Hobbes on creative grounds (unlike Davis, whose Garfield strip is still running.)

    That's the kind of protest that I am making about yoga.

    But, what is the harm of "perverting" a religious practice by adapting it into another one? Consider this - the more people study and practice yoga, the more people that will become acquainted with the spiritual aspect of it.
    But that's just it, Gonzo. They are denying and delinking yoga's spiritual roots in Hinduism. It's just a cool exercise, a tool for health nuts. So no, they will not become more acquainted with the spiritual side of it. If they could, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    I mean, if the spiritual aspect is inherent in "true" yoga, why should that benefit be barred from use by others, simply because they don't believe as you? Further, isn't it possible that some would be drawn more closely toward the yogic tradition and perhaps seek the "true" meaning behind it?
    Someone spiritually attuned would avoid commercialized, shallow yoga in the first place. People who do yoga these days are worried about the exact opposite: health benefits, and mental benefits. Not spiritual benefits.

    It sounds like nothing more than sour grapes, perhaps wild fear of being marginalized. To that, I say "Boo. Hoo."
    Hinduism does not deserve to be marginalized by people who want to sell yoga pants. It is too deep and profound a tradition to be sacrificed on the alter of commercialism.

    ---------- Post added at 08:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I didn't say that is why he is wrong. He specifically targeted me, despite it being the case that EVERYONE objects to his line of reasoning as I do. Just like he specifically targeted Christianity despite it being the case that all non-Hindus do the same thing.
    No, see everyone else actually understands my larger point. You obsess over my entirely innocent and pragmatic focus on Christians and use it to launch repetitive accusations that derail the thread.

  3. #43
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    But that's just it, Gonzo. They are denying and delinking yoga's spiritual roots in Hinduism. It's just a cool exercise, a tool for health nuts. So no, they will not become more acquainted with the spiritual side of it. If they could, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
    Ah. So we're back to the "they don't know the magic words" argument.

    Someone spiritually attuned would avoid commercialized, shallow yoga in the first place. People who do yoga these days are worried about the exact opposite: health benefits, and mental benefits. Not spiritual benefits.
    Health benefits and mental benefits aren't interlinked with spiritual benefits? Further, what, exactly, is a "spiritual benefit"? Can you quantify that statement?

    Hinduism does not deserve to be marginalized by people who want to sell yoga pants. It is too deep and profound a tradition to be sacrificed on the alter of commercialism.
    Christianity does not deserve to be barred the free and fair use of an (effective) exercise regime. Hinduism is not so deep and profound that it's above throwing itself on the alter of martyrdom, apparently.

    "They're not doing it right." So what. That's their loss, right? From your perspective, what are you so worried about? Pride? How does that fit in with your belief system. Are they making the practice look foolish in the eyes of the world, and thereby making you look foolish? And what do you care what the rest of the world thinks? Why should that be an issue for you?
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  4. #44
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Tough titties I say.

    Trying to lay spiritual claim to physical exercise is silly and pointless and misguided in my opinion.

    As a secularist I find all the superstitious mubo jumbo about spiritualism associated with physical exertion to be absurd nonsense. Yoga is too old and too diverse to claim any kind of exclusivity, same goes for various martial arts and such. Its been through too many hands to claim there is any one true way to do any of it.

    Be glad that your cultural heritage has found root in other cultures and that perhaps some of the inherent philosophy and ideas will rub off on others and influence their development. if there were many pagans left they should be delighted on how well their traditions penetrated Christianity, not on how badly they were bastardized by it. Staying true to your own beliefs is your own problem, not someone else's who wants to modify it to their own tastes.

    Dude, this is bad karma, learn to let go of that urge to control the world and seek only to control yourself.
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  5. #45

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Ah. So we're back to the "they don't know the magic words" argument.
    So? Yoga involves the use of "magic words" as you put it. That is how it is meant to be done. Period. Removing this from yoga is destructive and disrespectful.

    Health benefits and mental benefits aren't interlinked with spiritual benefits? Further, what, exactly, is a "spiritual benefit"? Can you quantify that statement?
    Oneness with God.

    Christianity does not deserve to be barred the free and fair use of an (effective) exercise regime. Hinduism is not so deep and profound that it's above throwing itself on the alter of martyrdom, apparently.
    What is being done to yoga is certainly unfair. Christianity deserves to be barred the use of a plagiarized, corrupted practice.

    "They're not doing it right." So what. That's their loss, right?
    Yes. But it is the loss of the Hindus as well. Hinduism does not get credit for yoga. Hinduism is associated with the typical "caste, cows, and curry" stereotypes, and theft like this merely further that. Yoga is being dishonored and dragged through the dirt. It would be like using a splinter of the True Cross as a toothpick. It's the user's loss that he fails to recognize the spiritual significance of the relic. But it's also Christianity's loss, as one of its most important relics is being disrespected.

    From your perspective, what are you so worried about? Pride? How does that fit in with your belief system. Are they making the practice look foolish in the eyes of the world, and thereby making you look foolish? And what do you care what the rest of the world thinks? Why should that be an issue for you?
    Because Hinduism deserves to be given credit where credit it due. That is justice.

    ---------- Post added at 08:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Tough titties I say.

    Trying to lay spiritual claim to physical exercise is silly and pointless and misguided in my opinion.

    As a secularist I find all the superstitious mubo jumbo about spiritualism associated with physical exertion to be absurd nonsense. Yoga is too old and too diverse to claim any kind of exclusivity, same goes for various martial arts and such. Its been through too many hands to claim there is any one true way to do any of it.
    Really? So common law isn't English? Gunpowder wasn't Chinese in origin? The Greeks were not the founders of Western democracy? All of these things passed through many hands, but we still recognize their roots. Everything comes from somewhere, Sig.

    Be glad that your cultural heritage has found root in other cultures and that perhaps some of the inherent philosophy and ideas will rub off on others and influence their development.
    It can't do that if they deny the inherent philosophy and ideas. Yet that's exactly what's happening.

    if there were many pagans left they should be delighted on how well their traditions penetrated Christianity, not on how badly they were bastardized by it.
    I'm pretty sure It'd be the opposite, Sig. Take the Julian Society, for instance. They lament the destruction of Roman paganism by Christianity. That's why neo-paganism exists at all. Pagans are not satisfied by how their traditions have penetrated Christianity. They want paganism back. And what is being done now is ensuring that Hinduism will go the same way.

  6. #46
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    So? Yoga involves the use of "magic words" as you put it. That is how it is meant to be done. Period. Removing this from yoga is destructive and disrespectful.
    So, without the proper magic words, one can't magically commune with god?

    Oneness with God.
    Any god, or a specific god?

    What is being done to yoga is certainly unfair.
    Oh.

    Em.

    Gee.

    You know what is totally unfair? Emily got the shoes that I was going to get for Prom! That whore! IhateherIhateherIhateher!!!

    Like others have said.... Get over it. This happens all the time. Why aren't you waging a verbal war against Islam for corrupting Christianity, or Christianity for corrupting pagan beliefs? What makes Hinduism special, in your eyes?

    Hinduism does not get credit for yoga.
    So, it is pride. I suspected as much.

    It would be like using a splinter of the True Cross as a toothpick. It's the user's loss that he fails to recognize the spiritual significance of the relic. But it's also Christianity's loss, as one of its most important relics is being disrespected.
    Do you place material value on relics and other magic items? What about my +5 Helm of Disintegration? Also, how would using my Vorpal Avenger of True Good as a razor to shave my face diminish it's value, spiritual or otherwise?

    Because Hinduism deserves to be given credit where credit it due. That is justice.
    It. Is. Pride.

    What does your religion say about pride?
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  7. #47
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Really? So common law isn't English? Gunpowder wasn't Chinese in origin? The Greeks were not the founders of Western democracy? All of these things passed through many hands, but we still recognize their roots. Everything comes from somewhere, Sig.
    Roots and exclusive ownership are very different. Yoga will always be hindu in origin, but that does not mean only hindu's should practice yoga.

    It can't do that if they deny the inherent philosophy and ideas. Yet that's exactly what's happening.
    You sell your own world view short. If it has value, if it has truth, it will find its way. If not all the BS will get stripped away and what remains will be the heart of what yoga really is. You may just not want to face what part of it is true, and what part is window dressing. The truth will out.

    I'm pretty sure It'd be the opposite, Sig. Take the Julian Society, for instance. They lament the destruction of Roman paganism by Christianity. That's why neo-paganism exists at all. Pagans are not satisfied by how their traditions have penetrated Christianity. They want paganism back. And what is being done now is ensuring that Hinduism will go the same way.
    That is because they lack real perspective and folks that insist on a kind of cultural purity almost always loose out in the end. They whither and die. Change is how mankind survives and thrives. The sacred is often the enemy of both truth and progress in my opinion.
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  8. #48

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    So, without the proper magic words, one can't magically commune with god?
    Nope.

    Any god, or a specific god?
    A specific God.

    Oh.

    Em.

    Gee.

    You know what is totally unfair? Emily got the shoes that I was going to get for Prom! That whore! IhateherIhateherIhateher!!!

    Like others have said.... Get over it. This happens all the time. Why aren't you waging a verbal war against Islam for corrupting Christianity, or Christianity for corrupting pagan beliefs? What makes Hinduism special, in your eyes?
    You know, I would, but I don't have time for this as it is.

    So, it is pride. I suspected as much.
    How is giving credit where credit is due arrogance? It is not arrogant to demand respect and courtesy from other people. That's really all I'm after here.

    Do you place material value on relics and other magic items? What about my +5 Helm of Disintegration?
    Not Christian ones. But I would still take Christian views into consideration, and not tamper with their relic by using it to pick my teeth and then deny it was ever theirs. Would it be prideful for Christians to insist that what I did was disrespectful? Would it be prideful for Christians to defend their relics from people like me who want to use the Shroud of Turin as toilet paper? Seriously? It's called love, Gonzo. Christians love their culture. Hindus love their culture. It is not arrogant to fight for cultural respect.

    It. Is. Pride.

    What does your religion say about pride?
    I see. Was it pride that prompted the Native Americans to fight against the European colonizers? Was it pride that prompted the Chinese to fight in the Boxer Rebellion? Was it pride that motivated people like Nelson Mandela and MLK to fight for black equality. It is not arrogant to demand respect for one's culture and one's heritage, Gonzo. Using your perverse logic, everyone should take every insult lying down, and allow anyone to do anything to everything they treasure, because having a spine and guts is prideful. It's an absurd idea.

  9. #49
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    A specific God.
    So, a specific god has all rights reserved for this particular pathway for magical communication, and others attempting to use this special telephone will reach the wrong number. Is your god angry he's being called at all hours of the night by non-Hindus?

    How is giving credit where credit is due arrogance? It is not arrogant to demand respect and courtesy from other people. That's really all I'm after here.
    It most certainly is.

    Would it be prideful for Christians to insist that what I did was disrespectful? Would it be prideful for Christians to defend their relics from people like me who want to use the Shroud of Turin as toilet paper?
    Yes, it would be.

    I see. Was it pride that prompted the Native Americans to fight against the European colonizers?
    Yes. And I don't blame them for it. They were also fighting for their own way of life, not against somebody taking an aspect of their life and rolling it into their culture.

    It is not arrogant to demand respect for one's culture and one's heritage, Gonzo.
    Sure it is. I'm not saying that's a completely bad thing, to have a little pride in where one comes from... but, come on. We have to draw the line somewhere. I call it arrogant to take what is essentially a beneficial practice and "claim" exclusive rights to it, or at least demand recognition for it if it is used.

    You know who does that? Professional musicians. Their songs can be played free on the radio all the live long day, but if even a hint of it appears in a movie, that movie MUST obtain permission first, and list the song in the credits, otherwise there's hell to pay.

    And how is that any different that what you are doing right now?

    Using your perverse logic, everyone should take every insult lying down, and allow anyone to do anything to everything they treasure, because having a spine and guts is prideful. It's an absurd idea.
    No, not at all. What I am saying is that, it may be insulting, but so what. If I were doing "Christian Yoga" right now, I would not be stealing anything from you, subjecting you to any torture, denying your rights to anything. Perhaps I'd be annoying you, but, really, I don't care. And I don't think anybody else does, either.
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Roots and exclusive ownership are very different. Yoga will always be hindu in origin, but that does not mean only hindu's should practice yoga.
    Certainly. Non-Hindus should also practice yoga. PROPERLY.

    You sell your own world view short. If it has value, if it has truth, it will find its way. If not all the BS will get stripped away and what remains will be the heart of what yoga really is. You may just not want to face what part of it is true, and what part is window dressing. The truth will out.
    Tell that to the pagans whose culture was absorbed and destroyed by Christian Europe, or the pagan Arabs to whom the Muslims did the same. Just because something fails to survive doesn't mean that it is crap, nor is what survives automatically golden. Recall that indigenous cultures have been destroyed precisely because the destroyers did not want the truth to be out.

    That is because they lack real perspective and folks that insist on a kind of cultural purity almost always loose out in the end. They whither and die. Change is how mankind survives and thrives. The sacred is often the enemy of both truth and progress in my opinion.
    So should everyone simply bow down and passively allow anyone to do anything the want to their culture? That's idiotic and destructive.

    ---------- Post added at 09:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:57 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    So, a specific god has all rights reserved for this particular pathway for magical communication, and others attempting to use this special telephone will reach the wrong number. Is your god angry he's being called at all hours of the night by non-Hindus?
    Others will only reach the wrong number because their gods refuse to pick up when they find that their devotees are using yoga. It certainly isn't the Hindu god's fault.

    It most certainly is.



    Yes, it would be.
    How? How exactly is wanting to defend your culture arrogant? Why isn't it a fight against injustice?

    Yes. And I don't blame them for it. They were also fighting for their own way of life, not against somebody taking an aspect of their life and rolling it into their culture.
    That is exactly what Hindus who protest against the theft of yoga are doing, Gonzo; fighting for their own way of life. Yoga is as much part of the Hindu way of life as sweat lodges and peace pipes were for the Native Americans.

    Sure it is. I'm not saying that's a completely bad thing, to have a little pride in where one comes from... but, come on. We have to draw the line somewhere. I call it arrogant to take what is essentially a beneficial practice and "claim" exclusive rights to it, or at least demand recognition for it if it is used.
    Hindus aren't claiming exclusive rights to yoga, only asking that people respect it. How is that too much to ask? Is it too much to demand respect? Seriously? Would you be okay with people calling you names for the rest of your life, since it's apparently wrong now to have some self respect? This is getting to be ridiculous.

    You know who does that? Professional musicians. Their songs can be played free on the radio all the live long day, but if even a hint of it appears in a movie, that movie MUST obtain permission first, and list the song in the credits, otherwise there's hell to pay.

    And how is that any different that what you are doing right now?
    Didn't professional musicians put work into their songs? Isn't it injustice to act like they had nothing to do with it, that it just randomly popped into existence out of nowhere?

    No, not at all. What I am saying is that, it may be insulting, but so what. If I were doing "Christian Yoga" right now, I would not be stealing anything from you, subjecting you to any torture, denying your rights to anything. Perhaps I'd be annoying you, but, really, I don't care. And I don't think anybody else does, either.
    Then you are guilty of helping destroy an ancient culture. You're no better than the conquistadors, or any other Eurocentric imperialist who thinks he can simply Westernize whatever he chooses. I hope you're satisfied.
    Last edited by The Great Khan; November 29th, 2010 at 05:45 PM.

  11. #51
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    In insisting that yoga does not belong to anyone, and is some kind of universal practice, Western yoga groups imply that Hindus have no special claim on yoga and thus cannot complain over its divorce from Hinduism.
    They can claim what they want. But there's no reason I cannot do (to name a position) The Downward Dog. Doing that plus other yoga positions on a regular basis is healthy.

    And if I achieve better health by doing Yoga, regardless of how I observe or don't observe Hinduism when doing it, then I am still achieving one of the primary goals of Yoga. As far as I am concerned, any person of conscience, regardless of what religion they belong to, should be happy that I am using a certain technique to become a healthier human being.

    Now, if a Hindu wants to say "perhaps it would be a good idea if you were more aware of the origins of these practices", well, point taken. More knowledge is always a good thing.

    But if a Hindu, or anyone, is going to tell me I should not be able to use effective techniques to better health because I'm "stealing" or "corrupting" it, I'm going to have to disagree. Show me any kind of principle that I have to, or morally should, recognize before I can do a certain something to achieve better health. Just griping and being upset doesn't over something mean you're right.

    So it's still an issue of you just OPINING that it's wrong for me to do Yoga in a certain way. And showing that other people hold similar opinions is still just giving me opinion. And in MY OPINION, people doing things that make them healthier is a GOOD thing and while knowing the origins of techniques one does is better than not knowing (knowledge is always better than ignorance), it is still alright to do those techniques if it improves your health.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    If yoga is delinked from Hinduism, then it is corrupted.
    From a certain perspective, but not by definition.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    That's what I meant when I said it was corrupted. Having been delinked from Hinduism, yoga has now become everyone's everything to do whatever they would like with.
    And if it makes them healthier, then it is good that they use it, linked to Hinduism or not.

    Saying it's "corrupted" is quite vague. I don't even know what tangible harm is being done. From what I can see, people are upset because something is being used in a way that they don't think it should be used. But that is just an emotional reaction to something that isn't really harming them. Are they being injured? Are they being robbed of actual material wealth? This complaint sounds just as valid as a Christian complaining about secular celebrations of Christmas, that it's "corrupting" the holiday.

    But just as a secular celebration of Christmas does not rob Christians of their ability to celebrate Christmas "properly", secular yoga practices does not rob Hindus from doing Yoga "properly".

    So even if I cede that my secular yoga practice is a "corrupt" version of Yoga, my response is "so what"? Show me how my practices actually harm someone (not just get them upset for irrational reasons), and I may reconsider my practices.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    Below is the first two paragraphs on Yoga from wikipedia.


    "Yoga (Sanskrit, Pāli: योग yóga) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines that originated in India.[1] The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.[2][3][4] Within Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal towards which that school directs its practices.[5][6] In Jainism, yoga is the sum total of all activities — mental, verbal and physical.

    Major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Rāja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga.[7][8][9] According to the authoritative Indian philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, yoga, based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, comprises one of the six main Hindu schools of philosophy (darshanas), together with Kapila's Samkhya, Gautama's Nyaya, Kanada's Vaisheshika, Jaimini's Purva Mimamsa, and Badarayana's Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta.[10] Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.
    "

    Now I will acknowledge all of this as true and therefore recognize these truths while doing Yoga.

    And here's what the "Take Yoga Back" people want:

    The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.


    Since I, by reading and becoming aware of what the link says, have become more aware of Yoga's Hindu roots, I have done precisely what the Take Yoga Back people want of me.

    So is that enough? If you say it is not then you need to tell me precisely what steps I need to take and an objective reason why those steps, no more and no less, are the ones to take. And I'm not going to accept opinion, yours or someone else', as an answer. I want an objective source on what is proper yoga and how to do it.


    And in truth, it's been years since I've done yoga with any regularity. I think it's time to get back to doing it so I thank you for drawing Yoga to my attention.
    Last edited by mican333; November 29th, 2010 at 07:38 PM.

  12. #52
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by KHAN
    Wanting better health is no excuse to destroy an ancient, cherished spiritual tradition.
    Well, no one is "destroying" anything.
    Misusing not "fully" appreciating it.. sure. But no one is destroying Yoga.


    Quote Originally Posted by KHAN
    Yahweh is not the master of yoga.
    *L* ... From your perspective, I can understand why you would say that.
    But from mine, He most certainly is. He did create everything after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by KHAN
    There is no reason for yoga to be sacrificed to the petulance, eccentricities, and arrogance of Jehovah.
    Abso-freaken-lutly.
    Everything is Gods.


    Quote Originally Posted by KHAN
    I'm not the one insisting that practicing yoga properly is spiritually detrimental; it's the Christians themselves who hold such an unyielding position.
    You are the one insisting that if we can't do it right, we shouldn't do it at all.
    And as far as I can tell, it is only you saying it, not the religion in general.


    Christians don't have a problem picking out the parts that are good for us.
    Our God isn't going to punish us for motions that are claimed by another religion, or even were picked right out of that religion.


    So, If Our God doesn't fuss over it.. and Your God doesn't fuss over it.

    Then you are the only one fussing over it.

    Frankly, You have picked a very Odd thing to get upset over. Body positions... Really?
    I may as well get upset because Muslims aren't "Kneeling" right. Or vice versa. Muslims should all be Irate because everyone else isn't kneeling right.

    Get over it, people have bodies, and they will put them into positions. Getting offended because they aren't doing it right comes off as being plain silly or at worst an excuse to hate.
    To serve man.

  13. #53
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Atheism is fine. Patanjali himself did not specifically say that yoga was solely for union with God. Patanjali instead speaks of kaivalya, or separation. From a Hindu perspective, it is this separation from bondage that is union with God. From a Buddhist and Jain perspective, it is the separation from bondage that is nirvana. Patanjali implies that both theists and atheists can benefit from yoga.
    Question: Why should I accept the Patanjali as the authority on what makes yoga actually yoga?


    Khan, you're pretending (I suspect because right now it's convienent) that there's not as large of a difference in the philosophy between Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Hinduism.

    These philosophies are hugely different. But more importantly:

    Quote Originally Posted by Khan
    The reason yoga is acceptable for Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs to practice is because their theology has room for it, having openly and unashamedly derived it organically from Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism evolved in a yogic environment. Yoga is natural for them. Manichaeism is an interesting case. I don't know enough about it to say for sure. However, the deciding factor would be Manichaeism's specific theological scope. Is the Manichaeist goal something that can be achieved by yoga? Is there anything in Manichesim that specifically prohibits something yogic, like an idea of heresy or apostasy? These are questions that need to be answered.
    And this is the problem with that, Khan. You cannot say "Oh, well, if they have a goal." Protestant Christians have no ties to the Catholic church, which means that they can freely admit, "theologically", yoga into their religious rituals. Just because one protestant group doesn't like it doesn't mean that another cannot. That'd be like saying that because one Hindu group worships Shiva, all groups must worship Shiva --it's a part for the whole fallacy.

    Buddhists and Jains are going to admit that they got yoga from Hindus, sure, but they are also likely to say that they're not doing it properly (a claim that nearly certainly would be made by your side, as well).

    What about irreligious atheists though? I'm curious, can a completely irreligious atheist practice yoga? What're your thoughts on that?


    Quote Originally Posted by Khan
    In contrast, significant Christian groups (like the Vatican) have said that yoga degenerates into a "cult of the body" and that mystical yogic experience CANNOT create love of God, which is apparently what Christianity is all about. Christianity DID NOT evolve in a yogic environment, and thus must clumsily graft yoga onto itself, unlike the Dharmic religions like Buddhism etc. where it fits naturally. Even more extreme Christians think yoga is about summoning demons and worshiping Satan. So there is a clear difference between what Dharmic religions see yoga as and what Abrahamic religions see yoga as. Manichaeism seems to fall somewhere in between. Recall that the whole point of my argument is that yoga should be practiced as the ancient sages prescribed. If Manicheists can do that, if they can fully embrace its Hindu roots, techniques, and goals proudly, I'm all for it.
    They're certainly not going to embrace Hinduism. No one, which you seem to strongly misunderstand, outside of Hinduism recognizes Hinduism's religious authority on yoga. That's as silly as thinking that Zoroastrians trying to argue that they are the single authority on monotheistic worship, because they were the first monotheists.

    Neither the Buddhists, nor the Jains, and especially not the Sikhs even recognize that your Sages existence, let alone religious authority. (Well, the Jains have a similar idea about sages, but it's a completely different kind of sage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Khan
    I'd take it seriously. Recall that there are Christians who want to "put Christ back into Christmas" However, recall that Christians did appropriate the practice itself from paganism, without giving credit, which weakens the Christian claim considerably. If the Christians themselves have stolen and corrupted Christmas from its pagan roots, then my practicing of it is merely a continuation of a process that the Christians themselves have started.
    I don't think they'd agree with you. And what if historians found a culture that had been practicing yoga before Hindus were? Would they suddenly be the only authority on yoga, to which all others (including Hinduism) must be compared?
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  14. #54
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Muslims acknowledge their practices were derived from Christianity. From what you're telling me, Muslims use these practices the same way Christians use them. So since they give credit, it's not stealing, and since they use them properly, it doesn't seem to be corruption either. Western yoga robs Hinduism of credit where credit is due, and does not use yoga as it was meant to be used. So there's clearly a difference here..
    Use them properly???!!!

    Like you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God!

    Like Christians are "OK" with more than a thousand years of persecution and pograms designed to get them to abandon their faith or their home countries!

    You presume too much. Just because something is suffered in silence, do not presume the sufferer is "OK with it".

    Perhaps Hindus could learn from Christians in this regard.
    "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born" -- Ronald Reagan

    How can a moral wrong be a Civil Right?

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Christians do not seek union with God in the sense that yoga is meant to achieve.
    Yoga isn't meant to achieve union in a certain way. In all actuality, a yoga is one specific means to achieve union with God, so Christianity is a yoga in the sense that Hindus think of it. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a yoga for dejection, wisdom, action, pacifism, tradition, etc. if there was only one yoga. You seem to be misconstruing the definition of yoga here. I have it on the authority of several Hindu gurus that yoga is the verbatim for "a means" in philosophical and theological thinking.

    My assessment (which I will debate with you upon over the course of this thread):

    Yoga is a hindu expression. Therefore, it is primarily used by hindus. However, it does not denote an idea that is strictly relative to hinduism.

    Let's take a look at the instances where (in my reasoning, which is definitely based upon the lectures and sermons of more than a few gurus and related professors) you have abhorrently misinterpreted the definition of yoga in your OP:

    Yoga involves the worship of a God that is not Jesus and is thus inimical to Christianity.
    This doesn't make sense to me, because more than a few hindus profess that they worship the Christ, call him Shiva, view Him as an incarnation of the Brahman, and thus use Him as a yoga, or "a means".

    Christians believe that humans are sinners, not divine, as Hindus do, and such pessimism is a repudiation of yogic optimism.
    You are only referring to one yoga here. Within hinduism, several traditions use karma (relative to righteousness and sinning) as yoga. Would you like a list of Ashrams?

    Christians believe that suffering is beneficial, and the ultimate goal of Hinduism is to be free from death, and thus end suffering.
    Then what of the yoga of dejection? Many hindus believe that dejection is also a yoga (although it is seen as more of a tool than a validated form of thinking in this case) with which they can achieve freedom.

    Yoga is an rich and intensely spiritual practice, not a mere set of stretchy exercises for mundane purposes.
    Yoga is not a practice. It is a blanket term used for different practices. As such, yoga has been used as a technical expression so that different groups within hinduism could give a nondescript name for their own spiritual practices.

    To flirt and dabble with the practice without any serious commitment is an insult to its sanctity, depth, and profundity.
    The very idea of yoga is to do something with serious commitment. I don't have to be stretching on a rug on the floor and thinking introspectively to practice yoga (no offense intended). In fact, many hindus would agree that every time I read the bible or think about God, I am in fact practicing yoga, or searching for "a means".

    ---------- Post added at 02:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:23 PM ----------

    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.
    This is a blatant insult and an affront to the people who practice Christianity. You are telling me that I am perverse, lack mutual respect and dignity, that I bastardize culture, that I believe that I am the center of the world, and lastly that I have delusions of grandeur. This is open hostility, and it makes me feel uncomfortable and victimized.

    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.
    Can you prove this using objective reasoning? Really, you think that you can prove that using incense, specific thought processes, and physical exercises is inherently spiritual (using objective reasoning)? I'm sorry, but we Christians tried to prove that our traditions are inherently spiritual and should thus be practiced the way we say they should, and look where that has gotten us.

    ---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

    Because Hinduism deserves to be given credit where credit it due. That is justice.
    Hmmm.. for a self professed Hindu you sure do seem to be tying yourself to the fruits of actions. And that is practicing karmic yoga, isn't it? Yet other Hindus don't practice karmic yoga, do they? They say they are emotionally and spiritually independent of karma, don't they? So, we can all see here that there is more than one yoga, and that yoga isn't one specific entity.

    ---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:57 PM ----------

    Now, if you'd like to see who I've been studying, I'll give you a list of hindu gurus and professors:

    Jiva Goswami
    Dr. Satya Narayana dasa
    Swami Nirmalananda (who said this:
    Yoga: Literally, “joining” or “union” from the Sanskrit root yuj. Union with the Supreme Being, or any practice that makes for such union. Meditation that unites the individual spirit with God, the Supreme Spirit.
    )
    Dr. Minott W. Lewis
    Goraknath (yes, !Goraknath! of all people is a supporter of my assertions, so I would advise you take a look at what he had to say later in our debate with one another)
    Swami Sivananda Saraswati
    Would Patanjali agree with me? Maybe, maybe not. We'll just have to go through some of what he wrote to decide upon that, my friend.
    Kapila (the token sage of Sankhya yoga, which postulates:
    “Sankhya postulates two ultimate realities, Purusha and Prakriti. Declaring that the cause of suffering is man’s identification of Purusha with Prakriti and its products, Sankhya teaches that liberation and true knowledge are attained in the supreme consciousness, where such identification ceases and Purusha is realized as existing independently in its transcendental nature.”
    So, anyone trying to liberate him or her self from the world and it's transcendental nature is practicing Sankhya yoga.)

    The aim of yoga, according to Swami Nirmalanda:

    Savichara samadhi: A stage in samadhi wherein the mind (chittta) is identified with some subtle object and assumes its form, being aware of what it is and capable of analyzing it by means of the purified buddhi; with deliberation and reasoning or inquiry.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  16. #56
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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    I voted, "it depends".

    Yoga is a combination of stretching excersizes and meditation.

    I don't believe it's right for a Christian to practice yoga while meditating on themselves or the hindu gods, no.
    However if a Christian wants to use yoga to meditate on God or his word, I don't find anything wrong with it.
    Or.. if a Christian wants to practice the stretches that come from Yoga excluding the meditation entirely, I find nothing wrong with that either.

    But that's not why I voted it depends. I voted it depends because the Bible says work out your own salvation..so I feel that it's a personal choice, and for me to say "no, Christians cannot practice yoga" or "yes, Christians should practice yoga" would be me trying to be God, and I have far too much respect for Him to try and play that game.

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    I can't imagine feeling so threatened or afraid, because that is how this 'dilemma' comes across to me.

    I ran across a site called praise moves the other day.. christian based yoga, I just about fell out of my chair. Sorry, I mean no disrespect, it just seems hilarious to me.
    "We are the paradox to unite all duality.." ~Unknown

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Christianity and Yoga
    Interesting thread.

    However, I am a bit puzzled about something TGK. Since you seem to be opposed to the Christian faith and its beliefs, simple logic and common sense would question why would you even care what Christians practice and don't practice?

    BTW, did you know that yoga is now being used in many medical and cancer centers? (here's just a few of many references)

    http://www.siteman.wustl.edu/contentpage.aspx?id=3398
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-nsf081910.php
    http://www.scripps.org/events/yoga-for-cancer-recovery
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-vitality.html


    Christians do not seek union with God
    You might want to do some more objective study and research on the history of Christianity, especially the lives of people like: St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and other Christian mystics. Their Christian lives were centered around, meditation (contempation), prayer, and union with God.

    Although St. Teresa warned against taking the powers of the Devil too seriously, and advised that his powers should be despised (tener en poco). She said Satan was constantly active against Christians, especially the contemplative, trying intensely to block them from their goal of achieving absolute union with God. http://www.themystica.com/mystica/ar..._avila_st.html
    Last edited by eye4magic; January 18th, 2011 at 02:05 PM.

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    It is impossible to do yoga without focusing on the false religion of Hinduism.
    An odd thing to say considering that your profile indicates that your religious affiliation is Hinduism.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    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.
    Since I started working out using P90X it has me doing yoga once per week and while it may appear to some that we do it for strength, flexibility, and balance, its nice to see that you've discovered the true reason we do it - because the world revolves around us and because it corrupts other people's spiritual practices.

    LMFAO!!!!

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    Re: Christianity and Yoga

    Re: Christianity and Yoga
    Originally Posted by The Great Khan
    It is impossible to do yoga without focusing on the false religion of Hinduism.
    Rock
    An odd thing to say considering that your profile indicates that your religious affiliation is Hinduism.
    Yes, particularly since in Hinduism one can choose the God they follow, can they not?

    There us a group near me here, that actually pick Christ as their God, but still consider them selves as being Hindu.

    They are born in India / Hindu as well, just pointing this out so one doesn`t make assumptiions.

 

 
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