Hindu leaders split over yoga for Christians

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Hinduism, Winnie Young

winnie_young-wide1.jpg

Hindu religious leaders have strongly criticised a Catholic spiritual teacher for encouraging her pupils to find God through yoga.

Winnie Young, 96, shown above with her teacher and one of the world’s leading yoga practioners, Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, claims to have spent most of her life teaching yoga.

The founder of a national yoga institute in 1975, Young said her institute practices Hatha yoga, which advocates controlled breathing to calm the body and cleanse the mind in an effort to achieve nirvana, an elevated mental state.

She questioned why people misunderstand yoga to be a religion. Read more

Christian Perspective on Yoga

April 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Yoga and Catholicism

bridgeposeonwater.jpg

By Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun

With its elegant, aging cathedrals spread out across the countryside, Roman Catholicism is Canada‘s largest official religion.

But with hundreds of stylish new studios opening up across Canadian cities, sometimes it seems as if Catholicism’s strongest new “competitor” is yoga.

Tension simmers between these traditions of the East and West, with polls suggesting each draws the support or interest of roughly 40 per cent of the Canadian population.

Yoga practitioners often dismiss Catholicism as a doctrinaire, uptight, hierarchical religion. Catholics often write off yoga as self-indulgent exercise — and, at worst, a heretical form of Hindu spirituality that could open practitioners to satanic forces. Read more

Hindu critics of Christian Yoga misguided

April 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Hinduism

downwardfacngdog.jpg

By Professor Harry Sewlall, Department of English, University of Fort Hare

I find both Kamal Maharaj’s and Ashwin Trikamjee’s contention that yoga cannot be taught from any perspective except Hinduism quite absurd (Sunday Times Extra, March 30, 2008).

Yoga is a cultural practice and, like any other such practice, it can be appropriated by non-Hindus, as it has been for many years.

The first time I heard the name of BKS Iyenger, the famous yogi, was from a former colleague at Unisa. A PhD in English studies, she was a staunch follower of Iyenger’s teaching, yet she was also a devout Christian.

Read more

The Origins of Christian Yoga

 

male-yogi2.jpg

By Ganga Kali Das Jaya

When I was about 25 years old and I was a novice in a Franciscan monastery, we had a monk who worked very hard, slept very little and was always so busy and one day I asked him “what is the secret of your health?”

“Yoga” he said “I practice Yoga”. I asked him to teach me and he lent me a book called “La Voie Du Silence” by Jean Dechanet ( a Benedictine monk) First Edition of this book, published in French, was in 1956.

I cannot speak to you about Yoga and Christianity without mentioning my gratitude to this French Catholic priest who, some 40 years ago gave not only me but many Christians a memorable introduction to Yoga. Up to today, his name is still known, his books are still in their libraries, in many a Catholic monastery and convent because of his rendering accessible the exercises and philosophy of Yoga to Christian contemplative minds. Read more

Christian yogi Bede Griffiths

April 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Bede Griffiths

102407_fatherbede3.jpg

By Arthur Jones, National Catholic Reporter

This man, Bede Griffiths, is dangerous. That the Benedictine monk died at his Shantivanam (Forest of Peace) ashram in India in 1993 at the fine age of 86 does not alter the fact — except to the extent his death intensifies our understanding of our own situation.

Griffiths, this Hindu sannyasi (ascetic), a Catholic priest, elegant in his writing, in person charming, in death could too easily be diminished into icon-only status. His is a pleasing lithograph of shoulder-length flowing hair, neatly trimmed swami beard, handsome face, kindly if penetrating eyes bordered by haloes and swirling smoke of incense.

His writings belie the image. They are danger-daring prods, cautions, lures, inducements, challenges, barbs, warnings and reassurances from a man who found nature first, and through nature God, and through God Catholicism, and through Catholicism Benedictinism, and through the monastic life, Eastern mysticism. Read more

Christian Author Says Yoga Okay for Christians

January 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Christian yoga, Hatha Yoga

jakes.jpg

By T.D. Jakes

Webster’s defines yoga as “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”

Many simply define it as a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.

The Lighthouse Trails and Research Project, a religious watchdog organization founded in 2000 by David and Deborah Dombrowski, call eastern spiritual practices “New Age Spirituality” and list it as “a sweeping phenomenon.”

The Lighthouse Trials and Research Project goes on to further say, “Christian leaders are embracing practices and a new spirituality that borrows from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophy… and involve many of the most popular evangelical leaders including Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Peterson.” Read more

« Previous Page