In honor of the International Day of Yoga I assumed one pose and that was: curled up on the couch with Miss Lucy Dawg, surfing the web, researching yoga for something I want to write and to further my understanding. I’m not ready to write in depth about it yet, but as a former new ager and one who studied yoga longer than I practiced the asanas, I’ll go on record to say, as I’ve said many times before: Yoga is emphatically NOT compatible with any form of real Christianity. Sure, you’ll find lots of Christians who will argue that it is compatible, and you’ll find yoga and other forms of occultism offered in many ostensibly Christian places by many people who are ostensibly Christian, even in religious houses where people are ostensibly consecrated to the Christian religious life.
But does that make all their practices Christian? Can yoga be made Christian? Does it make the occult nature of yoga go away? Is there any harm in blending various religious practices from various religions, especially if one has little or no knowledge of those practices? Is yoga simply a form of exercise? Does yoga pose any problems if one ignores its roots and the system of which it is a part? Does ignorance of that system—really, a way of life—pose a problem to a practitioner who has only the shallowest awareness of what it really is and may even scoff at it, refusing to even entertain the notion that there is more to it than meets the eye?
Especially the modern Western eye, which seems unable to differentiate between the spiritual, the superstitious, and the occult. If I like it, it’s spiritual, if I don’t, it’s superstitious. But mention the word occult, and all too often the reaction will be ridicule. Or an unreasoning fear. I almost think fear would be a preferable reaction to a dismissive ridicule. At least fear might protect one from exploring it any further.
Yoga’s main goal is to prepare the body to enable the practitioner to meditate for long periods of time so that certain energies can arise and be controlled by the practitioner. It’s not primarily aimed at simply providing the body with healthy exercise, though many use it that way in the West. I liken it to using a blowtorch or a flamethrower to light a candle while not fully realizing that there’s a candle there to be lit or a fire to light it.
And when I use the word meditate when talking about yoga I do NOT mean what Catholicism means by meditation. Same English word, two very different meanings meant. The aims of yoga and Christianity are as different as night is from day. The Christian is not trying to become one with the god within or raise the serpent power through the chakras. The Christian is living the Way on the journey home to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. No asanas needed, no secret mantras required. And no gurus either.
It’s been so long since I’ve really thought about any form of the occult—yoga or otherwise. I’m not ready to go further right now in this post, an idea is only beginning to form. What I found today has given me much to think about and I’ve barely begun to read through the articles. I’ll share more with you later.
Thank you for visiting and reading. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, may the Lord bless you and may His peace be always with you.
- Yogi, Trinity by Miguel Carbrera, and St. Michael the Archangel image from the Last Judgment by Jan van Eyck: from Wikimedia, public domain. Text elements added.
- Flames, Pixabay, free to use.