mardi 3 avril 2012

Can A Catholic Practice Yoga?

This was meant to Catholics originally but i guess other Christians can learn a thing or two too. Enjoy the learning!
Don't Forger To Check My Book here.

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I heard an ad on the Catholic radio station about a speaker coming to the area soon. She was going to talk about how Ouija Boards, centralizing prayers, yoga, etc are evil. I understand about the board and the other items. How is Yoga evil? Isn't it just stretching for relaxation?

Well, a lot of people involved in yoga, THINK that is all they are doing - stretching. Unfortunately, yoga is actually a theological exercise developed by the Hindus to help the practitioner achieve specific theological goals in Hinduism. There are four different kinds of yoga. Each is designed to help the disciple achieve Hindu enlightenment: 
·    Jnana Yoga (Way of Knowledge) asserts that ignorance is the root of all evil. It seeks wisdom through developing spiritual virtues (calmness, restraint, renunciation, resignation, concentration, and faith).  
·    Karma Yoga (Way of Works), is service rendered in complete altruism and selflessness. Salvation comes through religious duty, ceremony, rites. Karma Yoga allows rebirth as a Brahmin. This way is non-intellectual, emotionally detached, but must be done unselfishly. 
·    Bhakti Yoga (Way of Devotion) is a path of devotion to the Supreme. Devotion must be based on love for the deity, which flows into love for family, master, etc. The Bhagavad Gita focuses on this. 
·    Raja Yoga is a path that uses physical postures to cleanse the body and develop the mind's ability to concentrate. The physical postures are supposed to help the disciple extinguish the sense of self. In full raja yoga, all bodily orifices must be closed and/or all their functions must be reversed. 

In raja yoga, what is it that we are meant to concentrate on? The goal of Hindu and Buddhist theology (Buddhism is just an off-shoot of Hinduism) is self-annihilation. So every yoga has exactly one purpose: it is supposed to help you destroy yourself. Selfhood is an illusion. Once our sense of self is obliterated, we can achieve union with Brahman.

The Hindu theory of suffering is that if you want to end suffering, you have to move up the food chain through a cycle of reincarnation and re-birth until you don't exist anymore. If you aren't there, you can't suffer.
Christianity, on the other hand, says suffering comes from evil and sin. To obliterate suffering, we must not annihilate ourselves, instead, we must perfect ourselves. This perfection is impossible on our own. We need God to complete us and perfect us, making each one of us perfectly ourselves. 

So, just as kneeling, genuflecting and making the Sign of the Cross has specific theological purposes, so does sitting lotus position, using the Hindu mantras, etc. 

Does yoga promote flexibility? 
So does genuflecting. 
But non-Catholics don't genuflect, because non-Catholics don't like the theological implications of genuflecting or kneeling. Catholics should be just as cautious about yoga, and for the same reason.

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