Beliefnet
Activist Faith

yogaindex.jpgAmericans live in a diverse world to say the least. Recently, people have restarted the battle over who owns yoga. As a non-yoga person myself (I’ve always preferred chai tea lattes!), I’ve been intrigued by the whole phenomenon. So I want to throw out the challenge to my readers at Beliefnet: What are your thoughts on Christians and Yoga?

My initial observations: Yoga is not originally Christian (But then again, neither is football, and I really like watching it and sometimes pretending I can play it.). Second, yoga is not essential to my life. If it suddenly disappeared, I don’t think I would miss it. Third, yoga can be defined a myriad of ways, so what one person calls yoga might be aerobics, stretching, meditation, or religion, depending on the person answering the question.

At a deeper level, the whole yoga bit is intriguing because it calls into question what is spiritual and what is not, what is “okay” and what is not. Some Christians fear yoga leads to meditation on self or spirits, something the Bible would be against. In these cases, I would agree. But the same Bible also tells us to meditate on God’s works. Plus, it says a thing or two about exercise along the way.

I’m not trying to be superficial about the issue, but if yoga is exercise, how is it different from jogging or basketball? If it includes more than exercise, what is this “more”? This “more” is the dividing line. If a Christian is encouraged in any way to focus on something contrary to their beliefs, regardless of whether the activity is yoga or volleyball, then we are called to do something else.

Looking forward to YOUR thoughts on this one…

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DILLON
BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at DillonBurroughs.org.

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