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Christian Yoga?

There is an interesting article in the September 5th issue of Time magazine. This particular article covers a spectrum of opinions about mixing Christianity with Yoga. Even, if you don't agree with a single opinion, it's a good read, as long as you remain objective.

Over the course of time, I have been lucky enough to teach, or practice, with someone from every known religious denomination; so the statement by a Professor Tiwari at the Hindu University of America, where he states that, "Yoga is Hinduism," is surprising, coming from a scholar. Possibly, this statement was taken out of context, but fundamentalism exists, to a degree, in every form of religion.

If some Christians want to practice Yoga to make a closer connection to God, who are any of us to criticize it? Isn't one of Yoga's purposes, the union of self with a Supreme Being? So what is the big deal?

Truthfully, many fundamentalists are all about division - keeping the masses divided, at war with each other, and preferably, in a "holy war." They fear the unity of mankind, letting go of power, and world peace. They don't want to loosen their grip on their followers, so they squeeze a little more.

So if a Christian group wants to practice "Son Salutations", or "PraiseMoves," give them a break. Yoga is practiced in sectarian atmospheres by a variety of different religions. Nobody has a monopoly on Yoga. Yoga is a complete health maintenance system for mind, body, and spirit.

There is a type of Yoga for everyone, and some people want a little more spiritual flavor than others. Since Yoga has been around for at least 5,000 years, there is a very big variety to choose from.

As for skeptics who "point the finger" at each other - "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone?" It might be best if we all practice a little more mindfulness, and loving kindness, before we decide to criticize things we don't understand.

Yoga is "out of the bag." It is no longer practiced by a particular group. Therefore, Yoga is a public treasure, and not a genie that we will confine to a bottle. No matter how many people try to patent, or copyright, Yoga, it will be practiced within every corner of the earth.