yoga
#1
I heard the Roman Catholic Church condemns yoga (I am not blaming her)
is this true?
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#2
http://www.magisterium.net/yoga.htm
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#3
Not according to our diocese in Sacramento California.,

Yoga course begins May 15
A yoga course will begin Thursday, May 15 and run for seven consecutive Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. at 5890 Newman Court in Sacramento.
 
For more information, call Father Issac Arickappalil at (916) 452-0296, ext. 16, or Father Francis Chirackal at ext. 23
 
Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical practice, he said. Physically, yoga calms the nervous system, strengthens the immune system, and helps with asthma. As mental training, he said, yoga increases one’s ability to concentrate. But it is yoga as a specifically Catholic spiritual practice that most interests Father Arickappalil, who also directs the Chavara International Center for Indian and Interreligious Studies.
 
Before becoming pastor of St. Mary Parish, Father Arickappalil, who holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, was professor of theology at the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate seminary — Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law — in Bangalore, India. Seminarians there learn yoga as part of their prayer lives.
 
“The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj,’ meaning ‘to unite,’ explained Father Arickappalil, who learned yoga himself as a seminarian. “Yoga is a method of breathing, postures, and meditation leading to the individual’s communion with God.” Anyone from any faith can use yoga as prayer, he said, by following their own faith concepts in their yoga practice. Even agnostics and atheists can use it just for the physical benefits, he noted.
 
But the Catholic understanding of yoga’s method is that the practitioner seeks to achieve communion with God in the sense that St. Paul refers to in Galatians 20:20 when he writes, “It is no longer I who live; it is Christ who lives in me.”
 
All Christians are baptized into that communion with Christ and communion with God through Christ, Father Arickappalil observed, but people are not often conscious of that union or of their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.
 
“We tend to recite routine prayers without awareness,” he noted, “and in Western cultures particularly, we have little ability to concentrate. We are surrounded by sound all day long, unable to concentrate or focus our awareness.
 
“Yet unless we become conscious of the divine presence within us, we cannot lead an authentic Christian Catholic life of faith,” he added. Like the saints and sages, he continued, people must find quiet moments in their busy schedules to meditate upon the mysteries of their Christian Catholic life. Even Jesus found time to go with his disciples to a lonely mountain to pray and enjoy his union, his “yoga,” with God.
 
“Awareness can make our breathing a prayer,” Father Arickappalil said. “Even our posture can be a prayer with awareness.”
 
The only posture practiced in Father Arickappalil’s yoga classes, however, is sitting — usually in a chair.
 
“This class is not for you if you need to come in and stand on your head,” declared Barbara Carvalho-Leahmann, a St. Mary’s parishioner since 1978 and a returning student to the yoga course. “This yoga is very spiritual.”
 
Each hour-long class begins with a half-hour presentation on a theme for reflection. Recently, the course theme was God as creator, and on successive weeks the students considered their responses to God as creator, sustainer, sanctifier and provider.
 
The second half-hour is devoted to awareness and concentration through breathing.
 
This is pranayama yoga, or controlled breathing and prayer. Father Chirackal conducts the breathing instruction.
 
“We close our eyes, breathing,” reports Carvalho-Leahmann, “and we breathe in God’s grace and let if flow back out of us.
 
“When we first get started, you hear lots of rustling and loud breathing, until you learn how to do the breathing,” she said in an interview, “but then you begin breathing in the Holy Spirit and you allow him to take over your life.”
 
“We do not identify the literal air as the Holy Spirit,” said Father Arickappalil, “but because it is through God’s grace that we are alive, we use our breath symbolically to remind us that we are sustained every moment by God. When God created Adam, God breathed life into him. So in our yoga practice, we may say, ‘God’s breath comes to me, God’s breath sustains me.’”
 
Carvalho-Leahmann said that her yoga practice has changed her prayer life. She said that she has become more dependent on God and more aware of the working of the Holy Spirit in her life.
 
“In the morning, sometimes before the alarm rings, I wake and become aware of my breathing,” she said. “I start breathing a prayer — thank you, Jesus — with each breath.”
 

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#4
I think we should meditate on the holy mysteries of our faith rather than the ticks and tocks of our bodies.
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#5
I don't practice yoga, I would not advice anyone else to do it either...
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#6
DJMitch Wrote:http://www.magisterium.net/yoga.htm

A Fr. Hardon piece. I'll have to read this one. He was one of a dying breed of Jesuits.

I have wondered about this though. Where does one draw the line at taking things (i.e., adapting) from pagans? After all, even St. Augustine drank from the Neoplatonists' cup (as, perhaps many early Church Fathers resortd to pagan concepts).
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#7
You can find another article if you go here, click the table of contents and scroll down until you find the article(s) on yoga.
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#8
Yogurt is gross.

I've condemned it for years.
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#9
Uh-oh! Be careful of how you're sitting and breathing in your chair right now!  I heard pagans used to breathe in and out while they sat down!  Sorry, but the idea that breathing and stretching in certain ways can have a negative impact on a Catholic soul is laughable to me.  Unless you consciously make the movements for the reasons the pagans did...you aren't practicing paganism.  If Yoga requires the spiritual aspect, then most Westerners aren't practicing Yoga, but borrowing the stretching and breathing methods from it and calling it Yoga.
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#10
The articles linked to are useful, but need to be understood in connection with Hinduism. Yoga, in Eastern understanding, is an eightfold path to spiritual enlightenment, if I remember correctly (search yoga on wiki and scroll down to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali). Only one of those "limbs" or what-have-you is about physical postures, which is supposed to teach dicipline (St. Paul compares the Christian life to a race, so why not other endurance sports?) and improve concentration (helpful for prayer, taxes, childrearing etc, no?). My sense is that the system is condemned as a whole, rather than the postures themselves, particularly the belief that this "path" will lead you to a pantheistic "merging" with God.
I don't see why a Catholic couldn't use the postures (asana-yoga) to stay in shape, relax, etc. in order to better fulfill his or her duties in his or her state of life, given a modest environment and a strictly physical (ie not "spiritual") instructor leading.
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