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Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK
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I have been studying yoga for about a year from a very good teacher. I have found tremendous help with my back especially.

I suppose this has been asked before, but my teacher gives us quite a bit of Eastern philosophy from which Yoga came. Actually, it seems like it's more and more lately.

I'm not really against that, BUT...

I am a Christian. I am not practicing another religion by participating in this am I?

I was just wondering, with the talk about "the Secret" and all. What do you think?

I'd hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater, because I absolutely love the practice of YOGA and feel it is very beneficial for me.

I guess I could Google YOGA and find some more out...I was just wondering your opinions.
 

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If it's working for you, why question it? If it ain't broke.....
 

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My son and daughter took karate for awhile when they were teens. The instructor was Catholic. When it came time for the "clear your mind" part of class and such, he would tell them what the "quiet time" was for and then they were to do as they pleased in the sense of their religion.

Just because the Yoga instructor tells you stuff does not mean you have to believe it or practice it. Just take it as information or don't really listen. Then when you need to relax or whatever (can you tell I don't do Yoga!) you can think of Christ - His peace, etc.

Do the exercise part and practice your own religion in the Mental part.
 

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I have done yoga for years. What you do in your head while you are doing the positions is up to you. Just because your instructor is into the philosophical part doesn't mean you have to be.

That aspect of yoga isn't non-Christian or non-anything, anyway. Yoga is not a religion. The teachings (beyond the positions) include respect for life, your body, and the Spirit. You may call the Spirit God or Jesus or Jehovah or Allah.

You will discover in your research that the origins of yoga are way back in the Hindu culture. One of the greatest yoga teachers said, "Eating Italian food doesn't make you Italian, does it?" Doing yoga for health won't make you Hindu.
 

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The very root of yoga is to find a place within yourself from which you can draw peace and balance.

I don't see how this conflicts with Christianity. As a matter of fact, practicing yoga (I have for about seven years now, it helps with my health problems), has brought me closer to my faith, because it has allowed me the clarity of mind necessary to really see myself and the world around me as it really is.
 

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I have a yoga-related question....

Do you think somebody with a bad leg, i.e. broken knee repaired with plate and screws, can do yoga? I can't get down on the floor, at least not unless somebody can help me up. I can't stand solely on the bad leg. It also doesn't bend too well.
My local YMCA is offering a yoga class this fall, I have always wanted to try it, pre-broken leg, now I don't know if I could do it.
 

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RandB -- a good yoga instructor will offer alternative positions to those members of their classes who cannot manage the position being taught.

I'd call and inquire as to how "flexible" the instructor is :)
 

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I used to belong to a headcovering group and they claimed me doing yoga was a practice of another religion. They were so ignorant that I just packed it out of that group and never looked back.

I have fibro and I need to keep my muscles and ligaments stretched. Yoga is perfect for it.

I think you're fine. When the teach talks about the philosphy, just take it with a grain of salt. :) Listen to what your instincts tell you.

Kat
 

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I have had orthoscopic knee surgery, and I modify some of the positions, too. I have a bit of trouble getting up and down, but the yoga has helped that. My instructor has rheumatoid arthritis, and she's very helpful and understanding of individual needs.

I saw my chiropractor today (follow-up after a foot injury), and he said yoga was one of the best things I could be doing to maintain posture and health as I age.
 

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I never checked into it but had heard that the different positions were actually ways of opening channels to let in those pagan spirits and such. Mind you--I never looked into it. There is a Christian Yoga--I am sure you could google it. Ultimantly it is between you and God--seek Him and ask for His wisdom.
 

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ToraAnne said:
I never checked into it but had heard that the different positions were actually ways of opening channels to let in those pagan spirits and such. Mind you--I never looked into it. There is a Christian Yoga--I am sure you could google it. Ultimantly it is between you and God--seek Him and ask for His wisdom.

OMG, the baloney that's out there...
 

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'Yoga' means 'work' or 'practice' and there are yogas for breathing and eating and thinking besides for flexibility. It is a wonderful path to health and has nothing to do with 'pagan spirits'. 'Eastern philosophy' does not mean 'non-Christian'. One's a philosophy and one's a religion. Apples and oranges. There are plenty of Christian Buddhists out there and it may help you to read how they reconcile the two.

Learning to be 'present' and still your mind is such a wonderful mental exercise and goes hand in hand with meditation or prayer. As you develop these practices, you become calmer overall and better able to withstand stressful situations.

We adopt lots of practices from our forefathers. Yoga has stood the test of time as being gentle and beneficial. Besides I think yoga practitioners have a special glow about them and the best bods out there!
 

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ToraAnne said:
I never checked into it but had heard that the different positions were actually ways of opening channels to let in those pagan spirits and such.
Boy, that would be rough. A person would always have to be checking that they weren't accidentally sitting/standing/laying in a yoga position and letting the spirits in. :eek:
 

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Sometimes it is religion and sometimes it isn't. Now that we have that straight if the instructor dwells to much on things that make you uncomfortable I would look for a different instructor. If there is meditation type stuff going on memorize a bible verse and meditate on that.

I'm not sure about the 'secret' part but when I did yoga it was a Christian instructor and she left all of the extra stuff out and just did the exercise.
 

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I am often amazed at the naive attitudes and beliefs on this board. Incredible. Most of the responses have been rather good however, so there are sane folks out there who have a brain in their head. I like the response about eating Italian food doesn't make you Italian. Or standing in a garage doesn't make you a car.

And no, yoga is not a religion (to the poster who said it was, have you studied this at all?)

I just wonder how someone of X faith could not know what makes them faithful and closer to God. No clue. :shrug:

It is hard for me to believe anyone but a small child would even believe there ARE pagan spirits out there that God would "let into" your body if you sat the wrong way. :rolleyes:
 

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Übernerd
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As I recall from a world religions class I took (as well as what I've read/heard about yoga), yoga in and of itself is not a religion. It can be practiced in a religious context, but I personally wouldn't consider an instructor saying, "This is what the traditional thoughts are on this position," or, "This is where this position originated," falls into that category, myself. To me, that sounds no different than a kung-fu teacher discussing some of the history of the Shaolin Temple, or a karate instructor explaining the concept of "ki". That's just providing context for the history and culture surrounding a particular art form.

Now, if your teacher is trying to recruit people to come join his ashram or something, that would be a slightly different story, but based on what the OP said, I don't get the impression that that's what's going on. I would just enjoy the exercise for what it is, file the historical/religious stuff away as facts for a rainy day, and think about whatever spiritual things I wanted to while doing the yoga. As someone else said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think it would be a shame to abandon something that sounds like it's really working for you because it happens to come from a different religious and cultural tradition.
 

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patnewmex said:
It is hard for me to believe anyone but a small child would even believe there ARE pagan spirits out there that God would "let into" your body if you sat the wrong way. :rolleyes:
I've sat the wrong way and had evil spirits fly out of my body. Dunno if they were Pagan or not.
 

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Before she quit the community center's yoga teacher was starting to get more into explaining the philosophical components of yoga with some of the more regular people. The content was interesting but the tone and candance of her voice helped me focus and relax. I'm trying to get into a home practice but I find it is hard after the atmosphere of a class.
 
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