How useful and safe is practicing yoga if it is, at first sight, just innocent physical exercises? This and other topics have been touched upon by Fr. Mykola Luchok in one of the interdenominational meetings initiated by the website “Spiritual Grandeur of Lviv”.
Yoga is absolutely concentrated on a single human person, while a relationship doesn’t play an important role here. It represents the complex practices of self-perfection, of discovering the divine in oneself, and of searching for harmony. Christianity, however, is a religion of love stemming from the living relationship and seeing its main goal in union with God.
Читай українською: ЧИ ВАРТО ХРИСТИЯНАМ ЗАЙМАТИСЯ ЙОГОЮ?
Yoga practices are, in its essence, occult. 80-90% of people, possessed by an evil spirit, had practiced the eastern meditation techniques before.
Various yoga positions during the physical exercises – such as the dog position, the lotus position, etc. – bring a person back into the world of primitive mythological notions, while depreciating his or her dignity as a child of God.
Mantras employed during the meditations and practices of yoga are often repetitive invocations of the names of gods, which is the direct violation of the first commandment.
Meditation in Christianity has a completely different meaning than in yoga. Christian meditation is open to being and communicating with God; it is directed toward the love that stems from a relationship. Eastern meditation diminishes the significance of interpersonal relations, considering them as the source of evil.
Even in the case of starting to practise yoga exclusively as a physical exercise routine, sooner or later, it arrives at the moment of deeper interest in its philosophical aspects, breathing techniques, nutrition, etc.
A practising Christian, when starting to practise yoga, sooner or later will notice his or her alienation from Jesus – and this is the essential premonition. Sometimes, such moments of alienation serve for establishing a qualitatively new relationship with God, but this path is too dangerous.
In Christianity, neither body position nor food can have such a universal meaning as in eastern practices such as yoga. Body position is not essential for me when I talk to the one I love, since the main thing is simply loving them.
Vegetarianism is a conscious choice for everyone. If it is easier and simpler for me to be with God, I choose such a type of nutrition; but if meat doesn’t distance me from God, there’s no essential problem in it.
Yoga, as a system of physical exercises, in reality, has a lot of alternatives: running, swimming, jogging, and various sports – all of this offers an excellent supply of energy for the body.
For a Christian, the only master and source of wisdom is Christ. His teaching and knowledge are absolutely sufficient for comprehensive spiritual development, as it is Jesus who is the supreme authority and truth. If a person starts to look for enrichment or development, for instance, in yoga, he or she should revise his Christian spiritual practices – what is wrong, why don’t they work?
Author: Tetiana Trachuk