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Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: Soldier4Christ on September 05, 2007, 06:40:29 PM



Title: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 05, 2007, 06:40:29 PM
Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Supporters say Eastern practice about exercise, not religious

THE WALLS of the small Sunday school classroom are decorated with posters created by students. "Give Thanks to God," reads one. "Deuteronomy 26:1-15," says another.

But this is not Sunday, it's Wednesday morning. And instead of kids studying their Bible lessons, adults are stretching in a svaroopa yoga class at Parkside Community Church in Sacramento, Calif. For more than two hours, the students focus on their bodies more than their souls.

Yoga classes long a staple at recreation centers or gyms are now regularly held in church classrooms and auditoriums. Supporters say the classes do not advocate a particular religion.

Some Christians, however, are wary of the ancient practice and its growing popularity even the pope has warned Catholics about yoga. He and others are bothered by the type of spirituality they believe yoga promotes.

Now there's a movement to "Christianize" yoga with special classes, books and DVDs such as "Christoga," featuring Janine Turner of "Northern Exposure" fame.

"A lot of Christians are leery of going to ordinary yoga because they don't feel comfortable with what is being said," says Mary Cunningham, the fitness expert who worked with Turner on the DVD that was released earlier this month. "This gives Christians an opportunity to perform yoga in their comfort zone."

The poses on the DVD are the same as those in many traditional yoga classes, but Cunningham and Turner have changed the names. For instance, "proud warrior" is now "mighty disciple."

Some don't want to change the class just the name. Earlier this year, yoga instructors at the Del Norte Athletic Club in Sacramento were asked to consider changing the name of their classes months after the club was purchased by Arcade Church.

"It was one of the first things they did," says Toni Eaton, who has taught yoga at Del Norte for 41/2 years.

She says alternative names suggested included "Mind, Body & Spirit," or "Piloga" (a combination of Pilates and Yoga), or even jokingly, "Holy Fit."

The instructors and the members weren't laughing.

"Yoga is yoga. Why call it something else?" says Mary Henson, a longtime member. "This does not have anything to do with Hinduism or any other Eastern religion.... All it is, is exercise."

Management eventually agreed. After meeting with the staff and researching yoga, club officials decided not to change the class name.

"There was some concern from people at the church about the roots of yoga," says Tim Sandquist, consultant to the church and former club director. He says leaders learned more about the 5,000-year-old practice.

"In reality, the yoga in the United States doesn't have the religious component," says Sandquist.

Yoga is a form of spiritual practice that predates Hinduism, according to Christopher Key Chapple, professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He says yoga is found in several major faith traditions.

"In a sense, the Christian reinterpretation is keeping with the yoga tradition itself. It has been adapted by a variety of faiths and used to enhance one's prayer life."

Words that are used during yoga practice such as "namaste" are cultural expressions rather than theological, says Chapple.

Cindy Senarighi is a co-owner of Yogadevotion, which mixes Christ's teachings with yoga poses. This type of Christian yoga is taught at 14 churches in Minneapolis and is spreading to other churches.

Senarighi opens class with an invocation asking God to be present in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; repeats the same scripture three times during class; and closes with a devotion.

"This frames who we are as people of faith," says Senarighi. "It combines the physical practice of yoga and the worship practices of Christianity."

Not everyone is pleased with the acceptance of yoga. In 1989, the Vatican issued a statement that said practices such as yoga can "degenerate into a cult of the body" and was signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In 2003, another document warned against new age practices, including yoga.

But pastors who have had yoga classes at their churches say the practice promotes spiritual enlightenment by helping students relax and meditate.

"To employ techniques or tools from other faith practices in seeking connection with God is merely that... employing a tool," writes the Rev. Susan Hamilton of Parkside Community Church in an e-mail.

Several students at the class at Hamilton's church say yoga helps them both physically and spiritually.

"It gives me a chance to really stop and think," says Barbara Brown, a student in the class. "Both my prayer life and my health have improved."



Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 05, 2007, 06:42:34 PM
More paganism sneaking into the churches. Yoga in any form has no place in the Church. There are many ways to improve ones health without compromising our Christian life.



Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Shammu on September 05, 2007, 09:13:17 PM
More paganism sneaking into the churches. Yoga in any form has no place in the Church. There are many ways to improve ones health without compromising our Christian life.


Yup

Yup

and another YUP!!

Yoga is based upon spiritual practices originating in India, hinduism.  Christians have no business practicing hinduism, at Church.


Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Debp on September 06, 2007, 02:48:19 AM
I hope this link is allowed to be put here:  http://www.immanuelpres.org/  If not, please remove it.

Check out the August newsletter....this is the church I left several years ago.  They not only have the yoga classes but they are planning dialogue on everyone's "sexuality" rather than just the "minority" (read senior pastor's message)!  Notice that one of the ministers took "body movement" for spiritual renewal during a sabbatical....I am not making this stuff up.  This used to be a good, Bible preaching church.


Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 06, 2007, 08:32:11 AM
It's a sad thing when churches start following such practices. If you do a search on spiritual renewal through body movement you will also find a tavern that is offering the same thing.



Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Debp on September 06, 2007, 05:55:19 PM
It's a sad thing when churches start following such practices. If you do a search on spiritual renewal through body movement you will also find a tavern that is offering the same thing.



Wow, that is something else....about the tavern.

Oh, my mom just got the new Sept newsletter from this same church (even though we left there when they started pushing the "gay" agenda).  At least in the Sept newsletter they were talking about God. For such a long, long time they hardly ever mentioned God in their newsletter!!

Several years ago a missionary friend of ours (works in Japan) walked around this church and prayed for it.


Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 06, 2007, 06:08:07 PM
Their are many such churches that need serious praying for as they are falling into the ways of the world.



Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: David_james on September 06, 2007, 07:54:56 PM
just researched about it and wow! However I think if one were just to do some physical movements but keep focused on God, I don't see a problem.


Title: Re: Yoga at church too much of a stretch for some
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 06, 2007, 08:08:19 PM
Exercise and stretching is one thing yoga is a completely different basis. It is all about self empowerment, self inner strength, self, self, self.