My Crazy Journey in Search of God, Faith, Reason & Truth

For many years in fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches, I was taught to be wary- even fearful, of practicing Yoga. Years ago, I was taught that practicing Yoga could open up a person to the demonic world. (Did anyone else see the Christian film “Gods of the New Age?”)

It’s been many years since I was fearful of yoga, but I still have religious friends who would be unable to practice it in good conscience. I also still feel very uncomfortable with meditation.

With that background, this article fascinates me deeply as it suggests that the Yoga we know in the U.S. is not as ancient or as “Hindu” as we think it is!



Comments on: "Yoga- Not as Old or as “Hindu” As We Thought!" (6)

  1. There’s a similar discomfort among conservative Christians about meditation. Their fear of these practices reveals how little they actually know about them.

    • Ahab,

      An extremely belated Thanks for stopping by!

      Do you think that the conservative christians’ fear of meditation comes from how little they know about it or do you think that it would still be scary if they understood the dynamics of meditation? I guess it would depend on the type of meditation and what a person thinks is happening to them as they meditate.

      I remember during the “Satanic Panic” era and the time in which conservative Xianity was fighting against the new age movement I read the book “The Beautiful Side of Evil.” I think it was there that I learned that meditation was wrong because one must “Rejoice in the Lord at all times!” according to the Bible. Therefore, it was wrong to empty one’s mind and dangerous. It was suggested that by emptying one’s mind an evil spirit might try to fill up the vaccuum and that someone by not focusing on God and his word at all times might leave you open to demonic influence.

      I of course don’t believe all that now but I think the mindset is there, plus the mindset that if your church or pastor doesn’t give you the green light on the meditation or yoga that there might be some reason to distrust it.

  2. Do western gyms teach postures that are not in traditional yoga? Yes.

    Were the major postures and stretches in Hindu scriptures? Yes, many are ancient. the Tirumandhiram of 500CE contains many, and Asanas are mentioned in Pantalaji’s Yoga Sutras, probably abiout 200 BCE.

    • Tandava,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

      I would hate to see India or Hinduism lose credit for the practice of yoga. However, I do think it can be a very worthwhile discussion regarding how yoga may have evolved or even changed into something new.

      You sound much more knowledgeable than me on of Yoga’s source materials and history. I can’t wade competently into any debate on the history and authenticity of yoga. I will leave that to you and the experts!

      My purpose in linking to this article is to contribute to the discussion of whether westerners are practicing a completely Hindu spiritual practice or whether some of Yoga as practiced in the U.S. can be practiced as a separate physical (non-spiritual) discipline- especially for non-Hindu religious folks like conservative christians who may fear engaging in a non-christian spiritual discipline.

  3. IMO it seems like most ( even all) sports have roots in non Judeo-Christian cultures. I find it ironic and funny when a preacher goes on about yoga, but he perhaps goes home and watches wrestling( from ancient Rome), golf ( Rome), or other “pagan” sports on TV after giving his sermon.

    • AB,

      You are so right! In our American Judeo-Christian culture we have kind of accepted the Greek and Roman fables and history as part of our culture. In fact, we consider them part of a classical education. We don’t worry that when kids are learning about Atlas, Zeus, Pan, Pandora, even Thor (all the Greek, Roman, European and Scandinavian “Gods” that they are learning about other gods/demons/idols, but it seems to be a different story when it deals with the Eastern Gods!

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