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Should Christians practice yoga?
October 11th, 2010
06:05 PM ET

Should Christians practice yoga?

Editor's Note: Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently asked on his blog, should Christians should practice yoga? That post got picked up by the Associated Press and led to a lot of discussion on the topic.  In this story from CNN Affiliate KLTV in Tyler Texas, a yoga instructors and student, who happened to be practicing Christians, voice their disagreement with Mohler.

Does practicing yoga compromise your Christian faith? That question is at the center of a debate made by the Southern Baptist Seminary president. Christians that practice yoga say two have little to do with each other.

Tanya Wood is a yoga instructor at the Yoga Spot in Tyler. She has been practicing yoga for eight years. "It makes you feel good, strong and flexible," said Wood. "It really does allow you to just wind down."

But, recent comments made by Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler has Wood wound up. "It's clear it's struck a nerve," said Mohler. "I hope at least it's a fruitful conversation."

In his online blog, Mohler said, "Christians who participate in yoga are embracing, or at minimum flirting with a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives."

"I totally disagree," said Wood. "I'm a Christian. I was saved when I was five-years-old. I have never practiced anything that would compromise my beliefs."

Mohler said that people should see yoga represents and see that it conflicts with Christianity. "This is totally separate," said Wood. "It has nothing to do with religion. What we practice has nothing to do with religion."

Read the full story and see the video from KLTV here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Hinduism • United States

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    Prayer is evidence of psychosis. God Bless!!

    April 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  2. Iqbal khan

    Before its too late....

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqYNydEH5Sk&w=640&h=360]

    October 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  3. Bubba

    Anything that adds to your physical, mental, and spiritual well being is a good thing. If you study history and anthropology, you will see that Christianity itself is influenced by other religions from Egypt, Rome, Greece, India, and Iran.

    October 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • andrez

      Yoga philosophy is not to be practice by Christian’s period. The physical stretching is great nothing else (1 Timothy 4:8). If you received the holy ghost, which is God himself in you (2 Corinthians 6:16) and believe in yoga philosophy it will leave you, because your accepting something that’s not true.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  4. Awakenings

    Actually, I posted this beacuse it was interesting. I was only quoting some excerpts from the article.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  5. cavepoet

    @Judith
    Most fundie Christians (like Mohler) would say "yes".... we must be afraid of having our spiritual lives transformed by things such as yoga. Because most fundamentalists feel that connecting to God (or the universal, or whatever) except thru Jesus is risky if not damning. If you believe the devil sets traps for us and is out to get our souls, then keeping to the "straight and narrow" is necessary. Obviously, there are several people on this thread who have less fundamentalist views of yoga than Mohler did.

    October 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Awakening

      Mayby you all should read this http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/bluebeam.html Project Blue Beam

      What is important to understand in the first step is that those earthquakes will hit at different parts of the world where scientific and archeological teachings have indicated that arcane mysteries have been buried. By those types of earthquakes, it will possible for scientists to re-discover those arcane mysteries which will be used to discredit all fundamental religious doctrines. This is the first preparation for the plan for humanity because what they want to do is destroy the beliefs of all Christians and Muslims on the planet. To do that, they need some false "proof" from the far past that will prove to all nations that their religions have all been misinterpreted and misunderstoodhe first step concerns the breakdown of all archeological
      knowledge. It deals with the setup with artificially created earthquakes at certain precise locations on the planet where, supposedly, new discoveries will finally explain to all people the error of all fundamental religious doctrines. The falsification of this information will be used to make all nations believe that their religious doctrines have been misunderstood for centuries and misinterpreted. Psychological preparations for that first step have already been implemented with the film, "2001: A Space Oddessy;" the StarTrek series, and "Star Wars;" all of which deal with invasions from space and the coming together of all nations to repel the invaders. The last films, "Jurrassic Park," deals with the theories of evolution, and claim God's words are lies.

      Now figure out when we hear that voice from the new world messiah who would be speaking from space to all of the sane people of the earth who might give instructions to zealots and religious fanatics, we would see hysteria and social mayhem on a scale never witnessed before on this planet. No police forces in the world, even as a combined front, could deal with the disorder that will follow!

      October 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • cavepoet

      @Awakenings
      Are you saying that NASA wants us to participate in yoga so that a New World Order can be established? And that preserving belief in fundamentalist religions (despite any "evidence" that is concocted) is our only defense? And... if I don't believe this, then I've likely already been maliciously programmed to not-believe it?

      October 15, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  6. Judith

    Must we be afraid of having our spiritual lives transformed? This journey is a process...we change, evolve, grow...just try and stop it 😉 You can't and the trying creates, rigidity, dis-ease, and breakage.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • Frank

      Great comment. You can stand in the middle of a fastly flowing river, trying to keep it from sweeping it away but it will out. Either evolve and reach ever upward or stay stuck. It's our choice.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  7. KoraKaos

    Yoga is about union. Yoga is an experience of oneness. Yoga is marriage with the universe. Yoga is marriage with God. It has deepened my relationship with God in ways more intimate than anyone who has never followed this discipline could possibly imagine.

    This frightens some religious leaders, because they do not want everyone to experience oneness with God. They are afraid it will hurt them. But that is only ego.

    I am Catholic, and I am a Yogi, and I'm pretty sure Jesus and lots of his followers were too.

    October 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @KoraKaos

      Well said....

      October 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • cavepoet

      @KoraKaos
      I'd be less surprised if Jesus was a yogi... than if I found out he was a catholic. 🙂 Or a baptist for that matter. Would you say that being both a catholic an yogi... also makes you also a buddahist or hindu. I think that's part of the appeal buddahism and hinduism (and yoga)... they make it ok to be two things at once. Heck, it's either to be catholic and a yogi, than it is to be catholic and baptist. 🙂

      October 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  8. caribalien

    Why are certain Christians so insecure about the proven mental, medical, emotional good to be found in non-Christian traditions? Do they think only their faith has anything worthwhile to contribute to the world?

    October 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  9. Maiarod

    If all it takes to sway you from your faith is doing some yoga, I'd say you weren't a very good Christian to begin with.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  10. Raison

    Almost forgot!

    Here's my latest list
    --------
    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:

    c-ock
    nig-ger
    nig is ok
    cu-nt
    b-itch
    ra-pe
    s-ex
    c-um
    sp-ic
    ho-mo
    t-it
    an-al
    sh-it
    fu-ck
    who-re
    tw-at
    pr-ick
    sl-ut
    c-lit
    va-gina
    hor-ny
    ar-se
    nip-ple
    po-rn
    -----
    okay words that normal people would expect to be filtered....!!!

    beaver
    penis
    ass
    crap
    damn
    anal
    anus
    sphincter
    testicles
    testes
    pubic
    boob

    and some words I had stuck in my head as possibilities that turned out to be okay:
    denigrate
    abortions
    cirriculums
    provoke
    kill
    murder
    precocious
    proctor
    gamble
    casino

    Everyone should feel free to copy-and-paste this list and distribute it freely to ALL.
    While it might be nice to see some narrow-minded tard suffer from the filter, I think it would be better to see what they were trying to post in the first place. We need more honest debate and discussion here.

    October 13, 2010 at 5:23 am |
    • Respondez

      Wow! Nice list. You have been busy 🙂

      October 13, 2010 at 5:27 am |
    • Raison

      Thanks. I've been wanting to do that for some time now.
      In looking it over, I wish I had put the words in different order to make it more humorous...lol
      I had been half-hoping that Kate would have given us something like this, but she found some trick that avoids the filter.

      Just accomplishin'

      October 13, 2010 at 5:39 am |
    • Kate

      @Raison

      I thought about it, but I was half hoping CNN would just fix the damned thing 😦

      Just wildly optimistic

      October 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  11. Respondez

    yeah, lordkid is a riot... comes from somewhere near "Butcher Holler" methinks.

    October 13, 2010 at 5:23 am |
    • Respondez

      ... and dontcha hate it when "Reply" gets messed up?

      October 13, 2010 at 5:24 am |
    • Raison

      no, I really think lordkid / sedreck fields is not living in this country or has a serious mental defect.
      But it is not impossible that he / she lives in the south of the USA.

      Nothing like rabid Christian voodoo, is there? When I read lordkid's posts, I can almost see this skinny kid jumping around like a witchdoctor jabbing his hands at us and expecting us to fall for the complete and utter bullshlt like some ignorant and superstltious tribal member –
      Don't forget to play dead when he comes around again, lol.

      October 13, 2010 at 5:34 am |
    • Raison

      aha!
      Sedreck Fields is a relatively famous boxer from Georgia, USA.
      Unless Sedrick is farther along that brain damage path and likes to post religious stuff, lordkid is most likely a fanboy.
      It would be easy but somewhat wrong to speculate on his family and living environment based on this possibility.
      But you gotta wonder...

      October 13, 2010 at 5:45 am |
  12. Respondez

    Raison,

    Will yoga negate those curses from lordkid? Ommmmmm.....

    October 13, 2010 at 4:31 am |
    • Raison

      @Respondez

      What curses? Oh, the voodoo kid? I expect he does not live in this country. And only he knows what defenseless animals he murdered to make him gabble even louder in person while he was doing it, too....
      How can you negate something with no meaning? Like religion?
      Princess Omni Padme Hum, of Naboo-beh, will protect me with her laser nip-ples, I'm sure. But you don't have to mumble.
      She's around here somewhere....
      😀

      October 13, 2010 at 4:47 am |
    • Respondez

      No, I meant the one today, who is turning us over Satan for our blasphemy.

      October 13, 2010 at 5:02 am |
    • Respondez

      This one:

      "lordkid

      "You will see in due time GOD don't like to be tempted. Once He get a whole of you i promise you, your life will never be the same. RAISON in the name of JESUS CHRIST I rebuke you and deliver you over to satan for the destruction of your flesh for troubling me."

      October 13, 2010 at 5:06 am |
    • testtests

      @Respondez

      What blasphemy? I don't know of any blasphemy that I have done. Unless someone would like to finally prove that God exists..
      then I might just commit some of that. I don't know. They've got to prove it first before we can go on to something like that.
      Wasn't Yoga one of those creatures in Star Wars?
      😛

      October 13, 2010 at 5:09 am |
    • Raison

      @Respondez

      Don't you just hate it when you finish typing everything out, press the post button and find that there's more posts you have missed in the meantime?
      good grief.

      As to lordkid, I've been wondering just how old this kid is and what country he/she is living in.
      The language structure is not like some of the others you see from translated foreigners trying to argue outside of their tongue...
      What do you think?

      October 13, 2010 at 5:13 am |
    • Respondez

      "Ohhh...Jedi Master! Yoda. You seek Yoda!" – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

      October 13, 2010 at 5:21 am |
  13. testes

    unknown author–

    If the religious kept their religion off my body, out of public school curriculums and government inst-itutions, didn't require it of political office holders and didn't use it to justify violent terroristic attacks, genital mutilation of children, execution for heresy and honor killings it would probably never occur to me to denigrate religion either. I wouldn't think about it any more than I think of those practicing astrology, since astrologers don't picket abortion clinics, thwart embryonic stem cell research, pass laws against assisted voluntary euthanasia and kill innocent civilians in the name of Pisces.

    October 13, 2010 at 4:13 am |
    • Raison

      I agree (I have no idea where it came from, but it's a good paragraph.)

      to those having fun with the filter results – I'm sure there's more words, but I thought it a good thing to stop now.
      enjoy your filter-feeding...like Spongebob does! eeeeehhhheeeeeeehhhhheeeeeehhhhh
      😀

      October 13, 2010 at 4:24 am |
  14. test6

    lubc-ock
    phlangeroform

    October 13, 2010 at 4:11 am |
    • testtest

      boob

      October 13, 2010 at 4:48 am |
    • testtests

      beaver
      po-rn

      October 13, 2010 at 4:50 am |
  15. test5

    precocious

    October 13, 2010 at 4:10 am |
    • testinggg

      tw-at
      penis

      October 13, 2010 at 4:32 am |
    • wait a sec

      c-lit
      va-gina
      hor-ny
      ar-se

      October 13, 2010 at 4:41 am |
  16. test

    testicles
    pubic
    cirriculums

    October 13, 2010 at 4:05 am |
    • test3

      denigrate
      buttocks
      abortions
      it's in here somewhere....

      October 13, 2010 at 4:08 am |
    • test4

      kill
      murder
      co-ck

      October 13, 2010 at 4:10 am |
  17. test

    laughing
    sphincter

    October 13, 2010 at 4:05 am |
    • testtests

      proctor
      gamble
      casino

      October 13, 2010 at 4:59 am |
  18. Raison

    @Peace2all

    You can call him up like a genie? Do you rub a lamp or something?
    Or do you just use a plunger?
    If he's MY buddy, why can't I call him up and sic him on you??
    ha!

    October 13, 2010 at 3:34 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Raison

      Well...... You 'could' call him and 'sic' him on me. But, I think given the last couple of days of your posting with him, I think he may not pick up the phone when you call....

      Now, for me... MIKE and I get along just 'peachy'.... I just take 10 deep breaths everytime I see a post by him.... and let it go...!

      Just sayin'

      ha!

      October 13, 2010 at 3:39 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Raison

      Just noticed that you and I seem to be, oh.... pretty much the only ones posting right now. And we are role-playing 'fundie v atheist' battles.

      O.K..... I truly do love posting with you.... You are a good cyber-friend. And I would kick anyones b-hind if they tried to attack you.

      And... It's late, and I am going to go to bed now.

      So..... Good night my friend... Fight the good fight with the fundies...! 🙂

      October 13, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • Raison

      @Peace2all
      See ye later...

      October 13, 2010 at 3:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.