Christian Yogini

I have a good friend who is concerned that my yoga practice is a threat to my Christian faith.  I appreciate his concern, and his courage in speaking up, but my own feeling is that my yoga practices enhances my faith.

Yoga isn’t generally considered a religion, but it has its own sacred texts, and it does have shared roots with ancient Hinduism. ¬†I do think that if you are serious about staying on a Christian path, it is good to be aware that your yoga practice is rooted in another faith tradition, and to be very mindful and intentional about the impact of your practice on your spiritual state.

Yoga calms my tendency to be tense, rushed and reactive.  My twice-daily yoga practice (sometimes it is an hour, sometimes only 5 minutes of sun salutations or pranayama, but ALWAYS twice a day) quiets my mind for prayer and keeps me centered on my intentions on all but the most stressful days (honestly, there are some days that just defeat me).

For me, yoga is also a form of worship. ¬†I ¬†love living in a body in a physical world. ¬†When my yoga practice is going really well, it feels like an offering of joy to the God who Augustine says “sang” the universe into existence. ¬†Sometimes I feel that song humming through my own muscles and sinews. ¬† Sometimes when I’m outdoors in a beautiful place, I feel moved to strike a yoga pose that expresses my thankfulness for my life in this world. ¬† I am very clear on which¬†God I’m thanking, and I don’t think He rejects my offering.

 

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