Republican party candidate E.W. Jackson is not only running for a position as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, he’s running his mouth as a highly conservative Christian who firmly believes yoga is a straight path to hell, not health.
Jackson is not afraid to tell the world what he thinks. As a Christian minister, Jackson wants to save our souls by warning the 15 million Americans who practice that “Doing yoga may leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possession.”
I don’t remember ever coming across any information while researching the benefits of yoga that along with better health, practitioners will start to grow horns and breathe hostility out into the world. In fact, last time I checked, those who practice yoga on a regular basis are happier, less anxious, and more willing to make a positive difference in their community.
Atlantic Wire’s Elspeth Reeve’s comment in response to Jackson’s assertions is the best one thus far. Reeve joked, “Behind the ice-cold eyes of Lululemon princesses burn the demonic flames of eternal hell.” Next time you are in your yoga class you better run and hide, because everyone knows the devil wears Prana.
“Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want,” Jackson cautions in reference to yoga and meditation. However, when practices such as yoga and meditation are used to exorcise the trauma in soldiers post-war, it becomes a less convincing argument that yoga is the gateway into the devil’s flaming abyss.
There will always be a very small few, such as the former chief exorcist of the Vatican, who believe yoga is a path to hell. However, millions of people across the globe have experienced positive changes when using yoga as a path to health. From increased flexibility to higher levels of compassion, yoga encourages people to take care of themselves so they can live a long and happy life.
In our society, everyone is free to speak his or her mind, and Jackson is no exception. Thankfully, those who have a strong yoga practice know they can “empty the mind” and disregard Jackson’s comments to make room for more positive thoughts and health-inspired, not hell-inspired, affirmations.
June 7th, 2013