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Southern Baptist Leader Claims Good Christians Don’t Do Yoga

There’s nothing better than the spiritual connection one makes with the body and mind during a yoga session. Well, maybe getting into heaven.

Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler is asking for Christians everywhere to avoid yoga because of its spiritual attachments and Eastern roots, which he claims isn’t the pathway to God.

If you have ever tried to tell a yogi that yoga is just strengthening and stretching the body, you were most likely met with gushing about the spirituality and mind-body connection of it all- but not one word mentioned about religion. Yoga is, in fact, derived from Eastern religions, but does that mean it’s “un-Christian”?

Mohler said he objects to “the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine….That’s just not Christianity.”

As you can imagine, many yoga enthusiasts are not pleased with this proclamation. A 2008 study by the Yoga Journal showed that an astounding 15.8 million, or nearly 7 percent of adults, claim to practice yoga. To put that in perspective, about 6.7 percent of American adults are Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life. There’s some definite overlap there.

Mohler penned an online essay last month where he explained his controversial view. He claims that Christians who practice yoga “must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga.”

This isn’t a new stance. Many Christian leaders have preached against practicing yoga because it conflicts with the teachings of Jesus, calling yoga “really spooky” and a “false religion.” In addition, Muslims are banned from practicing yoga in Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia for similar reasons.

People practice yoga for a variety of reasons. Some practice yoga as a means of promoting physical and mental healing and strength, some practice to relieve stress and pain and some just love a good workout. Because of this, and yoga’s growing popularity, yoga has been “watered down” in many studios and yoga classes with the elimination of chanting and religious ties.

What do you guys think? Can you practice yoga and still be a good Christian? What is your definition of spirituality?

Via Yahoo News

October 7th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 6 total comments)


I have gone to many, many yoga classes in the last 30 years and it is extremely rare that there is any talk of religion or any chanting. They really seem more like physical therapy. I have seen regular practice awaken more goodness in people's lives that just might lead them to Christianity.

posted Jan 30th, 2012 7:41 pm


Yoga has nothing to do with God, Jesus or the devil. Christians who renounce this type of practice aren't very Christ-like anyways. Jesus Christ, himself, would have likely enjoyed the benefits (all of them) of yoga. Any practice that encourages peace and mindfullness would have been good in his book. And his message to us was to live like him. It's not like yogis chant to the devil, come on! And besides, most yoga classes don't even incorporate any spiritual teachings.

To each his own, I guess. We're all on different paths, but I don't need anyone's approval or disapproval because their 'brand' of Christianity is different from mine. All we can do is laugh and let the guy think what he wants.

I'd like to know if this guy frowns upon meditating as well. I've known many priests that encourage it as a way of prayer and contemplation. But then, I'm Catholic and not Baptist. Maybe that makes a difference.

posted Oct 8th, 2010 12:04 pm


You can't fix stupid

posted Oct 8th, 2010 8:42 am



posted Oct 7th, 2010 9:46 pm


Great ... give people one more excuse not to workout. Sheesh.

posted Oct 7th, 2010 9:46 pm


This is unreal. They can't be serious, can they? I've done yoga for a while now and have never gone b/c of some spiritual connection, Christian, Eastern or otherwise. I go because of the amazing fitness benefits. I have no doubt my labor and delivery was easier because of the 6 months of yoga I did while I was pregnant. And postpartum, I quickly regained strength and lost weight because of my yoga practice. Yoga comes in all shapes, styles and size. If you want a "spiritual" experience, there's an instructor and class for that. If you're looking for a fantastic workout that strengthens, tones and burns calories, then there's an instructor and class for that. Like the article says, the "spiritual" ties are there if you're looking for them, and if you're not, go enjoy a great workout.

posted Oct 7th, 2010 9:45 pm


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