YOGA – Just Exercise or a Hindu Religion?

Catholic priest plans yoga event, sparks debate

The poster announcing the yoga event scheduled for June 23
While some feel yoga is anti-Christianity, others say the June 23 event is BJP propaganda, as its posters have photos of Modi, Fadnavis.A yoga event for recovery from addiction, organised by a Catholic priest, has created quite a stir within the community. While many members saw yoga as “anti-Christianity”, others labelled the programme as BJP propaganda, as its posters featured the pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, MLA Ashish Shelar, among others.

The event, organised by Fr Joe Pereira, a promoter of Iyengar yoga who is attached to the NGO Kripa Foundation, is scheduled for June 23 at the St Andrews auditorium in Bandra.

The large-scale event will have participants from de-addiction centers from over 20 countries. Its posters announce the guests of honour as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, MP Shripad Naik, CM Devendra Fadnavis and MLA Ashish Shelar. The poster also asserts on World Yoga Day, with a picture of Modi.

Many community members have approached the archdiocese to complain against the event. “Firstly, yoga is not Biblical. If a priest wants to organise something, he should do it within the framework of the Christian world,” said Vincy Nazareth, a parishioner from Mahim. He also said it was not right to have such politicised events, as church was not affiliated with any political party.

Pereira, who has published a book called Yoga for the Practice of Christian Meditation, has many followers and an equal number of opposition, too, who have labelled him as a “non-Christian”.

“I would say Fr Pereira is not a Catholic priest. He is more of a Hindu yoga guru,” said Micheal Prabhu, who calls himself a Catholic apologist or an explainer of the Catholic faith. “I am not condemning yoga for Hindus. All I am saying is yoga is not right for Christians,” said Prabhu, who said the religious philosophy of yoga lay in Hinduism. “Yoga is a Hindu spiritual exercise and not compatible with Christianity,” he added.

Meanwhile Bishop Agnelo Gracias, vicar general of the archdiocese, said, “Many members have come to us to complain about the issue. The church has never taken a stand on yoga and we consider it purely a form of exercise for better health and better life.”

According to Gracias, the archdiocese has no qualms over printing the pictures of guests of honour invited to the event.

“But Narendra Modi is not invited and his picture on the poster does give a feeling of it being a BJP event. I have already spoken to Fr Pereira about this and he is taking some measures,” assured Gracias. Fr Pereira could not be reached for comments, as he is out of the country.


         YOGA – Just Exercise or a Hindu Religion?

A Hindu Yogi Speaks: “There is no Christian Yoga.” The following article is written by Yogi Baba Prem, who is a Hindu Yogi, a Vedavisharada trained in the …

PBS Video Shows Emerging Church in Action (Doug Pagitt)
Practicing Yoga in church.

YOGA – Just Exercise or a Hindu Religion?

YOGA – Just Exercise or a Hindu Religion?

A Hindu Yogi Speaks: “There is no Christian Yoga.” The following article is written by Yogi Baba Prem, who is a Hindu Yogi, a Vedavisharada trained in the …

PBS Video Shows Emerging Church in Action (Doug Pagitt)
Practicing Yoga in church.
A Hindu Yogi Speaks: “There is no Christian Yoga.”The following article is written by Yogi Baba Prem, who is a Hindu Yogi, a Vedavisharada trained in the traditional gurukural system. We hope that Thomas Nelson, who publishes Yoga for Christians, and emerging leader, Doug Pagitt, who offers it at his church, will all read this article by Yogi Baba Prem.“There is no Christian Yoga?” by Yogi Baba Prem
“It was quite astonishing to see on the flyer ‘Christian Yoga! This Thursday night….’ I could feel the wheels spinning in my brain. ‘Christian Yoga,’ I thought. Now while Christians can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian word! It is not a part of the Roman Catholic teachings and certainly not a part of protestant teachings. It is not found within the King James Version of the bible. It is a Hindu word, or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization. So how did we get ‘Christian Yoga’? “From this I could conclude that ‘Christian Yoga’ could only indicate one of two possibilities:” Read more …

For Many Shall Come in My Name Yoga and the Body of Christ


From an email we received from the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy:“Is Yoga a religion that denies Jesus Christ? Yes. Just as Christianity denies the HinduMahaDevas such as Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Krishna, to name a few, Hinduism and its many Yogas have nothing to do with God and Jesus (though we do respect that others believe in this way). As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called ‘yoga’ is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians.”Danda,
Dharma Yoga Ashram
(Classical Yoga Hindu Academy)

East and West, The Two Shall Never Meet
“Christianity cannot be integrated with yoga and remain Christian. To think otherwise imperils the Christian truth and faith. As the managing editor of ‘Hinduism Today,’ Sannyasin Arumugaswami, remarks, ‘Hinduism is the soul of yoga ‘based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. . . . A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs’.’ East is east, and west is west, and if Christianity is to remain Christian, ‘the twain’ should never be married. Can yogic practices be integrated with the Christian faith? Pastor Larry De Bruyn
“The practice of Yoga is pagan at best, and occult at worst. Its teachings emanate from the Eastern religions, all of which teach that self is God, only we just don’t realize it until we do the techniques. ‘The goal of Yoga is self-realization-to look deeply within to what ought to be the temple of the one true God and to discover the alleged true Self or higher Self to be God. Nothing could be more religious than that, yet with straight faces, all of the Yogis insist that practicing Yoga does not change anyone’s religious beliefs.’”— Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, Read More ...

Gimmie Yoga, a Burger and Fries

This week I had yet another new shock to the system. While standing in line to order a Number 3 meal at the local McDonalds®, I noticed an interesting new promotion that is taking place. They now have Adult Happy Meal. This is pretty cool because the kids always got some pretty neat toys. The adult meal also comes with a prize, but I was kind of shocked when I found out what it is … a DVD on Yoga.


Well on my bag for my Big Mac®, I found a handy URL telling me more about this and I checked it out.


Here is what they say…
15 Minutes of Sane

Feeling stressed? Try Yoga. It helps relax the mind and rejuvenate the body and spirit. Plus, it’s great for improving flexibility.

Your exclusive McDonald’s® Yourself!Fitness® Yoga DVD offers four different 15 minute workouts to help improve your mood and your energy level. You can customize your Yoga workout by choosing a language, difficulty level and your
area of focus—flexibility, stress relief, balance or strength.


The eastern thought of New Age mentality is not only entering the burger joints of America , but it has made a strong entrenchment in a place not as suspecting … our churches today. Read entire article by Ray Gano of Prophezine.

Yoga – Helping to Unite the World’s Religions

Can We Separate the Exercise From the Philosophy?

“There is a common misconception in the West that hatha-yoga, one of about ten forms of Yoga that supposedly leads to self-realization, is merely a neutral form of exercise, a soothing and effective alternative for those who abhor jogging and calisthenics …

“[However], Hatha-yoga is ‘one of the six recognized systems of orthodox Hinduism’ and is at its roots religious and mystical. It is also one of the most difficult and potentially dangerous [spiritually] forms of Yoga. “The term hatha is derived from the verb hath, which means ‘to oppress.’… What the practice of hatha-yoga is designed to do is suppress the flow of psychic energies through these channels [“symbolic, or psychic, passages on either side of the spinal column”], thereby forcing the ‘serpent power’ or the kundalini force to rise through the central psychic channel in the spine (the sushumna) and up through the chakras, the supposed psychic centers of human personality and power. Westerners mistakenly believe that one can practice hatha-yoga apart from the philosophical and religious beliefs that undergrid it. This is an absolutely false belief. …

“You cannot separate the exercises from the philosophy. … ‘The movements themselves become a form of meditation.’ The continued practice of the exercises will, whether you … intend it or not, eventually influence you toward an Eastern/mystical perspective. That is what it is meant to do! … There is, by definition, no such thing as ‘neutral’ Yoga” —Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter, pp. 93-95).



About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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