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Is Yoga A Sin In The Catholic Church

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Is yoga against Catholicism? – Ask Fr. Nick

The Pietra Fitness website which advocates yoga-like exercises for the mind, body and soul claims one cannot regularly practice yoga without some spiritual effect therefore we recommend that Christians stop the practice of yoga and seek alternatives consistent with Christian philosophy and spirituality.

In response, Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a statement urging Benedictine College not to “abolish” yoga at the university. He said while yoga is a Hindu-based practice, it is a mental and physical discipline that can provide benefits to everyone.

An online petition started by Benedictine students asking the school to “bring back yoga” had nearly 100 supporters earlier this week.

Additional reporting by agencies.


What Is The Spiritual Significance Of Common Yoga Poses

If you practice yoga , you may recognize some of these common poses from yoga class. Though helpful stretches in Western culture, they also have a spiritual significance in Eastern religion. William Kremer writes, To those in the know, for example, the yogic asanas, or positions, retain elements of their earlier spiritual meanings.

1. Sun Salutation

This series of poses is done as a warm up or cool down in yoga. It gets the blood flowing and warms the body. The benefit of a sun salutation is to stretch the whole body and prepare you for more challenging poses if done as a warm up. As a cool down, its aim is to calm and focus you, preparing your mind to face the rest of the day.

In Hinduism, the Sun Salutation or the Surya namaskar is a series of positions designed to greet Surya, the Hindu Sun God.

2. Cobra Pose


This part of the Sun Salutation stretches the torso, as you look upward and arch your back with hands planted firmly below shoulders on the mat with toes gently resting behind.

The alternate meaning behind this pose also called Bhujangasana is the Hindu idea the spirit-snake power that is activated and elevated in the body by means of yoga also associated with Patanjali, the sage who wrote the Yoga Sutras, who is depicted as a hybrid man-snake.

3. Warrior Poses

What drew me to yoga was something admittedly unphilosophical.

In the dark room with soothing, repetitive music, the anxieties of my day and my body melted away.


The Practice Of Yoga Is Not Catholic: A Reminder From The Church In India

The practice of yoga is incompatible with Catholic doctrine, according to a report published by the Syro-Malabar Church, one of the three rites represented in the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.

The Syro-Malabar report calls for a re-reading of yoga since the government has moved towards making yoga compulsory in schools and present it as an inseparable part of Indian culture.

This is not the first time that Syro-Malabar Bishops have spoken out on this matter. Last year they stated that âyoga is not a means to reach contact with the divine, although it may contribute to physical and mental health.â

Yoga is a set of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that originated in India and spread around the world. It combines physical and breathing exercises. In Hinduism, it is also a spiritual journey to experience contact with the divine. In Indian schools, yoga is compulsory and every year, on June 21, schools focus on activities and events dedicated to yoga.

Hindu activists and intellectuals have long been fighting to make this event obligatory, forcing students to sing sacred Hindu sonnets and mantras, regardless of their religious confession.


In yoga there is no place for God, declared the Syro-Malabar doctrinal Commission chaired by Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, who also warned of the danger of physical gestures and exercises becoming idolatrous in themselves.

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The Capital Sins Or Vices

According to St. Thomas a capital vice is that which has an exceedingly desirable end so that in his desire for it a man goes on to the commission of many sins all of which are said to originate in that vice as their chief source. It is not then the gravity of the vice in itself that makes it capital but rather the fact that it gives rise to many other sins. These are enumerated by St. Thomas as vainglory , avarice, gluttony, lust, sloth, envy, anger. St. Bonaventure gives the same enumeration. Earlier writers had distinguished eight capital sins: so St. Cyprian Cassian Columbanus Alcuin . The number seven, however, had been given by St. Gregory the Great , and it was retained by the foremost theologians of the Middle Ages.

An apple, a woman and a snake

Why Is Yoga Incompatible With Catholicism

Inside story of Catholic bishop who left church for erotic ...
  • FATHER JOHN A. HARDON, S.J

Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism because the best known practice of Hindu spirituality is Yoga.


Inner Hinduism professes pantheism, which denies that there is only one infinite Being who created the world out of nothing. Indian spirituality is perhaps best known by the practice of yoga, derived from the root yuj to unite or yoke, which in context means union with the Absolute. Numerous stages are distinguished in the upward progress toward the supreme end of identification: by means of knowledge with the deity the practice of moral virtues and observance of ethical rules bodily postures control of internal and external senses concentration of memory and meditationfinally terminating in total absorption , when the seer stands in his own nature.Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism because the best known practice of Hindu spirituality is Yoga. Inner Hinduism professes pantheism, which denies that there is only one infinite Being who created the world out of nothing. This pantheistic Hinduism says to the multitude of uncultured believers who follow the ways of the gods that they will receive the reward of the gods. They will have brief tastes of heaven between successive rebirths on earth. But they will never be delivered from the wheel of existence with its illusory lives and deaths until they realize that only God exists and all else is illusion . To achieve this liberation the principal way is by means of concentration and self control .

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Hey Father Can Catholics Practice Yoga

Can Catholics practice yoga?

Tessie in Effingham

Crazy trivia fact: Most languages spoken across Europe and Asia are all descendants of an original Proto-Indo-European language spoken around 12,000 B. C. In Sanskrit, an ancient and medieval Indian language used in many Hindu, Buddhist and Jain writings, the noun yoga comes from the Proto-Indo-European root: yewg, meaning to join. This trickles down into English in words like yoke , through Greek in the term zygote , and through Latin in the term jugular .


In Eastern mysticism, the word yoga came to refer to the practices of self-concentration, controlled breathing, various bodily postures, and fasting for the sake of contemplation, that is, eventual liberation from the cycle of reincarnation . Yoga, meaning yoked, was thus used in the sacred Hindu Vedas to refer to both the subsuming of ones body into ones spirit and oneself into the divine .

The key difference is that all these prayer-practices are aimed toward an encounter with God who personally loves us! Christian Prayer flees from impersonal techniques or from concentrating on oneself, which can create a kind of rut, imprisoning the person praying in a spiritual privatism which is incapable of a free openness to the transcendental God .

All humans in todays world are enduring the triple stress hitting us: the pandemic of COVID-19, the financial crisis, and the climate change. Sometimes we hardly know which way to turn.

Or who to blame.

Are Yoga And Catholicism Compatible

Apr 13, 2011 2:00:37 PM | by Guest


Is it possible to practice yoga as a faithful Catholic?

I struck out to find the Catholic Church’s official teaching on yoga, and found some information from the Vatican, some views from Christianity, and a lot of folks’ opinions along the way.

Is Yoga a Pagan Hindu Religious Practice or Just Exercise?

If one is to discuss this subject with any degree of intelligence, one must first determine if the physical motions of yoga can be separated from the spirituality that often comes with it, and which may be the foundation of the practice in Eastern religions.

It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that any dabbling in New Age or Hindu religious practice, any opening up of oneself to “Gaia” or Mother Nature or centering one’s soul with the collective consciousness or connecting with the earth, is counter to the Christian faith. Any practice that worships a pagan god, a god of “nature” or a god within oneself is intrinsically evil and against Christianity, where there is one God and one God only.

The fundamental question when a person of Christian faith asks, “Can I do yoga?” is whether this tree pose necessarily worships a foreign god in the sun, sky or otherwise, regardless of the heart of the person, or whether it is just an exercise in balance and control, one that my 5-year-old son just identified as, “Is that ice skating, or what?”

Yoga: Sinful or Just Fearful?

Arguments Against Yoga from a Catholic Perspective

Arguments for Yoga

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Can Catholics Get Tattoos

The Pope has backed tattoos , saying they can help build communities. At a meeting with young people ahead of an upcoming Synod of Catholic bishops, Pope Francis told them dont be afraid of tattoos . He said that while in some cases the number of tattoos were exaggerated, they could also be a symbol of faith.

The Problem With Yoga

Catholic Bishop Says Yoga Is A “Serious Sin”

The controversy with yoga goes beyond a persons intent. No one is accusing Catholics of going to yoga class specifically to worship a Hindu God. The problem is that yoga holds that all existence is one there is no distinction between God and the universe. Through enlightenment a person becomes one with all of existence.

Having taken a yoga class myself many years ago, I know that the stretches, relaxation meditations and poses, all mesh together. It would be hard to discern the instructors meaning behind everything. For instance, a classic yoga mantra: Soham means, I am the universal Self, which is often used repetitively, timed with your breathing.

A friend who took a yoga class told me everyone was supposed to fold their hands and bow before they began. She said she did not do that but upon considering that yoga exercise is one part of a bigger pagan spiritual practice, she decided to quit. Why take a chance? she said. If parts of it are wrong, then Im not going to participate in any of it.

In addition, the more people practiced yoga, the more likely they were to decrease their adherence to Christianity and the more likely they were to adhere to non-religious spirituality and Buddhism. In other words, whatever their intentions may have been, many people experience yoga as a gateway to a spirituality disconnected from Christ.

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Is Yoga Forbidden By The Church

When starting to consider yoga, one must take into account its unequivocal connection on the planes of physicality and spirituality. On the surface it is just a set of exercises, while everything in practice remains based on a spiritual foundation. And it is because of this second component that there are many concerns about practicing yoga.

When considering whether yoga is a sin from the point of view of Churcha, it is necessary to reach back to the institution of the clergy’s deep concern for each member of the Christian community. Attendance at Mass, daily prayer, and living according to the Decalogue are absolute basics in the process of drawing closer to God. Opening ourselves to spiritual possibilities outside of this zone can lead to enormous problems, including inviting Satan to intrude more deeply into our mental space.

Papal Bulls And Encyclicals

Pope Pius XII stated in Humani generis, that papal encyclicals, even when they are not ex cathedra, can nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:

Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: He who heareth you, heareth me and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.

The end of the theological debate is not identical, however, with dogmatization. Throughout the history of the Church, its representatives have discussed whether a given Papal teaching is the final word or not.

Critics of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis point out, though, that it was not promulgated under the extraordinary papal magisterium as an ex cathedra statement, and therefore is not considered infallible in itself.

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Modern Yoga Is Very Different From Ancient Yoga

Yoga as it is practiced in the West today certainly diverges from the yogic practices of ancient India.

Nineteenth-century groups of intellectuals in both Europe and America, like the German Romantics and the American Transcendentalists , developed an interest in all things Indian. This was an interest complicated by Indias status as a British colonial outpost. Figures like Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk and mystic who frequently lectured in America and England, brought the practice of yoga to the attention of Western intelligentsia.

In the early 20th century, the intellectual fashion of yoga transformed into a Hollywood fitness craze through the efforts of the wealthy Russian-born Eugenie Peterson . She read an occult book on yoga Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism by William Walker Atkinson, a white American author writing under the pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka. She was inspired to study yoga in India and used her political connections to access the mystic Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

But yogas increased popularity has brought with it controversy. For some Hindu scholars and thinkers, yogas adoption in the West as a popular fitness fad is a form of cultural appropriation. In 2008, the Hindu American Foundation launched a take back yoga campaign after the popular Yoga Journal declined to refer to certain postures as explicitly Hindu, choosing the more generic ancient Indian because the mention of Hinduism had too much baggage.

Rape Dehumanizes The Children Of God

Derek Prince Prayers of Deliverance

The Catechism also provides examples of circumstances in which, in addition to rape being a sin that seeks to dehumanize a child of God, it can also be a sin of betrayal. This list could include situations where a husband rapes his wife , or when a teacher, policeman, doctor, priest or anyone else in a position of power or authority abuses their position to sexually exploit the powerless. Most rapes are not perpetrated against victims by a stranger, but by someone that the victim knows and trusts. When this happens, the grave sin of betrayal is added to the sin of rape.

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Dogma In The Catholic Church

Page Contents

A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Churchs Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging Catholics to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.

Dogma can also pertain to the collective body of the Churchs dogmatic teachings and doctrine. The faithful are required to accept with the divine and Catholic faith everything the Church presents either as solemn decision or as general teaching. Yet not all teachings are dogma. The faithful are only required to accept those teachings as dogma if the Church clearly and specifically identifies them as infallible dogmas. Not all theological truths have been promulgated as dogmas. A tenet of the faith is that the Bible contains many sacred truths, which the faithful recognize and agree with, but which the Church has not defined as dogma. Most Church teachings are not dogma. Cardinal Avery Dulles pointed out that in the 800 pages of the Second Vatican Council documents, there is not one new statement for which infallibility is claimed.

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What Is The Catholic Position On Yoga

I have received a couple inquiries about Yoga by e-mail, and heard of others by word of mouth. It seems that a lot of the faithful are wondering what a Catholic is supposed to think about Yoga. Many even desire an outright condemnation from the Church.

That such a condemnation has not yet occurred is an important factor for anyone seeking to honestly answer this question. Despite registering certain concerns, the Vatican has not felt compelled to tell Catholics that yoga is totally out of bounds. Why not?

Many arguments Catholics tend to use against the practice of yoga are, in fact, unCatholic even superstititous. Those who argue that the practice of putting ones body into certain positions automatically opens one to malign supernatural forces are making the same mistake that St. Paul criticized in 1 Corinthians 8 when he told those in his congregation who were concerned about eating food that had been offered to idols that we know that no idol in the world really exists.

The physical positions of yoga have no more spiritual power of themselves than meat from a pagan temple differs from any other meat. Consequently, there is no problem with a Catholic using various stretches and exercises that may help her or his bad back just because they happen to be yoga poses.

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