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Don't Keep Your Legs Crossed

More and more, Christians are turning to the practice of yoga. But is yoga, a practice of ancient and modern Hinduism, a proper form of exercise for Christians? Recently, Sannyasin Arumuga, managing editor of Hinduism Today, was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel proclaiming Hinduism as the soul of yoga. According to him, it is based "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 and understand the Hindu way of looking at God... A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs."

However, the knowledge that yoga is a Hindu religious practice has not stopped Christians from adopting itand even trying to accomodate it into Christian practice. Some yoga practitioners have developed "Christian" approaches to yoga such as "PraiseMoves: The Christian Alternative to Yoga." Yoga postures are given different names (downward-facing dog becomes the "tent" position in "PraiseMoves"). Some of these approaches use scripture verses as mantras, some use words like "Maranatha" (a practice condoned by the World Community for Christian Meditation), and others may use spiritual quotes (like Mother Teresa's quote, "In silence we are filled with the energy of God that makes us do all things in joy").

More and more "Christian" groups are joining in on the yoga bandwagon. One teacher of Christian yoga claimed that yoga is not a religion but a spiritual practice that originated in India. "People and churches need to lose their fear of yoga. Yoga is nonsectarian in itself; it's how you choose to think about it. In the '60's, it did have the trappings of Hinduism. When I go to a yoga class, if there is a Hindu chant, it's not my tradition, but it's OK with me." As we progress further and further into the last days, we can expect to see more and more of this kind of accomodation of false religious practices by Christian groups. One of the last day indicators is, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2Timothy 3:5).