Yoga: Path to hell?

Yoga has become so popular in the West as a form of exercise that some critics say many of its most spiritual aspects — specifically, its roots in Hinduism — are being lost on those who practice. The Hindu American Foundation, for instance, has launched a “Take Back Yoga” campaign that seeks to educate people about yoga’s religious side.

Suhag A. Shukla, Managing Director and Legal Counsel for the HAF, said the campaign grew out of frustration over a yoga industry that they claim hides the Hinduism inherent in yoga: “They view Hinduism as all caste, cows and curry — but there are metaphysical concepts in yoga that are part of the Hindu religion.”

Ironically, this movement has found an unlikely ally in certain Christian preachers who are all too aware of yoga’s religious link to Hinduism — and would encourage their flock to save their souls by leaving yoga alone.

“Yoga is nothing a Christian should delve into,” warned Bill Keller, a prominent televangelist and head of the 9/11 Christian Center in New York. “These new-age philosophies are in complete contradiction with biblical truth. It’s watered-down, feel-good nonsense.”

Stretching limits of the faith?

The debate comes at a time when not only is yoga on the rise, but a new variety of Christian yoga is also catching on. This form emphasizes physical and spiritual health, and it pairs traditional yoga postures with Christian psalms and prayers.

Amy Russell, a guru at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Columbus Circle, has been teaching Christian yoga for three years. “There are some people who think it’s something … demonic,” said Russell. “But Christians are hungry to have a positive way of working with their bodies and the Church.”

“Christians have been engaged in yoga-like practices for centuries,” says Serene Jones, president of the Union Theological Seminary. “It’s not as if a Christian never stood on their head before.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…