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
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…