Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stretched and relaxed!

Well, I have to say, holy yoga was an interesting experience. Firstly, I'm not as flexible as I might be! That was one thing learned as I tried to grab my foot and tuck it into my lap! Beyond the obvious creaking of knees and muscles as they complained bout being asked to do things they'd long forgotten how to do,  I have to say that I did feel the benefit of having spent the time stretching and relaxing.

Of course doing Pilates would probably achieve similar goals and if I did the exercise I ought to do each day, my flexibility would increase vastly and with none of the theological issues usually raised around yoga.

So, what did I make of the theological issues then, I hear you ask.

Well, actually I don't think there were any. you see the thing is the whole routine was set in the context of worship. It was quite reflective and brought a fresh dimension to engaging spiritually and physically. Here's an example. When we were doing one particular exercise that involved a progressive stretch, we were encouraged to think about the principle of surrender. As you stretched and your body resisted you simply focussed on surrendering to the stretch. sounds odd doesn't it, but if you have ever done any form of serious stretching, you will know that you have to relax to stretch and relaxing is an act of surrender because your body naturally tenses up when it resists.

So there will still be issues that this is the thin end of the wedge and that Christians who engage with yoga, no matter how much Christian spirituality in incorporated, are opening themselves to negative spiritual influence. But I also suspect that the very people who reject holy yoga in this way will do so jet before they go of the play Modern Warfare 3, or watch some film or TV programme that lack a Christian ethical and theologically sound base.

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