1. Yoga is meditation. Meditation is a vehicle. It can lead you to spiritual enlightenment, if that is your goal. Or it can help you focus and relax, if that is your goal. All depends on where you want to go. If you drive your car to church, does that make your car religious? No. It does not.
2. Some yoga is just exercise. This is a little controversial — I have yoga teacher friends who say it shouldn’t be treated as “just” exercise you do at the gym, but that’s what it’s become in the U.S. You stretch a lot, you breathe, and your body benefits from that. It’s a limited use of yoga, but one a lot of people find very effective, physically.
3. You can be a Christian and do yoga. Millions of Christians who do yoga know this. They don’t feel like they’re worshipping Hindu gods when they do yoga, even if some poses refer to Hindu gods. I bet Jesus would have practiced yoga if he’d known about it.
4. Yoga’s spiritual roots have sprung practical uses. True, yoga developed in ancient India as a spiritual practice. And for many practitioners, it still is a spiritual practice. But it’s evolved into a multitude of different kinds of practices, many of them completely secular. Some people consider it a form of alternative preventative medicine!
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