I recently listened to a podcast about yoga and whether it is appropriate for Catholics to practice yoga. I hadn’t considered this as a point of discussion before. I have taken many a yoga class (not for some
years time) but I never considered that this might be something controversial for Catholics. So when recently, I was listening to Catholic Stuff You Should Know (http://www.howstuffworks.com/) where they discussed that yoga may in fact be inappropriate for Catholics to practice. As Hindus consider yoga as a way to spirituality, Catholics practicing yoga are then at risk of becoming enmeshed in a religion which is not their own. Notably, the podcast noted the most concerning aspect of this as the idea that yoga constructs God as an “energy” and that yoga brings you closer to that energy, while Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity and God as a concrete being (hence the belief in transubstantiation).
I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t think that taking a yoga class is anti-Catholic as yoga has evolved as an exercise form in the US, but Catholics should be somewhat cognizant of the messages they are picking up. They suggested remaining silent during the chanting and separating oneself from the visualization of “energy” during practice.
I feel comfortable speaking about this topic because I am Catholic and my fiance is Hindu, and we were able to talk this out for quite some time. When we reached the point of the idea of God as an energy vs. God as a person, he admitted that those two were fundamentally opposed and it was certainly a thinking point.
Anyone reading, feel free to weigh in on this idea.