Does Asana bring me closer to God?

In response to my Facebook note, Adho Mukha Svanasana, a Christian friend provided a link to Random Thoughts of a Confused Xtian in which Confused Christian posted the following:

Could never quite figure out how maneuvering your body into the crouching cricket position brings you any closer to God.

I’d rather pray and not worry about physically stretching something out of shape.

Hopefully after praying I’ll stretch spiritually.

yoga dogs 00I don’t know how well I can explain it but I’ll give it a shot. Yoga postures, in and of themselves, do not bring me any closer to God. The postures by themselves are merely exercise. Yoga is much more than twisting and stretching and assuming various poses. Through the physical postures, proper breathing and meditation (prayer is a form of meditation) I make my body and mind fit for the spirit. In a way, my body is my temple to the Lord, a place of worship I carry with me wherever I go. Additionally, there are other facets of Yoga that provide a framework for right living, compassion for all living things as well as devotion and service to the Lord.

Yoga can be very spiritual but it is not a religion. In the practice of Yoga, I am free to follow my own faith and worship as I please. By quieting my mind, I hope that in the resulting silence, I will find greater clarity, stretch spiritually and be more open to grace.

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Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.

3 thoughts on “Does Asana bring me closer to God?”

  1. In the year since I wrote the post, I’ve learned more and have evolved spiritually and my answer has changed. The short answer is, “No. Doing asana does not bring me closer to God.” Stay tuned for the longer answer.

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  2. Twisting myself into pretzel poses does not bring me closer to God although dedicated and devoted yoga practice can help me become more aware of my own divinity, the presence of God that already dwells inside me. My concept of the Divine is not an external entity which must be invited in to my heart but an omnipresent presence in which I open my heart to let it work through me. It’s a difficult concept to explain since giving it a name and a description attempts to limit what is essentially limitless and, therefore, undefinable.

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