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Yoga originated in Hinduism, and remains a large part of some Hindu practices today.However, things have changed in the last few thousand years, and most yoga currently practiced in America only slightly resembles the original practice.Jesus tells us that when we pray, we should pray in solitude and with few words (Matthew 6:5-8).
If the class is chanting, you can take that time to pray for those around you (though in five years of weekly classes, I’ve encountered chanting in only one of them). However, if you practice yoga with discernment and prayer, you can do exactly as Christ commanded the paralytic in the Gospel of Matthew: be healed, take up your mat and go home.Meditation is as integral to Christianity as it is to Hinduism, but because of cultural influences Christians have been convinced that the only way to meditate is by sitting still and coaxing yourself into a trance. You can meditate on the Word, creation or even gratitude.For a practical guide to Christian meditation, I highly recommend chapter two of Richard Foster’s .If we are more aware of the natural state of our bodies, how much more can we be aware of when the Holy Spirit is moving within us? Paul says that offering our bodies as a living sacrifice is a spiritual act of worship, and is holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1-2). Research has proven that yoga lowers blood pressure, increases musculoskeletal health and circulation, and decreases stress (prison yoga programs have reduced recidivism by as much as 80 percent in their participants).It can be used for insomnia, depression, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and more.