Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of.
Many of you probably don’t know that I am actually both a student of yoga and a 200-hr certified Prana Yoga Teacher. I don’t teach right now. Then again, I didn’t become certified to teach, I did it because frankly, I love yoga. The way it makes me feel both emotionally and physically is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced (except love). I wanted to tell you that so you know where I am coming from when I begin my blog today.
I read a post today about how a “Catholic Priest Says Yoga Is The Gateway To “Kingdom Of Darkness” – yeah, you read that right. Yoga, the thousand-year old practice of spirituality is the gateway to darkness. I want to take a moment and explain something to everyone, in case they are unaware what yoga is.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice. It’s exact origins are often debated but the fact is, yoga is thought to have been developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. Many say that yoga could have existed long before that though, as evidenced by older carvings depicting yoga postures.
For me to go into the full history of yoga would take up a lot of time so sufficed it to say, yoga is OLD.
That being said, I can admit that religion is also OLD.
According to Father Roland Colhoun:
“When you take up those practices from other cultures, which are outside our Christian domain, you don’t know what you are opening yourself up to. The bad spirit can be communicated in a variety of ways. I’m not saying everyone gets it, or that it happens every time, and people may well be doing yoga harmlessly, but there’s always a risk and that’s why the Pope mentioned it and that’s why we talk about that in terms of the danger of the new age movement and the danger of the occult today. That’s the fear.”
I can’t speak for every yoga practitioner but I can say that I have never once been in communication with the devil, as Father Colhoun is quoted as saying.
While Father Roland Colhoun is only one voice, his is not the first one to utter such sentiments. It has been a source of irritation for many in both the yoga and Catholic communities. The fact is, there are plenty of Catholic yoga students and I’m sure not all of them have spoken to Satan. I have nothing against religion and think it is a beautiful expression of faith and love in many respects. Like anything, it is run by humans and is therefore subject to their needs, wants and ideas. I simply do not understand why we can’t make room for all spiritual belief systems? Why does it often have to be one way or the other? Isn’t there room enough in the hearts and minds of this world to allow for us all to practice what brings us peace?
To me, the fear the Father speaks of seems to be that people might start flocking away from the church and towards the more spiritual practices of yoga. The fact is, I believe in God but I do not believe in the Church system. It, like so many other aspects of society (including the yoga community), is corrupt in many ways and while I am sure there is plenty of good being done in and by the Catholic church, I personally do not feel the need to practice my spirituality in a church. My church is the world. If that makes me a Satan worshipper, than so be it. Get me some heathen yoga pants and let’s go chat with the Devil! Maybe I can get him to do some Tree Pose or Downward Facing Dog!
All joking aside, what we can learn from people like Father Colhoun is to practice tolerance. Tolerance for ourselves and for others. Tolerance for all belief systems, no matter how foreign that seem to us.
What do you think? Are you a fan of yoga or do you see it as a gateway to darkness? Let me know!