Time magazine recently quoted Albert Mohlers, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who stated that yoga was anti-Christian, and comes close to labeling it pagan.
Ok, with all due respect to Dr. Mohlers, let’s get serious. Yoga, in its typical American form, is mostly jut some serious stretching. It is about as religious as weightlifting.
Let’s use an analogy to compare – church buildings.
Having a building designated for a church is a widely-accepted, commonplace situation in Christianity today. However, most of the elements of church buildings have pagan roots –
The “steeple” was originally a type of statue to pagan gods.
The practice of a persuasive speaker at the front of the church was a Greek tradition.
The setup with chairs behind a podium was designed after Roman courthouses.
I could go on. However, just because those practices were once secular or pagan doesn’t mean they must have the same meanings today. I doubt anyone putting a steeple on their church is secretly trying to worship a pagan fertility god.
Also, what abut Christian music? Much of the music style mimic secular music styles. However, I doubt most Christians would define such music as “pagan” simply because the styles are similar.
I believe the same holds true for yoga. Hard? Yes. Anti-Christian? No.