Judgment or non-attachment?
Is there a rift between Christianity and Yoga?
My first thought when reading this headline “Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity“, posted by a Facebook friend was…mmm, let me consider the point of view. It wasn’t long ago that I would have gotten all defensive and responded with mental shouts of uh-huh, no way does this guy know what he’s talking about. However, this morning I read it and with great clarity thought, that’s his experience and he is allowed his experience. Just when I was sitting in all my smugness of non-judgment another thought crept in…this one about the poster and her motivation. That thought had me mentally wheeling my arms backstroke fashion saying, ‘whoa, hold on there’. Why should I even care about her motivation? It is her experience and not for me to ‘judge’. So yes, I’ve grown, but not grown up. I’m still growing. At 45, I’m still growing, and loving it.
As I was going through my morning routine I pondered. Do I respond or let it lie dormant on the ground? That thought to reminded me that I had not let go of judging the poster’s motivation. Okay, I’m still growing here, it is what it is and now I have a brilliant opportunity to share my experience. Thank you friend for the post.
So, do I defend a practice that I not only engage in but teach and as a yoga studio owner facilitate for others to engage in to earn my living? My answer, no. I don’t have to defend my belief that the practice of yoga is the most holistic method of healing the body, mind and yes, sometimes even the soul. It is MY belief. I formed it. It was not given to me by my parents, society or peers. I struggled, experienced, learned and formed MY belief.
Yes, I could go on and on about the ways in which yoga philosophy aligns with Christianity, along with the science behind the practice but you can do the research yourself if you’re interested. To take a defensive stance would mean that I’m just not really sure about what I believe. What I will share with you is that as a Christian I experience God daily, moment by moment. Not just on my yoga mat, but with each wondrous breath I take and every beautiful human encounter I’m fortunate to experience. I can honestly tell you that when I look at you, I love you. As I write this, I love you. You are here to be loved and I am here to love. It is my purpose, my call and, as a Christian, my command. But this passion, this love is fairly new to me. I could not have conceived the consistent magnificence of God before I experienced a viscerally physical acceptance of my fears, limitations and flaws through the practice of yoga.
To address the argument of yoga and Christianity is for you, gentle reader, not me. I’ve already done my work and you don’t have to agree with me. If you want to have an opinion, you decide what you believe, not what someone says you should believe. If you don’t want to go to the effort of forming your own belief, that’s okay. I still love and accept you just as you are. You don’t have to change a thing and you don’t have to believe what I believe.
All in all, the good news is I have grown. The great news is I’m still growing!
Rommy Elizabeth Hussey had a vagabond childhood and maintains a belief in endless possibilities that have given a life filled with love,passion and service. Once held in the grip of chronic migraine, she now pursues and teaches radiant health, wellness and vitality through yoga. You can find her in the City by the Lake, Hendersonville, just north of Nashville , Tennessee at her HOT YOGA Place.