Attaining Yoga or Union:

Attaining Yoga or Union:
Yoga or "Union" is attained by first training, balancing, and purifying each of the aspects of our being individually, and then systematically receding attention inward through those levels, expanding so as to experience the state of Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Compatibility of Yoga and Christianity

Excerpted from:


Yoga is increasingly being practiced by Christian people of the world, particularly in the West. While it is easy for critics to argue that the two are incompatible, many people intuitively know that Yoga, which is not a religion, and Christianity really are quite compatible. Actually, principles of Yoga are already contained within Christianity and Christian meditation. To say that Yoga is compatible with Christianity is not to say that that the two are the same. Compatibility and sameness are two very different principles. In addition, it is important to note that there may be individual denominations opposed to Yoga practices with body, breath and mind, just as there are individual denominations opposed to medical treatment, modern technology, or a variety of social and cultural activities. However, the fact that some denominations are opposed, and thus incompatible with Yoga in their individual view, does not mean that the whole of Christianity is incompatible.

While some critics of Yoga say that it is not compatible with Christianity, there is already tremendous diversity of opinions and practices within the Christian religion, which serves a broad variety of people. The World Christian Encyclopedia (pub. 2001) is quoted as estimating that there are over 28,000 Christian denominations (later updated to 33,830 and 39,000 according to different sources). The World Christian Database says that over 9,000 denominations are represented in its database (2004). Another Christian resource on the Internet says that the number of Christian denominations has increased to over 35,500 from approximately 1900 denominations that existed a hundred years ago. If there is room for tens of thousands of denominations within Christianity, surely there is plenty of room for Yoga to be practiced by its adherents who choose to do so.

It is very useful to be aware of the polarities of Esoteric and Exoteric religion. Many of the people practicing Yoga are drawn to the Esoteric end of the spectrum, which is the domain of mysticism. Throughout human history the Esoteric practitioners have been shunned by the more Exoteric people. Thus, it is not only Yoga that some Christians are opposed to, but also the the mystical practices of their own religion. In such cases, Yoga is a convenient, visible target, while the effort is actually one of attempting to suppress the subtler essence of their own roots.

SEE ALSO these articles for info on Exoteric and Esoteric approaches:

Mysticism, Yoga and Religion

Exoteric and Esoteric Christianity