Yoga's popularity is growing in the United States, but one religious leader is calling for any Christians who might be practicing it to stop. Yoga’s belief “that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine” is just not Christianity, Albert Mohler tells the AP. Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, has been getting quite a bit of feedback since he wrote an essay denouncing yoga, but insists his position is “not eccentric.” In fact, pastors including Pat Robertson have spoken out against the practice in the past.
Many proponents of yoga have written to Mohler saying they get benefits from doing the exercises, but choose to skip the chanting or Eastern mysticism normally associated with yoga. “My response to that would be simple and straightforward,” Mohler says. “You're just not doing yoga." Christians who practice it "must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga." (For more on why you should do yoga, click here.)