Christians debate 'Holy Yoga'

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Traditionally a form of spiritual self-discipline, yoga has recently become a popular way to exercise. However, now it is coming under fire from Christian ministers who go so far as to call the practice demonic.

"Yoga and meditation and Easternism is all opening to demonism," said the Rev. Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

Driscoll is just one of many church leaders calling on their members to avoid yoga because of its Hindu roots and anti-Christian teachings.

"It is absolute paganism. We do not go into ourselves, we go out to Jesus," said Driscoll.

However, one growing group feels yoga can be a type of Christian ministry.

"We pray as the Bible tells us to, we speak truth, we listen to Christian music, we are connecting to one another, so there is nothing wrong inherently with the practice of 'Holy Yoga' being a Christian experience," said Brooke Boon, founder of Holy Yoga. "Either God is sovereign over all things in all directions for all eternity like he says he is, and we believe that or he's not. And if he is, then that includes yoga."

Boon feels posing on a mat can actually help people talk to God because it forces a person to get quiet enough to listen.

However, Christian leaders are sticking with their original assessment and say yoga can't be anything other than what it is.

"Some of you think, 'Well, I'll just go to yoga and say, 'Jesus.'' Well, that is trying to treat the name of Jesus like a magic formula that you sprinkle over the demonic," said Driscoll.

There are currently more than 500 Holy Yoga instructors and Boon said she has never had anyone try the class and leave feeling like it was demonic. So to the critics, members say, basically, "Don't knock it till you try it."

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