Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yoga Saga

Introduction:

Recently I read that Tamil Nadu Government is going to make Yoga compulsory for all school students. Though it may be a good news for those who don’t have any idea about Yoga, it is a bad news for believers of “Good News”! You can label me Christian fundamentalist, anti-secular, anti-Yoga or even anti-Hindu. But why I write this page is not to attack any religion or culture, but to safeguard the rights of minorities living in the country. Already minorities have shown negative interest in Yoga in a state where it was made compulsory. But our Health Minister who is ignorant of cruel murder of children, is in favor of Yoga or in other words against the sentiments of minorities.

Yoga – What Is It?

Yoga is a combination of spiritual AND physical exercise. It is NOT physical exercise alone. If you doubt me, you just find any book written on Yoga by renowned sages or Yogis. They will all give more emphasis on spiritual side of Yoga than presenting as a mere physical exercise. If you still have a doubt, just search Surya Namaskar. It means Sun Worship. From a Christian perspective, worshipping any other object or person than the Trinitical God is a grave sin. Even in the above Wikipedia link, you can find a subtitle “Mantras to pronounce”. Moreover, while practicing Yoga, the students are asked to make their mind blank and free of a thought, which is very dangerous and can invite evil spirits to govern their mind. Practices like pranayama are very risky and can be lethal is practiced slightly wrong.

What Is The Problem?

The first problem is forcing someone to worship or to make postures or to chant something against their religious belief. Second is Yoga is not the best! Young children can spend their time in playground and other exercises like drill for physical exercise and read good books, learn music, art works etc for psychological exercise. I bet music or other arts like painting, embroidery, dance etc can provide much more psychological strength than Yoga, while other form of exercises give more power and tone to your body than Yoga. Third and most important point is even Yoga teachers agree that practicing certain Yogas wrongly can end in irreversible damage to muscles, brain cells even mind.

Other practical problems include the following. There are no sufficient numbers of efficient Yoga teachers to make this scheme work. If the Government enforces this scheme in a hurry (i.e. from next year), there is a greater chance for inefficient amateur Yoga teachers teaching in schools as government employees or already available Physical Trainers start teaching Yoga after a very quick Yoga induction.

It is nearly impossible to monitor all the students in the Yoga class and some wrong postures or practices may harm their body or mind. If the students try things like pranayama at home, it may end in suffocation or even in death. Many Yogis admit that Yoga should be performed with empty stomach in early morning or in evening. But our Indian schools start by 9 in the morning with all the children with a full breakfast and ends well before evening. The Government also provides lunch! In this case which is the optimal time for Yoga practice?

Some Questions You May Ask

Q: Yoga is well accepted even in Europe and America! Why you oppose it?

A: Simply acceptance in West cannot make anything good! Do you rejoice drugs and strip-clubs as in West?

Q: Even “some” Catholics practice Yoga and meditation. They are so tolerant why not you?

A: I seriously doubt the knowledge about Yoga of those “some” Catholics. I think following this link is enough for a clear Catholic view on Yoga.

Q: Yoga is Secular. Why you make a religious issue?

A: Secularism itself is a religion. Don’t force it on me!

Q: Yoga is a lifestyle. Why don’t you give a try?

A: I’m satisfied with Christian lifestyle even if I fail many times to strictly adhere to it.

Conclusion:

Already the Government (both central and state) has not acted sufficiently in response to attacks on Churches. If they again try to corrode our religious rights in the name of secularism or by compulsion, it is totally unacceptable. If memorizing Apostles’ Creed is made mandatory in all European Schools, won’t the people of other faiths living there protest? Please note, I never fully endorse the contents in links pointing outside my blog. Contents like Wikipeida may change with time.

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