Wednesday, October 31, 2007

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What's Wrong With "Yoga"?

by Reb Gutman Locks of the Old City, Jerusalem, Israel at Mystical Paths

Commentor Yiddishe Mama wrote: "There are various kinds of yoga and not all of them are idolatrous. I don't see what's wrong with stretching your body while focusing on your breath in a relaxing and focused manner. There are many benefits to proper breathing and the mind functions much much better when a person is mentally and physically at peace. I don't think we need to prove that." (and referred to several secular-ish yoga books.)

We have again and again stressed that the problem with yoga is not (most) of the physical exercises themselves, but it is the using of the name "yoga" and the immense associations that come with it, that cause the problem.

Here in the halacha we see that we are not allowed to praise even their virtues because that praise will bring us to accept their idolatries. This is what we have been warning you about.

Call it "stretch and breathe" and everyone will love you and they will get all of the benefits of stretching and breathing without the associations to the worst form of idolatry on the planet today.

"Rambam rules (in Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 10:4) that one is forbidden to praise a virtuous practice performed by an idolater since such praise can cause him to forge a relationship with the idolater and learn from his evil practices."

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