I enjoyed my morning, parked in front of the television and sinning like a man destined for the abyss, while I slowly breathed deeply and stretched my aching muscles. I was practicing yoga, attempting to coax my body back into some semblance of normalcy and while doing so I was apparently committing a mortal sin against Christianity.
Those are some steep consequences for using the Nintendo Wii.
It caught my attention the other day when a casual chat with a number of college friends on Facebook turned heated as we discussed how the ancient practice of yoga puts your soul in jeopardy. If you’re a Christian in good standing who treats people decently you can suddenly be a candidate for the fiery depths if you so much as breathe deeply or sit in any way remotely resembling a lotus flower.
In response to a Hindu group trying to acquaint Westerners with its roots, the New York Times reports the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said the practice imperiled the souls of Christians who engage in it.
All this time I thought it just imperiled my ability to hold back gas while doing funny body twists. If you’ve never tried yoga, it’s one of the best ways to mistakenly elicit a fart amongst a group of leotarded women bending in silence.
Now I have to worry about going to a hell which I don’t even believe in.
The fight between Hindus and Christians over the topic of who owns yoga is about as absurd as arguing over a fantasy soccer or cricket league, (yes they, unlike hell, exist). Can’t people just go to their community center in peace, roll out some mats and do dopey looking things for an hour? (NOTE: This is the reason why I do it at home now in front of the Wii; I look terribly silly but don’t have to worry about the escaped eruptions delineated earlier).
At the end of every session we say to each other “Namaste.” It means, in totally heretical laymen’s terms, “The light in me, honors and bows to the light in you.” Who can find fault in that? Who cares whether it began in the mystical east eons ago or the phantasmic 60s of Berkeley, California?
And while we’re at it, who cares what other people do to relax, de-stress, exercise or build muscle tone as long as it’s not illegal and doesn’t harm small woodland creatures? When I mentioned to my collegiate associates on Facebook that God has many different names, one person I hadn’t even thought about for 25 years told me how wrong I was.
I didn’t know I was being so ignorant thinking we were all talking about basically the same thing. But then again I didn’t have my Nintendo console there to help me. And besides, my daughter had the Super Monkey Ball disk in the drive. Once you start taking spiritual advice from a monkey hopped up on Red Bull and bananas you know things are going to get a little nutty.