HOW CHRISTIANS CAN PRACTICE YOGA SAFELYMore and more we see students in our New Mexico yoga classes or Yoga Teacher Training, who are practicing Christians. At the same time, studying yoga history, we find that is yoga was formed in eastern cultures. Therefore, it is appropriate to communicate our policies to Christian students to assure them of our efforts to create safe setting for Christians and Christian principles - while practicing or studying yoga.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
YOGA SCHOOL POLICY ON CHRISTIAN STUDENTS
Our instructors do not intend, to "minister" spiritually to students. Our purpose is to provide a setting where students can cultivate calm physical refinement through yoga practice and engage in their chosen Christian faith and principles.
Our Ruidoso and Santa Fe New Mexico school's core philosophy is that yoga's heritage does not religiously influence teachings of the physical and mental benefits of the practice of yoga. We do not support an intention or dogma that would encourage students move away from their Christian faith. Instead we hope that the teachings and practice of mindful yoga is a benefit to Christian students to move more deeply into their faith.
YOGA ALLIANCE SCHOOL RYS
Under our licensure and RYS certification with the Yoga Alliance to provide Yoga Teacher Training, we are required to provided historic and cultural information about yoga's roots, using Sanskrit/Hindu terms and teachings. Our curriculum also provides trainees with perspectives to ensure their future students' Christian intention, practice and faith is honored and supported.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Ruidoso New Mexico Yoga School policy prohibits cult-ish, guru-following, mysticism which intends to attract conversions of any kind using tricky infusions of religious meaning. Yoga stands on solid medical and scientific footing which is the emphasis in our teachings. None of our teachers adopt the names of Hindu gods and we strive to teach the underlying foundation of yoga benefits based on proven science and medical facts of physical and breath practices. These are known as asanas and pranayama. From this basis we overlay the traditional cultural yoga terms. This manner provides balance and perspective in our classrooms enabling Christians to view the full perspective of yogic teaching from a cultural, not religious perspective.
We acknowledge that concern - or minimally "vigilance" is valid for students who are seeking to remain consistent with their Christian faith and teachings while practicing yoga. Here are some of the ways we support Christian students to maintain their comfort and faith:
Peace! Be still! Mark 4:39
- During invocations of any kind, teacher may simultaneously re-direct students to place their spiritual intention on their own Christian faith's goals and right Christian contemplation in Christ.
- Provide alternatives to "aum" or chants/mantras.
- Be mindful that the admonition in contemplative meditation to cultivate an "empty mind" may be antithetical to Christian concepts. Offer to Christian students to maintain a full mind of Jesus Christ.
- At anytime when in doubt, welcome Christian students to sit-out any teaching or session, to refrain from "om" or mantras, and to offer prayer or alternative views.
Our RYT200 Yoga Teacher Training includes a module that raises and addresses these concerns and offers solutions so instructors will be able to conscientiously teach yoga to Christians, ensuring a safe haven for them.