I am a Kripalu trained Yoga teacher with 10 years experience. I'm also a Catholic. Recently I did a research paper for my MA in Holistic Spirituality at a Catholic college (Chestnut Hill) looking into the background of statements of Yoga not being Christian. I noted that when Moses and Aaron encounter Pharaoh, Aaron's staff turns into a snake and then back into a staff. Later in the Exodus story, Aaron's staff is used in the book of Numbers to affirm leadership. His staff was so revered that it was placed with the Arc of the Covenant. ... From Yoga, the energetic understanding is that the "snake" coiled at the base of the spine can awaken with diligent practice. In awakening, the "snake" rises up the spinal column, and straightens it, ... like a staff. There are some interesting pictures of the staffs used by Catholic bishops that are decorated with ... snakes. I think both Yoga and the Judeo-Christian heritage honor the same universal process of awakening. Caroline Myss's book, Anatomy of the Spirit, further explains the foundational energy process and how that is taught in the mystical branches of Judaism, Hinduism, and the Catholic sacraments (7 sacraments and 7 chakras ...) I would also add that yes, Yoga IS about higher levels of consciousness, but that doesn't mean escaping the world. It is a way of honoring incarnational spirituality; the true meaning of Christmas. - Through developing a deeper relationship with the Divine within, one becomes of greater service to the world. On that, both yogis and christians agree.
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