Are you even aware of this? Apparently amongst certain Christians yoga is a no-no and is a decidedly unchristian and "evil" activity in which to participate. Now before you start thinking I have some dog in this fight, let me point out that I do not do yoga.
Let me also point out that though I am Buddhist, I do not do yoga. This may surprise some folks, but yoga is not Buddhist. Buddhists meditate but we don't do yoga. Well, we can do yoga, just like some Christians can do yoga, but we're not doing downward dog at our Buddhist temples.
Yoga is Hindu, and while Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism just like Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism, it doesn't mean all Christians light menorahs or eat matzoh. My husband loves to joke that yoga is Buddhist and that all Buddhists do yoga. He knows it's a sore spot for me, and thus hilarity ensues anytime someone mentions yoga.
This stems from when I was on Match.com and if you check the "Buddhist" box you wind up getting a lot of emails from people who say, "I love yoga! Do you do yoga a lot? Yoga is cool. I think Buddhism is cool too." That sort of thing. Drove me bonkers.
And so now that yoga is evil, you know Buddhism is getting thrown in with the Devil's bath water too. I read an article about the evils of yoga, and there, out of the blue, while Buddhism wasn't bothering anyone and was minding its own business, the writer made a point to write: "Hinduism and Buddhism are evil."
Then the writer points out that Christians should have nothing to do with "evil" and hence, yoga, Hindus, and Buddhists are out.
This is where I start sighing. Heavily. And no, it's not some sort of Buddhist deep-breathing practice. Or yoga even.
It's so strange to think that I'm evil to an entire group of people. My husband and I used to joke about what a "selfish" religion Buddhism is because someone once said that as a way to slam me. I mean, it is kind of laughable since the whole religion is based on 1) cultivating compassion and 2) maintaining awareness. We practice these two things in order to do no harm, or to do as little harm as possible.
You know, selfish stuff like that.
So now in addition to being a "selfish" religion, I also find out that Buddhism is evil. While my mind tries to figure out how cultivating compassion and awareness in order to do no harm can possibly be construed as "evil," my husband points out that this is an opportunity to practice my beliefs.
Getting angry about it won't help and won't change the perception that Buddhists are evil. Ha. I just imagined myself going postal over it and the headlines that would follow: "Pissed Off Buddhist Goes Apeshit at Yoga Studio. News at 11:00."
So I'll have to think about it and try to understand why someone would say that we're evil. I guess it's harder to fathom when the source of this article came from one of my Facebook friends. Of course I immediately wondered, "Well, why are you friends with me if you're supposed to avoid me?"
Maybe this person is friends with me so they can have an opportunity to convert me and then save my soul? That's pretty compassionate, actually, if you think about it.
This person means well, right?
I guess the bottom line is that people are going to believe what they're going to believe. I can't really change any of that, especially not by getting mad about it. That's for sure. I can only control my own actions and thoughts. If I behave in a compassionate and patient manner, one would hope that I come off as less "evil" than the writer of that article would have you believe.
Or maybe not.
I can't do anything about what anybody is going to say or write about me or Buddhism. I'm completely helpless in those matters.
I can only do something about myself. I can't control what people are going to think of me. Hopefully most people will come to know that I am neither evil nor a practitioner of yoga. I suppose I could make t-shirts:
"I don't do yoga and I'm not evil."
Wait. That's too many "I" statements. Way too selfish. Skip the t-shirt. I'll just keep my mouth shut and meditate on it. But I will not stretch while doing so, okay?