Friday, December 3, 2010

Yoga Is Not Buddhist. But Both Are Evil.

What is it with this whole "Yoga is the exercise of the devil" business?

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 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."

Oh great.

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?


  1. Yoga is evil. That shit is hard. I think my Yoga instructor is the devil and her instrument of torture is the Plank.

  2. I don't think you're evil. Gotta wonder where people think this stuff up. That said, I think most religions have members who are evil and those who are good, that's pretty much just the way the world works.

    How's this for a t-shirt:



    promoting commpassion and maintaining awareness since 600BCE*

    *600 years before christ


    too braggy?

    1. People don't think this up,Yoga is an ancient sun worshiping exercise that goes back hundreds of years. Most people today just think it's a stretching exercise but when you look into it yourself you will see, it's clear when you look at some of the exercises like ,the sun salutation, where you lie face down to the ground and stretch out.

  3. That's why Bikram Yogurt is so Hot so we can get used to living with our Ruler Lord Satan!

  4. @Toe: You might be on to something.

    @Cary: Just a little.

  5. My recovering Southern Baptist friend said they were warned as kids not to be tempted to do yoga. Not because it was evil per se; but because it "opens your mind," and an open mind is just the kind of place where the devil can slip in and wreak havoc.

  6. Yoga isn't THAT evil - pilates causes Tourettes syndrome! LMAO

    Maybe a tshirt with a picture of someone in a picture of a meditative pose than the word NOT and a picture of someone doing a yoga pose? Ha ha ha

  7. Haha, I like the new blog header. Now I forgot what my comment was going to be. For real, I can't remember. Well, instead, I'll congratulate your hub for pushing your buttons. It's fun to mix religion and humor. It's not like any wars are ever fought over religion.

  8. Just realized that 'criss cross applesauce' is a meditative pose, this is going to raise holy hell (literally) with circle time everywhere. I'll start with my daughter's Catholic kindergarten and my son's Christian Montessori. The rest of you should make the appropriate calls as needed!

  9. Everyone knows yoga isn't Buddhist. Geesh. *Pilates* is Buddhist. Jazzercize is definitely Christian. Badminton used to be Christian, but some people had a serious problem with the subliminal message hidden in its first three letters: B-a-d (You know... EVIL).

  10. I just can't believe how people are so fearful of ideas that are not their own. I'm trying to be more and more mellow in my old age, but it's hard. I do yoga and am just starting to learn a little about Buddhism.

  11. I plead ignorance. I did not know Buddhism is evil. I did not know Hinduism is evil. I did know that Yoga is evil. I read it on the internet. We Christians gotta' protect our turf. Hard to know what a person is thinking if they are meditating and doing Yoga. Why the Yogo could tone the body to make strange sex positions possible; and meditating...that could lead to homosexuality. And we Fundametalists are fundamentally against both of those, unless we can get away with partaking of the evil activities and no one knwoing!

  12. I think it was in a Noah Levine book where I read that he once had a friend whose mother wouldn't let her daughter hang around with him because he meditated. She claimed that when he meditated he would empty his mind and the devil would then be able to possess him so he could therefore never be trusted. So yeah, watch out for that the next time you "empty" your mind. Rofl!

  13. great. now i'll never be able to move to lotus position without giggling and throwing horns, instead of that lame - but definitely evil - "index finger to thumb".

  14. You can't take these things personally. I mean you can, but you shouldn't. It's sad, though, that so many people want to label people and ideas as evil, rather than trying to understand them.

  15. I just read every one of your comments and I love every one of the people who posted.
    I cannot think of one single thing to say that is lighthearted, funny or tolerant.
    I am so done with people who condemn others out of ignorance and prejudice.
    Now I have to go sit and meditate and clear my mind of anger and bitchiness. ooooohhhhmmmmmm~

  16. Stupid people are evil.

    Rodney King said it best. I won't even repeat that here.

  17. Yoga is evil?

    *groans like Lurch from 'the Addams Family'*

  18. Yoga is evil ? I had a Christian call me retarded and a liberal hippie who supports baby killers. So yeah , not surprised. These extreme type of so called Christians are genuinely very stupid people who are equally as arrogant.

  19. Kenny: There's a bikram yogurt? I had no idea.

    Beta Dad: That just speaks for itself, doesn't it? *Laugh*

    Kimber: And I was almost tempted to try pilates too...thanks for saving me.

    Wow: Thanks! One of my art director friends designed it for me.

    Cary: We're starting with your young and then moving our way up to your older, fit women.

    Sere: Plus the shuttlecocks.

    Jules: You're toying with the devil.

    Eva: Meditating is definitely gay.

    Twills: Is that for real? And empty mind is the devil's playground? Whereas a mind full of judgement and hate is full of the word of god. Right.

    Zanna: Throwing horns in the temple is so going to be the next thing.

    Blissed Out: I guess I wouldn't take it personally if a friend hadn't posted the article on Facebook.

    Woof: Thank you. I'm going to have to agree.

    a Broad: If you let the hate out, you might let the devil in. ;-)

    Nice Peace of the Devil: Whyyyyy?

    La Piazza: It's times like these I miss those *wav files.

    The Last Hippy: Well that's just redundant. ;-p

  20. Silly (non)Christians! Buddhism and yoga aren't the Devil, Facebook is the Devil!

    Seriously. I'm writing a thesis on how all evil in the world somehow revolves around or starts with Facebook.

  21. It's all too confusing to me. I'll stick with couch yoga, thank you very much.

  22. I think I have been pretty consistent in my statements that you are evil. But that has nothing to do with Buddiyogism.

  23. Christians are crazy, man. Seriously. I have many Christian friends who are wonderful, accepting people...but there seem to be A LOT of crazies out there. And what baffles me the most is that Jesus's teachings (from what I know) were all about acceptance. He hung out with the lepers and whores and yet modern day Christians are running around calling people 'evil.' I don't get how that aligns with the original way of thinking for that religion. It's mind boggling.

  24. Heather: I thought it started with MySpace?

    Nick Yoga: Do you use a remote with that?

    Mobius: I wish I could remember some childhood taunts to bark back at you, but the only one that comes to mind is, "I know you are, but what am I?" Is that what we really said? How does that even make sense?

    Mel: Maybe the crazies just get more press?

  25. You have to remember that for many Christians, any religion other than theirs is blasphemy. In fact, most evangelicals consider Mormonism, Catholicism and other "liberal" religions as being Not Christian.

    A local school was going to teach yoga in PE and there was a public outcry.

    A recent Pew Center survey, however, found that most religious people have very little knowledge of their own or other religions. In fact, on the test of religious literacy, the Atheists scored the highest of all.

    So my response to people who are against Yoga, Buddhism and the like --- DAMN THAM, DAMN THEM TO HELL!

  26. Robert The Skeptical: Now I see you as Charlton Heston. The image is stuck forever.

  27. Evil isn't such a bad thing, considering the source. I mean, it's not something you want to be called, but if everything is evil, it kinda takes the sting off. Dancing is evil to some of them folks, but who doesn't want to be put in the same category as dancing? I know I do.