Author Topic: Yoga, Tai Chi  (Read 2832 times)

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Offline erracht

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Yoga, Tai Chi
« on: February 12, 2004, 08:49:25 AM »
I have done some yoga and would like to continue it because it's relaxing and may be good for some ailing body parts I have. Some Orthodox don't think highly of yoga. The instructor does talk about "chakras", visualizing "life force energy" etc but it's mainly body exercises.

What about Tai Chi? I think it's also just exercises but seems to have Taoist roots.

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Offline Jonathan

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2004, 09:55:43 AM »
I think pilates is basically yoga with the 'spiritual' elements stripped away, just the physical exercise.

Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2004, 10:51:53 AM »
Pilates is not yoga. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates as a form of excersise. There is not spiritual motivation behind Pilates. Pilates was a 98 lb weakling who wanted to get stronger, so he invented a form of excersise.  It is great for strenghthening core and abdominal muscles. Great supplement to weight training and cardio.  If you want to know history... Here ya go...

http://www.pilates.com/cgi-bin/webicart/webicart.cgi?page=pages//history.html&cart_id=6711419_777638&refer_id=eureka

Tai Chi Chaun is a gentle martial art mainly used for relaxing. It's great for those who want to increase flexiblity and for those who are limited physically and want to increase thier range of motion.

I googled this up: http://www.patiencetaichi.com/what_is_tai_chi.htm

Yoga- Great for flexiblity and balance. I practice Yoga 2 days a week. Adding these excersises to my routine has really helped my athletic performance. Based on personal experience, I have never had an instructor use terms that were "questionable" or were against my beliefs. Using it as excersise should not be a danger to your spirituality.


Offline Keble

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2004, 10:53:18 AM »
"Yoga" is any sort of Hindu spiritual discipline; we're talking about hatha yoga here. It's probably harmless if you can block out the woo-woo aspects of it.

Tai chi is simply a martial arts form and is as harmless as any other.

Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2004, 12:33:18 PM »
As Keble pointed out, there are a number of different kinds of yoga-  karma-yoga (spiritual growth through good works), hatha-yoga (spiritual growth through bodily excercises), jnana-yoga(spiritual growth through expanding of knowledge of spiritual things), bhakti-yoga(spiritual growth through devotion to a  one of the deities).  Yoga literally means "to yoke" or "to link". Now, in the Bhagavada-Gita, probably the most central part of the Hindu Scriptures(Vedas), Krishna presents all of these paths to his disciple Arjuna as legitimate. However, Krishna says that of all of these Bhakti-Yoga, or devotion to him, is the best path to spiritual enlightenment.

Now, I suppose when one is doing this hatha-yoga one has to see the yoga(linking process) in this context- as a means to reach a hindu god. However much we want to strip away the spiritual meaning of yoga, it still has this "linking" to a pagan god as its main goal.  Stick to pilates.
"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2004, 12:41:35 PM »
"Yoga" is any sort of Hindu spiritual discipline; we're talking about hatha yoga here. It's probably harmless if you can block out the woo-woo aspects of it.

Tai chi is simply a martial arts form and is as harmless as any other.


*Woo Woo* completely depends on the instructor. I took Yoga from an RN.  The class focused on how your body was perfoming and lacked any sort of spritual "mumbo jumbo".


Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2004, 12:45:31 PM »
My post was probably a little intense... I'm not knocking the "armchair yoga" that my grandma used to go to as a tool for demonic posession. I'm just saying that yoga in the true sense of the word, was devised to help hindus reach hindu gods.
"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline Elisha

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2004, 10:22:08 PM »
*Woo Woo* completely depends on the instructor. I took Yoga from an RN.  The class focused on how your body was perfoming and lacked any sort of spritual "mumbo jumbo".



I'm only 28, but have had a kyphosis and lordosis (the hunch and sway back forms of scoliosis) for at least 10 years.  My back muscles are very tight, unbalanced and spasm at times (had a bad lower neck spasm recently - it sucks).  I've had chiropractic, deep tissue, rolfing and other massage.  I've done a 10 session series of Pilates, which helped and take my friend's yoga class occasionally (he's cradle EO, gramps was a priest).  I do yoga at home to those videos.  My back would probably be a wreck w/o doing consistent yoga.  I try to just say the Jesus prayer when I hear anyone even try to mention any "woo woo" aspects.  I just use it as PT.

Offline Elisha

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2004, 10:23:22 PM »
Oh, the most extreme opinion you'll find is by Fr. Seraphim Rose in Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.

Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2004, 04:03:56 PM »
I'm only 28, but have had a kyphosis and lordosis (the hunch and sway back forms of scoliosis) for at least 10 years.  My back muscles are very tight, unbalanced and spasm at times (had a bad lower neck spasm recently - it sucks).  I've had chiropractic, deep tissue, rolfing and other massage.  I've done a 10 session series of Pilates, which helped and take my friend's yoga class occasionally (he's cradle EO, gramps was a priest).  I do yoga at home to those videos.  My back would probably be a wreck w/o doing consistent yoga.  I try to just say the Jesus prayer when I hear anyone even try to mention any "woo woo" aspects.  I just use it as PT.

The Jesus Prayer! That's wonderful! I'm glad pilates and yoga have brought you relief.

BTW. We are the same age!

Offline Brigid of Kildare

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2004, 06:30:14 PM »
Has anyone read the works of the French Catholic writer J-M Dechanet about yoga and Christianity? I already had a copy of his Christian Yoga but picked up a copy of his  Yoga and God in one of my forays into a secondhand bookshop. I was amazed to see him endorsing astrology as a misunderstood serious science, but in other respects the book is quite interesting. Now all I need is to find Dechanet's Yoga in Ten Lessons to complete the set.
Bríd Naomhtha, Mhuire na nGaeil, Guí Orainn

Offline Elisha

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2004, 08:09:16 PM »
Has anyone read the works of the French Catholic writer J-M Dechanet about yoga and Christianity? I already had a copy of his Christian Yoga but picked up a copy of his  Yoga and God in one of my forays into a secondhand bookshop. I was amazed to see him endorsing astrology as a misunderstood serious science, but in other respects the book is quite interesting. Now all I need is to find Dechanet's Yoga in Ten Lessons to complete the set.

As I may have mentioned before, I'd definitely be wary though.  This French Catholic guy sounds a little too liberal.  I wouldn't advocate trying to christianize Yoga, but just use it as physical therapy and look at it as a purely superficial, phyiscal aid.  Tread carefully.

Offline arimethea

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2004, 08:47:00 PM »
Maybe this is a good subects for 28 year olds (I am 28 also)!

I took a class last smester on meditation at the "state" university and the class looked at all forms of meditation from all sorts of different backgrounds. There are many forms of meditations from many different cultures that can be baptised Orthodox Christian. A common aspect of many of these is the repetition of a saying or concentration on a thought. So praying the Jesus Prayer can be a wonderful way to not only do the meditation (which studies have shown can reduce both stress and blood pressure and improve overall health) but also can help in developing constant prayer in ones life.

As always you should talk to your priest about these issues and let him help guide you.
Joseph

Offline David

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Re:Yoga, Tai Chi
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2004, 10:32:06 PM »
I remember hearing of this subject from an orthodox convert acquaintence who is also a kung fu/tai chi instructor.  He had some interesting ideas relating the concept of nous to the far eastern concept of chi.  I really don't remember the substance of any of what he was saying however.  

I agree with Arimithea in that praying the Jesus Prayer would be an ideal approach.
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