I would be remiss …
If I failed to address the enormous response that last week’s piece on yoga generated. Thank you to every single person who shared, commented, and contributed to the conversation. It has quickly been climbing the charts and is on track to become my most read piece of all time. In almost 10 years of blogging. So, that’s saying something.
I know that for many people it resonated in a positive way. As scared as I was to hit “publish,” the Holy Spirit kept nudging and encouraging and eventually gave me the shove I needed to fire away.
I also know that for some of my readers (and welcome to any new faces!) it was deeply challenging and even disturbing.
I want to reaffirm my position of compassion and education. Meaning, I put this information out there in a spirit of nonjudgment of persons (but not of ideas) with a desire to raise awareness.
I still have friends who practice yoga, and we are free to disagree on the particulars. But I couldn’t continue to remain silent and not share my story, not with what I’ve learned in the past several years.
I encourage any of you who are still struggling with the concept to read the Vatican document “Jesus Christ, Bearer of the Water of Life” in it’s entirety, and to take the matter to prayer. Find a priest you trust who is well versed in this stuff (and unfortunately, not all of them are), or a spiritual director who is familiar with New Age stuff.
And, it should be noted that just because your parish priest doesn’t have an opinion on the matter doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing to worry about. I joked with one reader that exorcists are like the oncologists of the clergy: they see the worst cases and they have the most firsthand experience with evil. And if the oncologists are warning about something being carcinogenic and my general practitioner brushes it off as something he doesn’t see much of, well, I’m probably gonna go with the guys who specialize in it, if I’m worried about my cancer risk.
I also wanted to congratulate the vast majority of commenters – even those with whom I was in disagreement – on being so classy and charitable! With a couple exceptions, the discussion was lively, respectful, and relatively calm.
I really do have the best readers on the whole internet.
Lucy Rivers Patier
Dear sweet sister in Christ, Jenny,
I am new to your website because of the Yoga piece. I want to say THANK YOU so much for the courage to post it. I cannot fathom how many souls are in danger because of Yoga. The sheer response to your article is PROOF, almost scientific I would say, of that . I would love to speak on the phone some day with you i person, because what I have to share is too long to write here. Suffice to say that I have worked for about 10 years with many exorcists in France as a prayer and discernment helper and know many priests in France who are in this ministry. In particular, the exorcist of Le Mans, Father Dominique Auzenet has amassed a tremendous amount of information and experience as a direct result of various New Age practices. But the worst portal or entryway of the demonic appears in our day to indeed be Yoga. Whether we are talking about America or Europe, this issue is the same. Just as you use the very accurate medical diagnosis metaphor, the priests I know in this ministry simply deduced from experience and spiritual “diagnosis” of their “patients” who came for special deliverance prayers. Time and time again the common portal was and is Yoga, which means YOKE ! It is a terrible spiritual yoke , using our bodies that are meant to be the temple of the Holy Spirit the ONE TRUE GOD of all creation. Instead, we allow to enter any multitude of demons. All exorcists who are EXPERIENCED in dealing with the rotten spiritual fruits of Yoga will tell you they are certain the Hindu “gods” are in fact demons, and legions of impure spirits are made present through Yoga. And yes you are so right, the Church has been slow to “awaken” to the vast danger inherent in New Age practices , Yoga in particular, because FEW are the priests who are knowledgeable and experienced in the ministry of deliverance. I would say it is “statistical” for those priests who deal with this spiritual terrain and they see clearly the ROOT CAUSES for the need for deliverance : the spiritual portals that are found in New Age. I could go on for quite a while on what I have learned over the past 10 years, branching out further past Yoga into the portals of demonic entryway that are : aromatherapy, essential oils, naturopathy, acupuncture . Father Amorth and all exorcist priests will tell you that the PORTALS ARE THE SENSES : eyes, ears, nose, mouth. Anything we look at, smell, hear or eat that is not of God potentially can allow the demonic to enter into our bodies. Yoga is a corporal prayer not only to a Hindu god, but in fact, to a demon. And we should know by now the POWER that such prayer can express , as Saint JPII opened up the Church the fullness of such Truth and Wisdom…
Anyhow, I will stop for now but I just wanted to let you know that I am here if you want to write or call anytime. I now live in America as of August 2013, only visiting France periodically. I am an American mother of 3 sons, married to a Frenchman for almost 30 years. I am Roman Catholic, a convert from the Episcopal Church. I live in Austin, Texas.
I too have a Blog but one that the Holy Spirit seems to have kept under cover still. Soon it will be “the Lord’s Time” for it to become mainstream but for the moment it is too much Knowledge for most souls to fathom. As Jesus said and I paraphrase : there is much more for me to tell you, but you cannot yet hear it.
I remain yours always faithfully with gratitude,
in the United Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
I’m really glad you’re addressing it, Jenny. I found myself so interested in the array of responses. I think some people brush this off as “crazy church lady” stuff or “fundamentalist” concerns. We just want to be normal or not extremists, we’re Catholic, right? As I said on another blogger’s site about a similar issue, I’m always surprised at the Catholic resistance to certain things like this. The church has warned us, and yet we think we know better than an exorcist, we think we are the exception to the rule. We think yoga (or other things) may harm others, but we’re above that, we’re exempt. I’ve seen a lot of pride in people defending these stances, and it’s so frustrating to watch them introduce harm to themselves…(even more harmful when you think it’s harmless). Having experienced some of the negative effects of the New Age myself, I think we must be more cautious in this arena, not less. Why are we playing with fire? When there is even a *small* risk, we play it safe. We wear seat belts, for instance. When it comes to our souls, however, there is much more than a small risk, but we think know better. Like you said, what other “exercise” program do people defend with such vigor? Hail Mary…
This was so timely: the mom’s group at my parish just had a big discussion because a couple of years ago a yoga instructor was brought in to the parish to teach a yoga class & it was advertised in the bulletin. Needless to say there were a lot of opinions! I referenced your article in a meeting we had about planning out this coming year’s calendar.
ARI, your comment is spot on. We must value our eternal souls at least as much as our bodies.
I would just like to say “Thank You” for putting yourself out there with the truth. The easy thing for you to do was to just not mention it at all. Thank you for taking the nudge from the Holy Spirit and for knowing what that nudge was! I can only pray that when the Holy Spirit nudges me next I will make the choice that you had the courage to make! One of my favorite quotes fits this so well ” If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything!”
Thank you again and God bless you and your family!!
If you have the best readers on the internet, more than a small part of that is due to your writing & its content…
Thank you so much for your article – it took a lot of courage for you to put that on line. I can totally understand your hesitancy in writing on this topic – a year ago I wouldn’t have read it, and would have considered it rubbish – now I really appreciate what you wrote and can understand where you are coming from in light of the examples you presented and also in light of the comments that people wrote, talking about their experiences with yoga. Also – the links you had at the end have been valuable. Keep up the good work!
Oh Boy! The article and the comments made me go from, confused to sceptical to scared to determined to reclaim my lost soul.
I tried out yoga to help out a friend who was training to be a yoga teacher. Pilates was a bit ‘tame’ for me at the classes I could get to, and my body is starting to fail.
I went for a few weeks – and it felt like it was helping my body – I felt leaner, longer stronger and more confident. And I felt it fast!! And now, I’m anxious that that is the pay off. Thats how he gets in. You feel physically good or an ailment feels better and wham devil link made and you don’t notice as you can touch your toes for the first time in a decade or something similar. And then you find you are thinking about Yoga or stretching instead of the million or so other things that take up your day, so distraction has entered your life and wham – another spiritual weakness!
I don’t go to class anymore, friend is a qualified teacher now (also a christian who feels she is in a spiritual battle for her and her families souls) and family time was more important than Yoga class, but I am worried about any lingering damage.
And there is a draw there – I want to go back – I want to ‘do yoga’ coincidence? I think not!
Thank you, for the light bulb moment. I need to go find help now!
As others have stated, thank you for following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to share your story of reclaiming your freedom to live I the Truth. I haven’t read your blog for very long, but have found myself laughing, crying, and relating. I have four kids 8 and under as a 40 something mom, your honesty is refreshing and uplifting. I am not a commenter to things but really took this post and did as you said, took it to trusted, holy priests and advisors, prayer, and research and decided to just express a couple points. I say all this with full disclosure that I don’t nor have ever practiced Yoga. I agree that there is evil and I also agree that we are in spiritual warfare. I know the devil lurks about waiting to find our weakness and pounce. Heck, I have to pray daily throughout my day to not let him in the back door of my domestic church and ask him to join me for a cup of coffee. As I talked with trusted spiritual advisors, did my research, and prayed I just want to make sure, after reading so many comments from folks wondering if they have demons in them, that although deliverance is a necessity, it is not and should not be the only focus of your prayer or faith existence, or done out of fear. As I did research the Archdiocese of Detroit discusses their Unbound/Deliverance ministry beautifully here is their link http://www.aod.org/being-catholic/evangelization/unbound-ministry/ and the point to be made is it is something not performed over you like magic but rather something that should be incorporated into your daily prayer life and something the individual, not ministers, lead for that person to be more free in the truths of the church. I think I am at a different place in my faith journey recognizing that there are different levels of evil but that God’s tremendous mercy is greater than all of that and although we can’t physically touch Jesus’ cloak or have h smear dirt in our eyes, we can go to him , just as we are, all of our weakness, demons, hurts, sinfulness and with a sincere and broken heart be washed in the blood and water of his Divine Mercy. Sorry for the crazy long comment, and recognize you weren’t telling everyone that has done yoga they are oppressed with Spirits, but just felt it important to make sure as we discuss things like Evil and oppression we don’t forget the Mercy God is willing to pour out on all if we just come to Him as we are, while holding His Mother’s hand.
In an RCIA class, a woman ,who attends a Lutheran church, commented, ” When I receive communion at My church, I believe it is Jesus and so it is.” In a very gentle and loving manner, Father reminded her that just because we think something is true, that does not make it true.
In college we thought we were ” playing” with a ouija board, but we were not playing. The priest you spoke of in the article reminded us of the spiritual realm that we sometimes forget about in our lives.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit and the prompting you received from Him. I have shared the article with our Pastor and several others. Thanks be to God.
I wonder if my daughter’s love of Eastern art eg Budah statue is harmful.
She says she only likes it as art.
Thanksamillion. Using your testimony (with due credit to you) on my web site http://www.ephesians-511.net.
It will be “TESTIMONY OF A FORMER YOGI-28” when uploaded. To be found there are also nearly 100 other files (in “articles” and “reports” sections) all of them exposing yoga. Your piece was posted to me by Javier Lopez Torres (Madrid), the web master of Fr. James Manjackal MSFS, an Indian priest who lives in Munich since 15 years and consistently opposes yoga in his retreat preaching.
God bless you,
Catholic apologist, India