Showing posts with label hinduism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hinduism. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yoga Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Posted by Cathy Mathews and Christine Pack


Because we have written with such frequency about the spiritual hazards of yoga, many of our regular readers might be tempted to look at the title of this article and think that we will again be discussing the spiritual dangers of yoga. Not so. Today we want to point you to an article in the New York Times (How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body) which enumerates the potential physical dangers of yoga. You didn't know yoga could be dangerous? Please read on from the article:
"A healthy woman of 28 suffered a stroke while doing a yoga position known as the wheel or upward bow, in which the practitioner lies on her back, then lifts her body into a semicircular arc, balancing on hands and feet. An intermediate stage often involves raising the trunk and resting the crown of the head on the floor. While balanced on her head, her neck bent far backward, the woman 'suddenly felt a severe throbbing headache.' She had difficulty getting up, and when helped into a standing position, was unable to walk without assistance. The woman was rushed to the hospital." 
"(A) 25-year-old man was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, complaining of blurred vision, difficulty swallowing and controlling the left side of his body. Steven H. Hanus, a medical student at the time, became interested in the case and worked with the chairman of the neurology department to determine the cause (he later published the results with several colleagues). The patient had been in excellent health, practicing yoga every morning for a year and a half. His routine included spinal twists in which he rotated his head far to the left and far to the right. Then he would do a shoulder stand with his neck 'maximally flexed against the bare floor,' just as Iyengar had instructed, remaining in the inversion for about five minutes. A series of bruises ran down the man’s lower neck, which, the team wrote in The Archives of Neurology, 'resulted from repeated contact with the hard floor surface on which he did yoga exercises.' These were a sign of neck trauma. Diagnostic tests revealed blockages of the left vertebral artery between the c2 and c3 vertebrae; the blood vessel there had suffered 'total or nearly complete occlusion' — in other words, no blood could get through to the brain." 
"The first reports of yoga injuries appeared decades ago, published in some of the world’s most respected journals — among them, Neurology, The British Medical Journal and The Journal of the American Medical Association. The problems ranged from relatively mild injuries to permanent disabilities. In one case, a male college student, after more than a year of doing yoga, decided to intensify his practice. He would sit upright on his heels in a kneeling position known as vajrasana for hours a day, chanting for world peace. Soon he was experiencing difficulty walking, running and climbing stairs. Doctors traced the problem to an unresponsive nerve, a peripheral branch of the sciatic, which runs from the lower spine through the buttocks and down the legs. Sitting in vajrasana deprived the branch that runs below the knee of oxygen, deadening the nerve. Once the student gave up the pose, he improved rapidly. Clinicians recorded a number of similar cases and the condition even got its own name: 'yoga foot drop.'"
The article can be read in its entirety here. (Please note that this article does not address the underlying religious roots of Yoga; it only addresses the potential harm it can cause to your body.)

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc


 Additional Resources 

Yoga Alliance Shows Its Hindu Teeth

Christian Yoga an Oxymoron? 

Yoga Training: Not Just Exercise

Yoga For children: Not Child's Play

Yoga: From Hippies To Hip

Yoga: Its Spiritual Roots Can't Be Separated From Its Physical Movements

"Christian" Yoga?

Julia Roberts: "I'm Definitely A Practicing Hindu"

Doctor Prescribes "Therapeutic" Yoga For A Christian Woman

Universalism: The Gospel Message of Emergent and New Age Spirituality

Southern Baptist Seminary President Al Mohler on Yoga: "It's Not Christianity"

Karma Just Doesn't Cut It

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tim Challies Reviews One Thousand Gifts

Posted by Christine Pack

Christian apologist and ├╝ber blogger Tim Challies has written an excellent review of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. Ann Voskamp has become a darling in Reformed circles, perhaps partly due to her visually lovely website and perhaps partly because of her unique writing style. But her theology is troubling to say the least, with overtones of Panentheism and overt sexuality. An excerpt from Challies' review:
"(Ann Voskamp's) theology is an eclectic combination of Protestantism and Catholic or Catholic-influenced mysticism. She either quotes or is influenced by authors like Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Teresa of Avila, Brother Lawrence, Annie Dillard, and Dallas Willard. This brings to the book a deep-rooted mysticism that at times seems even to border on the view that the divine exists within and extends to all parts of nature (a teaching known as panentheism). At heart, mysticism promotes the view that God can be experienced, and perhaps even best experienced, outside of Scripture. This comes in direct contrast to what Scripture itself says, that Scripture is God’s final and sufficient revelation of himself."
In addition to addressing the troubling concept of Panentheism which is subtly taught in Voskamp's book, Challies' also addresses the issue of Voskamp's use of highly sexualized language in discussing her relationship to God.

I absolutely do not recommend for any Christian woman who is desiring to grow in discernment to read this book. As noted above, One Thousand Gifts introduces Christian women to the concept of Panentheism, albeit a highly poetic, eroticized, "Christianized" version of Panentheism. But Panentheism is part of the eastern worldview (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) and is NOT part of the biblical worldview. The Christian worldview is that we are "dead in our trespasses," (Eph 2:5) while the eastern worldview is that we all have a "Divine inner spark," and at least some aspect of God/Divinity inside of us, regardless of our faith (Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.). This concept is subtly taught in Voskamp's book, and Christian women therefore should not read this book.

Tim Challies review can be read in its entirety here.


 Additional Resources 

An Open Letter To Tim Challies About Ann Voskamp (by Sola Sisters)

Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts (by Bob DeWaay)

A Commentary On Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts (by Marcia Montenegro)

Ann Voskamp: Mystical Estrogen
 (Fighting For The Faith radio show)