Argos, Greece, September 24, 2019
“Yoga is not an exercise, but an act of worship,” teaches His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Argolis of the Greek Orthodox Church, who is holding an event next Sunday to warn people about the dangers of Far Eastern spirituality.
“When we have repentance in church, whether it be a small confession or a big one, we don’t do it for fitness reasons. We make a confession to God. This is the same thing that people do during yoga, which is what we are trying to explain”, says Metropolitan Nektarios, reports Greek City Times.
The event, “Dangerous Fashion: Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation” will be held at the Art and Culture Gallery in Argolis and is being sponsored by the Metropolis of Argolis and the Pan-Hellenic Parents’ Union. The event will feature a number of speakers who will discuss the truth about yoga beyond mere physical exercise, including the background of yoga, the meaning of popular poses, and mediation, and its implications for being Greek Orthodox.
The event is open to the public, and Met. Nektarios has been inviting everyone during his pastoral visits, reports the Metropolis of Argolis.
Met. Nektarios is not alone in his views. For instance, the Greek Holy Synod reacted to the UN’s decision to designate June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014, stating that the practice of yoga has “no place in the lives of Christians” since it is a fundamental aspect of Hinduism and as such is not considered a “form of exercise” but of worship.
As the Synod explained, yoga poses were created as expressions of worship of the pantheon of Hindu gods and are considered offerings to these “gods,” who Christians know to be demons.
The Bulgarian Holy Synod has also spoken out against information about yoga being brought into schools.
A number of saints and elders of the 20th century have also been known to speak out forcefully against yoga and other Far Eastern spiritual practices, including St. Paisios the Athonite, Elder Sophrony, Fr. Seraphim (Rose), and the martyred Fr. Daniel Sysoev.
The Metropolis has also invited those who disagree with the event to submit their views to the organizers.
See also our articles, “Hidden Fire: Orthodox Perspectives on Yoga,” and “On Christianity and Yoga from a Former Adherent of the Latter,” both by former practitioners of yoga.
See also the video, “Yoga is Not Gymnastics,” by Klaus Kenneth, a former practitioner who became a spiritual child of Elder Sophrony.