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The Truth About Yoga

Although sometimes controversial in its origin due to its early connection to Hinduism, yoga has evolved into a non-religious method of relaxation. In fact, MBU offers students free classes.

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Photo by Julia Province

A recent yoga class at MBU introduces students to the value of relaxation, which certainly is applicable during final exams.

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Through the inhale and the exhale, yoga began to finally capture my attention the past three years.

Why do I take up yoga?

Is it to add more zen to my life?

Is it to be able to pull my foot to my head during the sunrise?

Or maybe it’s for the entitled nap at the end of the class.

These all hold truth.

However, I more specifically practice yoga for the discipline it grants my body, mind, and spirit, allowing focused time devoted to myself physically as well as recentering myself mentally in who I am in Christ and peace from busy, run-around days.

Growing up, my exposure to yoga was intentionally limited by family, believing it contained evil due to the old connection to New Age religions.

It was only until college the opportunity opened up for me to explore my desire through free student yoga classes I noticed advertised.

Since my first semester getting involved, I have added yoga into my personal morning routine, spent a summer taking classes at a separate yoga studio in Saint Louis, and have introduced it to other people who have now found a new appreciation for the practice.

Originating in fact from ancient India in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, yoga is most commonly connected with early Hinduism and became a prominent system of physical exercise in the western world during the 1980s. .

Christian culture has been uneasy of any yoga branding since then due to the fear of appearing to worship gods of false religions.  

Agnieszka Tennant wrote regarding that subject of contention in her article “Yes To Yoga” for Christianity Today on her own love of the practice.  

“Worship is a conscious act of the mind. If it’s busy overflowing with gratitude to Christ for the way he made my body, I simply don’t have the mental space to give up to an idol. Second, can a non-existent idol snatch me away from Father God who has adopted me as his child? No chance.”

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Abigail Scanio

Abigail Scanio

Abigail Scanio is a contributing journalist for MBU Timeline. She is a majoring in Communications Studies. Scanio is apart of the MBU Resident Life staff. She enjoys exploring Saint Louis coffee shops, practicing yoga, and thrift store sweater-hunting.

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