Ask a Priest – Has the Vatican Banned Catholics from Yoga?
Dec 14, 2012
I have been told by Doctors that I should do Yoga on a regular basis for health reasons. However I have also been told that the Vatican has banned Catholics from Yoga because it goes against Catholic teachings. Is this true?
There has not been any recent decision by the Vatican regarding Yoga. As a form of physical exercise Yoga can be beneficial, as you have found out in your own case. It can also, however, involve spiritual teachings that are not in accordance with the Christian faith, which perhaps is what your friend experienced.
As you know from your own experience the situation can vary considerably depending on the teacher. If it is just limited to physical aspects that can help you then there is no problem, so long as you are aware that in terms of Yoga’s spiritual teaching there are problematic areas.
- Yoga and Christianity: More Than What Meets the Eye – A book review by Fr. John Flynn
- Guidelines For Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy – A statement on Reiki from the U.S. Catholic bishops