Clergy Ban Yoga Class as ‘Un-Christian’
TAUNTON, England (ReligionAndSpirituality.com) Aug. 31, 2007 -- Two clerics in southwest England banned a yoga instructor from using their churches for her children’s classes because they said yoga was “un-Christian.”
The Rev. Simon Farrar of Silver Street Baptist Church and the Rev. Tim Jones of the Anglican St. James Church, both in Taunton, Somerset, banned Louise Woodcock, with Jones saying “any alternative philosophies or beliefs” were “a sham” and “false.”
Woodcock told The Daily Mail of London the clerics’ position was “ridiculous” since her Yum Yum Yoga classes involved music and movement, with no spiritual teachings.
“The church has completely misunderstood it and I think they are being narrow-minded,” she said.
The yoga instructor originally received permission to use the Baptist church, but Farrar withdrew his consent after discovering the class was yoga. Days later she was turned away from St. James church as well.
“We are a Christian organization and when we let rooms to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos,” Farrar said.
Jones said, “Yoga may appear harmless or even beneficial, but it is encouraging people to think that there is a way to wholeness of body and mind through human techniques -- whereas the only true way to wholeness is by faith in God through Jesus Christ.”