By Keyla Sweeney
We may be tempted to think that people is growing less interested in spirituality nowadays. However that is not necessary the case. There is an interesting phenomena happening. From home décor to jewelry, yoga boutiques, retreats, the spiritual crystals (yes, the ugly ones) are having a moment again. Yoga FB ads are everywhere (including classes for kids and dogs). Also the rebranding of zodiac signs with the fever of Enneagram make a case for a reloaded comeback of the old “New Age” .
In the article Why people do yoga?, Psychiatrist Marlynn Wei affirms:
More than 90 percent of people come to yoga for flexibility, stress relief, health, and physical fitness. But, for most people, their primary reason for doing yoga will change. Two-thirds of yoga students and 85 percent of yoga teachers have a change of heart regarding why they do yoga — most often changing to spirituality or self-actualization, a sense of fulfilling their potential. Yoga offers self-reflection, the practice of kindness and self-compassion, and continued growth and self-awareness.
Yoga clubs and classes are promote with all kind of charts and researches promising a plethora of benefits: flexibility, improve your balance, decrease your cholesterol, alleviate anxiety and depression, to find joy, to improve as a person, happiness. When comparing these reasons above with the reasons why people attend Church we found interesting insights:
Why Americans Attend Church
A Pew Research survey says that Two-thirds of people attend church for four main reasons:
- To become a better person (68%)
- To introduce faith to their kids (69%)
- To find personal comfort (66%)
- Grow closer to God (81%)
Can notice a pattern? Even most Yoga sites are emphatic in that ‘Yoga is a not religion’, their definition says otherwise: Yoga it’s a religion. Its comeback and increase in popularity coincide with the statics decreasing in attendance in Churches. While many Churches identify the culture as postmodern, at the same time they are willing to adopt the cultures practices to reach the culture, including Yoga and this is back firing them. This means whatever is influencing the culture can more easily come into the church because we are adopting its ways. Yoga is based on practiced a non- judgmental attitude toward error and falsehood. This same philosophy have been infiltrated in some Churches in the name of keep the unity with disastrous results. In you want a more blunt example please visit ChristianYogaProject.com
Why has Yoga become popular in our day unlike any other? As Tim Challies has put it “If we cannot know God through His Word, then we have to find him in other ways. It is little wonder, then, that the emergent church is embracing mystical practices of days past. The labyrinth and Catholic mystics find their way into emergent worship. There is renewed emphasis on meditation and new methods of preaching. The Bible is taught as a guidebook, not as an authoritative manual for the Christian life” (Tim Challies – Emerging Church, Nothing New Under the Sun).