Our western culture is more aware of eastern thinking and philosophy than ever before. I myself have done some research looking at stress reduction, mindfulness and mind-body connections that all have there origin in eastern medicine/philosophy. There is lots of research supporting these Eastern ideas and I myself have benefited from training my mind to be more mindful and to do a better job of listening to my body. But it has also brought questions like is Jesus ok with me practicing these “other” things that have an origin in non-Christian religions? If I am listening to my own body does this mean I am not listening to the Holy Spirit? Is it ok for me to do yoga?
I do not believe I have all the answers to these questions but I do feel like God has given me an answer that I am at peace with. For me learning how to be more mindful, doing yoga as a form of relaxation, exercise and stretching and learning to listen to my body have been as effective or more effective than many of the medication I have tried in order to get to a place I can even function in this world. My goal for “practicing” these things is so that I can be healthier and more able to love God, love other people and serve. I actually ask Jesus to be a part of me listening to my body. I ask Jesus to teach me to be mindful. So I would say I use a “Christian” form of mindfulness medicine that have some origins in eastern religions.
Is this wrong? I do not believe so because it is facilitating growth in my relationship with God. Similarly many of the older catholic religious disciplines teach many of the same principles but use different terms. The eastern things I am practicing are not that foreign to Christianity. They are only foreign to our current modern Christianity that has lost many spiritual disciplines.
Will me practicing yoga, learning mindfulness and listening to my body save me? No my salvation is through Christ alone. But it will help me be healthier and more able to function in this world. Your reason for doing what your doing is what’s most important. If you think yoga is your means of reaching enlightenment so that you can live forever then yeah I have a problem with that thinking.
This brings forth the next question of if you are listening to your own body how are you listening to the Holy Spirit? I will save this topic for another day but I believe we should be doing both.