Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Yoga will endanger your soul, Donegal priest warns parishioners

Young Indian Hindu Brahmins training to be priests perform yoga on a ghat on the Ganges River, holy to Hindus, at sunrise on April 23, 2014 in Varanasi, India.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Indian Hindu Brahmins training to be priests perform yoga on a ghat on the Ganges River, holy to Hindus, at sunrise on April 23, 2014 in Varanasi, India. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A priest has warned his parishioners against taking part in yoga, claiming they could "endanger their souls".

In a parish newsletter, Fr Padraig O Baoill, a priest in Gweedore, Co Donegal, said Catholic parishioners should not practise "unsavoury" yoga, tai chi or reiki.

"As followers of Jesus Christ, we shouldn't be taking part in any activities that are in conflict with our faith," the priest wrote in Irish.

"Therefore don't take any part in yoga classes, tai chi or reiki. Do not endanger your souls for the sake of such unsavoury activities."

Belfast man Sean O Tuathalain, who runs the Yoga Centre in Letterkenny, said he would like to meet Fr O Baoill to try to understand his stance. "I know priests such as Fr O Baoill may feel that yoga may have Hindu connections," he said.

"But people in Ireland do not practise yoga for religious reasons. They practice it to find inner strength and inner peace and many people have done so."

Fr O Baoill, who is currently in Lourdes, has said he will give reasons for his writings in the parish.

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