Definition - What does Christian Yoga mean?
Christian yoga is a practice that combines aspects of the ancient practice of yoga — particularly the poses, meditation and breathing exercises — with Christianity.
As yoga has gained popularity in the West, some Christians have resisted — and even rejected — the practice because of its roots in Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. Others have embraced yoga for its physical and mental benefits, but Christian yogis go one step further by focusing on Christian principles as part of the practice and as a way of deepening their faith.
Yogapedia explains Christian Yoga
Christian yoga dates back to the 1950s, when Jean-Marie Déchanet, a French priest, published a book that was later released in English as "Christian Yoga." Today, Christians who want to practice faith-based yoga in a group setting can find a growing number of Christian yoga classes.
Whether as part of a class or a home practice, Christian yoga meditation opens the mind and heart to the word of God. It may focus on the meaning of a scripture reading or on developing one's faith in general. Through practicing yoga poses, the Christian yogis intend to honor their bodies and glorify God. Some may even include prayer in their practice.
A Christian yoga class might feature Christian symbols, like a Bible or the cross, in place of a Buddha or Ganesh statue. And Christian yoga class generally uses English (or native language) names for the poses, rather than the ancient Sanskrit names associated with Hinduism.