RELIGION

Pat Robertson Claims Yoga Forces People To Pray 'To A Hindu Deity'

02/25/2015 04:12 pm ET | Updated Feb 25, 2015

Pat Robertson has some words of caution for anyone considering taking up yoga.

Responding to a viewer's question posed during Tuesday's episode of "The 700 Club,” Robertson claimed that the ancient mindfulness practice tricks people into "praying to a Hindu deity." During yoga lessons, he said, participants unknowingly repeat mantras "in Hindu" -- though Robertson did not say whether he has ever personally taken a yoga class.

“You don’t know what the Hindu says, but actually it’s a prayer to a Hindu deity and so it sounds like gibberish," Robertson argued. "So you’re saying ‘kali, kali, kali,’ but you’re praying to a Hindu deity."

Yoga has a long and ancient connection to Hindu spirituality, but modern practice is often divorced from these religious roots, as many experts have pointed out.

The real reasons to do yoga vary from person to person but often include moving toward personal growth, mindfulness and physical and emotional flexibility. As Swami Narayanda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center, told The Huffington Post in December:

"The goal is to achieve better physical, mental and spiritual health and to achieve happiness through achieving peace of mind."

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