According to a retired Catholic bishop in Nebraska (always a good source of thoughtful, practical life tips), practicing yoga is not just a great way to relieve stress, find contentment, build strength, and make friends -- it's also "an occasion of serious sin."
Yeah. He really said that.
In a letter sent last week to the Women of Grace Ministry, former bishop Fabian Bruskewitz advised that for Catholic women, working on your downward dog is much more sinister than it seems. He wrote:
It is well known that many proponents of what is called 'New Age Religion' use yoga and yoga practices, and instruction in these practices, as doorways in which to enter into people's consciousness and wean them away from the truths which the Catholic Church preserves.
It might sound ridiculous, but I'm sorry to say Bishop Bruskewitz isn't wrong. It is so easy to sin during yoga. Here are 10 of the most common yoga sins you might not even know you're committing:
1. Worshiping your yoga teacher as a false idol.
Surprisingly easy, I know, especially when she can so effortlessly flip over into a lotus headstand.
2. Coveting the yoga pants of the woman next to you.
Confession: I do this all the time. Like, have you seen these floral leggings? How am I not to covet such gorgeous workout apparel?
3. Doing plank pose. Naked. On top of a married man.
Plank pose might be great for toning the arms and shoulders, but alas, it's also a perfect position to commit adultery.
4. Yelling a blasphemous string of profanity when you fall over from standing splits.
"Gosh darnit" will do, thank you very much.
5. Lusting after the the toned bod of the yogi next to you.
They're sweaty, you're sweaty, neither of you are wearing very many clothes, and you just spent the past hour opening up your sacral chakra. Lust is inevitable.
6. Taking the "Warrior" poses a little too literally and killing someone.
Hey, it happens.
7. Going full glutton at the juice bar after class.
"I'll take seven large bee-pollen-coconut-kale smoothies, please."
8. Whispering "There is no God" instead of "Namaste."
Easy mistake to make, but still, it's a sin.
9. Flowing straight from downward-facing dog into a scheme to defraud the poor.
Ugh, if I had a dime for every time a yoga teacher tried to get me to do this sequence.
10. Stealing everyone's wallets while they're meditating in savasana.
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