Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

Did Jesus do yoga?

This is a very good brief article from New World Library about one of my favorite books: Russill Paul's Jesus in the Lotus: The Mystical Doorway Between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality.

Here's a blurb from the interview with Paul:
Why is Christianity in crisis today?  
First, Christianity needs to become more inclusive and take more time to understand and appreciate the value other traditions. Second, it needs to provide more advanced forms of practice for those who want to go deeper into the tradition. There is no gradient for the inner, mystical life for mystically enthusiastic and the more educated practitioners. Third, it has to find optional ways to present its deepest truths and practices to other traditions without emphasizing conversion or acceptance of Jesus as a personal Savior to the other. 
Why is Yoga so popular in the west? 
First, because it provides tangible results, both immediate as well as long term. Second, because it is both practical and spiritual simultaneously. Third, it is answering a deep need that Christianity is not meeting: a need for the mystical dimension. 
Can a Christian practice Yoga? 
Absolutely! Yoga does not require a Christian to give up faith in Jesus as a personal savior nor compromise any core theological views, such as that of the Trinity. One can actually use the techniques of Yoga to develop concentration in prayer and deepen relationship with God. 
Can Yoga help Christians? 
Without any doubt Yoga can help anyone, and is of special help to Christians, showing them how the body can be actively involved in prayer, transformed into a living temple of the Holy Spirit, and become a tabernacle for Christ consciousness. 
Why are Christians fearful of Yoga? 
Christians are fearful because Christian leaders do not understand or appreciate Yoga; they are worried that it will take Christians away from their faith in Christ Jesus. These fears are unfounded and based on prejudice and lack of proper understanding. 
Will the practice of Yoga take a Christian away from his or her faith? 
Absolutely not! Once Christian practitioners are allowed to practice Yoga, it will only deepen their faith and experience of Christ. 
Was Jesus influenced by Yoga? 
Forms of thinking and sacred speech that developed in India found their through the caravans of the Silk road to Alexandria and Capernaum. Some of these ideas would have definitely influenced Jesus as evidenced in the Gnostic Gospel of St. John....
There's more.  Read the whole thing.


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