Happy New Year Coffee Talk

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A New Year of Coffee Talk!

By Rebecca Teti

Happy feast of The Mother of God and may your 2013 be blessed! The floor is open for Coffee Talk.

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • Dear All, we were wishing happy new year to our friends and relatives in the midnight, when suddenly my mind went over the wishes we were receiving. Many wishes sounded "a happy and healthy/wealthy prosperous new year". I feel one wish that would be sufficient would be to have our Lord in the midst of us. Because if he is there then "Health or no health", "Wealth or no wealth", nothing would be more significant.. He is capable of providing for our needs and he alone knows what is sufficient for us..

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 3:52 AM by Sebastian Varghese

  • Happy New Year 2013! Thank you for a great magazine that I look forward to receiving & a very neat website/community forum. I don't know if this is post-worthy but I have a question & I'm curious to know what thoughts are. A family member volunteers at church, one afternoon she told Fr. she had to leave early to go to a yoga class. Fr. was horrified. He said it was against our religion because of it's roots & that she needs to quit. She is confused & upset. A Dr. recommended taking yoga for a disease she suffers from. I had never heard of such a thing. Again, I apologize if this shouldn't be posted here but I am very curious & wonder what other exercise programs that relate to yoga are not allowed?? Thank you!!

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 9:02 AM by Avk

  • ..roots were said to be in mysticism/Hindu/Buddhism I believe he said.

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 9:03 AM by Avk

  • A monk described yoga to me as "doing the religious movements of another religion 'just for exercise'." He said its frowned upon because it would be like genuflecting in front of the tabranacle "for exercise" and saying it "had no religious significance"... yet such a genuflection is an act of worship even if the person doing it says "this is just exercise." Similarly, we shouldn't do the body postures of Eastern meditation and think "oh its just exercise" because we are doing the "outward signs" of another religion and those signs have significance even if we don't *intend* it. Its not all about our intentions, but about the nature of religious signs and symbols (in this case, Eastern religions). Hope that helps!

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 9:45 AM by Jen

  • Ah...thank you. I guess that does make sense. I honestly just never thought about yoga as being something our church was against. I know my MIL was confused & I feel almost embarrassed that I didn't know that!

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 11:32 AM by Avk

  • Avk--don't feel embarrassed or confused--I'm confused too! Well, actually, I agree with the priest you mentioned and have done research on it. Many very good Catholic websites have clear reasons for staying away from yoga (Catholics United for the Faith, Johnette Benkovic and Sharon Lee Giganti to name a few.) I love what Jen quoted, using an analogy of genufecting before the tabernacle for exercise. I get confused because our pastor appoves of yoga in our parish, and classes are held here on our parish grounds...now how's that for confusion for you! Maybe your MIL can find something in pilates that is similar and will be helpful for her? Prayers for your discernment.

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 11:47 AM by Mary Therese

  • Now that would be confusing! Oh dear...I guess it just depends on the priest..or maybe if you did yoga poses/stretches while meditating on the mysteries or doing a rosary or prayer? But I guess that wouldn't take away from the poses representing other religious beliefs. Very interesting....

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:17 PM by Avk

  • @Avk, I don't think there's an official Church teaching regarding the exercise portion of yoga. I've heard conflicting views on that, some from the view that it's not allowable at all and others that it's fine as long as you are only doing the stretching part, not the meditation part. I'm personally inclined toward the latter view, having briefly used a friend's pregnancy yoga video and finding that much of it was things one typically does to stretch anyway (like "dancer's pose" which was just standing on one leg and pulling the other foot up to your behind - been doing that for years, but never called it a pose). So it didn't exactly seem like actions with inherent meaning to them. That said, there aren't many classes I'd participate in (if I were one to go to an exercise class, lol), since most seem to be given by people who aren't likely to drop the new-agey side of it in their classes.

    Posted on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:25 PM by Anna

  • I am a yoga teacher and studio owner and I am catholic. I also work closely with 2 of my local priests in navigating this ancient art and science. I strongly disagree that yoga is from, part of, or brings one closer to an eastern religion. I will agree yoga brings one closer to God -- the one and only God. I started yoga in 1999 because I was grieving. I became catholic in 2005. How is this possible? I have practiced yoga 3-5 times a week since 1999. I teach about the physical and physiological benefits of yoga and empower people to find peace, health and bring them closer to God. One of the most amazing teachers I have ever met is Father Joe Pereira, who is a Jesuit Priest (for 45 years) from India and a yoga teacher ( he became a teacher after yoga healed his back pain) One of his biggest inspirations in life --Mother Theresa. He was a co-celebrant at mass the weekend of my training with him. His reverence brought me to tears and moved me spiritually unlike I have never been moved. It is sad that so many priests lead mass as though it is a just another day -- God is present. I think it is sad that yoga is so quickly judged. Should some yoga and yoga teachers be avoided--yes. I don't believe God inspires us to be fearful or judgmental but empowers us to discern. Father Thomas Ryan another Catholic Priest and yoga teacher has a book -- Prayer of mind and Body: yoga as a Christian spiritual practice. I will choose to love my neighbor even if they are all the way around the world.

    Posted on Feb 19th, 2013 at 11:33 PM by Paula Brown

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