HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY
On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter
Walking along the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kaluga or any other large city will be enough to get added evidence that today yoga is a popular and widespread phenomenon. Yoga advertising posters, if not signboards of yoga centers, will inevitably catch your eye. Or you can get on the internet instead of going outside. For instance, the Yandex Russian top search engine has as many as 850 million search results for the query “yoga” compared to only 474 million results for the query “Orthodoxy” (that is, half as many results).
As we know, the Soviet Union collapsed, and its godless ideology wasn’t replaced with a new one. On the contrary, the state declared that it wouldn’t support any ideology thenceforth. But that’s not how life works. For the absence of ideology is a kind of an ideology in itself and it has contributed to the unprecedented propagation of the ideas that had been banned and oppressed by the atheist state for decades. The Church came out from the underground too. However, the minds and hearts of the overwhelming majority of the former Soviet citizens were captivated by other phenomena and teachings the representatives of which emerged, made themselves known, and immediately began to “preach” on TV, the internet, in the press and other mass media. These were psychics, sorcerers, astrologers, fortune-tellers, adherents of alternative medicine, and, of course, yogis…
What are the similarities between yoga and materialism?
What attracts people to yoga? In my case, it was a thirst for something mysterious, some teaching that would allow me to develop some superpowers, such as telepathy, breath-holding, etc. I discovered yoga as a primary school student back in the early 1980s thanks to my elder cousin. I would sit in the lotus position at the lessons, and the teacher would rebuke me, telling me “to sit like a human”. And my last mentor was a yoga fitness instructor, under whose guidance between 2008 and 2009 I refreshed my skills in the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga that I had largely forgotten over the years of my office work. And there were a great number of books, groups, seminars, and teachers between these two “mentors”.
When I was in my thirties, I wanted to comprehend the essence of yoga, and I was more interested in meditative practices than in physical exercises (asanas). The fact is that if someone starts yoga and doesn’t quit it, sooner or Continue reading “On Christianity and Yoga from a former adherent of the latter – Dmitry Druzhinin”