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/ India News / 2007 / September 2007 / September 1, 2007|
Indian gurus condemn banning of Yoga by British churches
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Yoga teachers in India on Saturday condemned the decision by two British churches to ban teaching of yoga in church halls.
Varanasi /Haridwar/New Delhi, Sep 1 : Yoga teachers in India on Saturday condemned the decision by two British churches to ban teaching of yoga in church halls.
The yoga teachers say that the ancient physical and mental discipline is an art of living and not a religious practice.
"This step has been taken by those who do not want Yoga to spread in across the world or, those who believe there associate it with propagation of Hinduism, says Acharaya Bal Kishan, general secretary of Patanjali Yog Peet, established by renowned guru, Baba Ramdev.
"Though Yoga is born from Hinduism, it is not Hinduism, it is an art of living which is important for humanity," he adds.
Vicars banned Yoga classes for children in two local churches-the Silver Street Baptist Church, and the St. James Angilican Church, Somerset-calling the ancient Indian practice un-Christian.
According to church authorities, their premises can be used only by people who fall in line with Christian ethos.
The UK churches' decision has not found much favour with the Catholic Church in India.
"Across the board in all the countries, you will find some sections that are liberal and some sections of people who are not so liberal. It is applicable to Christianity as well, but I think in whole when you look at the western countries which are predominantly Christian in nature, they have been open to different philosophies, different ways of thinking and living," says father Babu Joseph, spokesperson of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) in New Delhi.
Yoga is an ancient school of Hindu philosophy that prescribes physical and mental disciplines for attaining oneness with the 'Supreme Being.'
Over the years, Yoga - which literally means the union of body and mind - has become hugely popular in the West and has been patronized by many Hollywood celebrities.
Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years, but the Government recently said it was becoming increasingly concerned that people were trying to make money from what is a part of their cultural heritage.