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Mission creep

"Mission creep" Continued...

Issue: "Daniel of the Year," Dec. 17, 2005

PraiseMoves opposes mind-emptying and goes beyond merely distancing itself from Hinduism by "redeeming" yoga-like poses; that means replacing those poses with similar-looking stretches that correspond with Christian symbols or biblical images. For example, the yoga pose "Downward Dog" is Christianized as "Tent," from Isaiah 54:2.

Other alternatives like Outstretched in Worship, a program developed by Susan Bordenkircher, focus on emphasizing Christian meditation within traditional hatha yoga poses. She is vague in discussing questions such as mind-emptying; other Christian yoga instructors also disagree on the distance their variants must travel from traditional Hindu practice. They agree that it is ultimately up to individuals to learn about the history of yoga before diving into it.

"Christians need to understand the broader context so that they can be aware," Mr. Ristuccia says. "It's part of being a responsible Christian. And as Christians, we are meaning-makers. It's part of being made in God's image."

-Clint Rainey is a journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin

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