UK PSYCHICS REPORT - 28 Nov 2001
A vicar has banned yoga classes from his church hall because he fears they could encourage the growth of Eastern mysticism and lead his flock away from Christian teaching.
"I fully appreciate that for some people yoga is just exercise, but I am also aware that yoga is often a gateway to others things, such as Eastern mysticism," the Rev. Dick Farr told Reuters.
"We are here to promote Jesus and don't want to offer a platform to anybody who is going to undermine that."
The Church of England vicar banned yoga teacher Tom Newstead from booking St. Mary's Church hall in the village of Henham in Essex. The ban has the backing of the church council and most local residents, Farr says.
The British Wheel of Yoga, an independent charity with nearly 6,000 members which describes itself as yoga's governing body in Britain, called the ban "utter nonsense."
"Yoga is a way of life, not a religion," Ken Simmons, the group's chairman, said. "It involves posture work, breathing techniques, what you eat and how you react to people."