This is what the teacher Carol Young has to say:
What is Yoga?
Yoga is like a deep wide ocean. You can go for a paddle, a swim, or dive deep within it's vast interior, or skim over it's surface. Yoga can be a weekly stretch and relaxation for some and for others it is a complete way of living.
The word Yoga means to unite. On a simple level this is the uniting of mind and body in the present. Most of us spend our lives going over past events or planning the future. The past is gone and the future does not yet exist. We have been given a gift called the present that we rarely unwrap and look at with our full awareness. Uniting the mind and body in the present can bring peace and harmony.
We live lives based on material insecurity. Nothing is permanent. We change as we go through life as do the people around us, making all relationships shift and change. Possessions can break, burn, be taken away, Jobs change and end, people die, we get older, illness occurs in ourselves and others. All these events can shatter expectations and choices.
The trouble is, to the poorly catechised, everything is fluffy, post vatican 2 haze, this all sounds so "lovely", and we all know that God and Jesus and stuff are all "lovely". In fact it sounds so "catholic". "catholic" in the new-agey, anything-goes way.
But seriously, sarcasm aside, of all the things a retreat centre, and a Catholic one at that, could offer, and I can think of many, How about a regular Latin Mass? Catholic family days? In this desolate wasteland of a post-vatican 2 diocese so much is needed for the spiritual welfare of it's flock. Why offer a questionable at best,demonic at worst practice?
Patti Maguire Amstrong offers a good analysis of whether or not Catholics should partake in yoga.
I have heard it said by some Priests that it is ok to participate in yoga, if you are merely doing the exercises, and not chanting/visualising some unknown god.
\ \ \ \ The Significance of Om \ \ \ \ \
is described as "this cosmic vibration" in the Prashna Upanishad (verse 7). The name and form of God, the universal sound and vibration. So powerful that repetition of this small word can bring knowledge of the inner Self.
Should we be opening ourselves to the occult? The above is from the website of the teacher that came to the retreat centre.
I question the wisdom of allowing such things. I like to think the Archbishop is simply unaware of such practices. Off to write an actually letter, instead of moaning here.