I was doing some research into Christian mundras (mundra is a yogic word for ritual hand gestures) when I came across an interesting article in Christian Yoga Magazine. Yes, that’s right, there’s a whole magazine devoted to Christian yoga.
Anyway, it explained the Prithvi Mudra and Pran Mudra from a sort of Christianised Hindu perspective which is what I was looking for.
The references to the Law of Attraction and Oprah is probably all you need to figure out where this is coming from theologically. Needless to say I don’t endorse it, but I think it could be interesting to chew over.
7 thoughts on “Yogic Mudras in Christian Imagery”
It’s Mudra. There are two spelling mistakes in the blog.
Okay, I’m going to make a gripe here. The author of that article makes a mistake (or at least I consider it a mistake) that I see way too often. He looks at some Orthodox icons and notices that they depict Jesus holding his hands in a certain way. He then notices that it’s similar to a Hindu Mudra, so he automatically concludes that the hand position in the icon is meant to portray the same concept as the Hindu Mudra.
But I see no research to support that assumption. Where’s the study of Orthodox art and symbolism? Where’s the discussion with priests and scholars talking about what the hand gesture is meant to portray and why it was chosen in the Orthodox tradition? (Could Steve shed some light on this.)
The similarity of the gestures alone is just too superficial to me to justify assuming a deeper philosophical link. It would take a deeper exploration of Orthodox icons and their symbolism/meanings to convince me of that.
You might as well assume that the ceremony of cakes and ale and the eucharist are the same thing simply because they both involve baked grains and alcohol. It’s too superficial.
Interesting. Do you know about these yoga books?
Matthew. Why not Christian yoga?
Just because the word yoga is used does not mean you have to protect yourself with a crucifix–or garlic.
My Spiritual Teacher has created a comprehensive set of life-level psych-physical disciplines by which every dimension of one being is re-patterned according to the Laws inherent, or intrinsic to, the human body-bind structure.
Repatterned so that all of ones activities are conscious expressions of Divine Communion rather than unconscious uninspected patterns inherited from ones “culture” and ones own individual life history (which is usually chaotic)
All of which are, to one degree or another, self-destructive (slowly or quickly.
The disciplines also help to purify ones body-mind so that one is thus made more sensitive to the Divine Presence, the nature and quality of ones own presence in the world, and to everything altogether.
The yoga of Right Diet—and healing.
The yoga of posture or Conscious Exercise–including conscious breathing.
The yoga of emotional-sexual responsibility–which includes a yoga of conscious responsibility for re-production and the many factors involved in that.
A yoga for children.
The yoga of cooperative community—and by extension world peace.
Even a yoga for consciously participating in the death and dying process.
A yoga of sacred art. The factors necessary to even produce it—and to respond to it too.
One of the mistakes that righteous Christians make is to presume that Christianity is completely unique.
But all religions and Spirituality are rooted in, and hence are extensions of,or projections of, the intrinsic structures of the human body-mind.
Religions and their cultural expressions never ever appear out of no where.
In fact all religions ARE descriptions of the body-mind of Man (male or female).
Or at least some aspects of the body-mind.
Descriptions which are always limited by the degree (or lack of it) of Conscious awareness of the totality of the intrinsic structures, and of the Garden of Indestructible Light in which the body-mind is floating.
Sfauthor, I have a copy of the Bhagavad Gita but not the others.
Jarred, I totally agree.
John, I am not opposed to yoga that is authentically Christian, but this yoga does not fit that description. It may be yoga, but it is only superficially Christian. Jarred, though he is not a Christian, has grasped this. I would suggest you look closer at his response. I am not about to challenge your understanding of Yoga, but I do challenge your understanding of Christianity.