Upward Facing Watermelon

Am I wrong to find this funny? A Catholic priest kicking the yoga people out of his church because it turns out they didn’t mean just Downward Facing Dog and Upside Down Candelabra, they meant “spiritual.” Or not, but they could have. You couldn’t be sure. You know how people are. They say it’s not spiritual, they say they just want to strike poses and watch the pounds melt away, but underneath, they’re plotting to do spiritual.

Instructor Cori Withell from Hampshire said her yoga and pilates classes at St Edmund’s Church building in Southampton were cancelled with 10 days to go.

Father John Chandler said that the hall had to be used for Catholic activities, and he banned it because it was advertised as “spiritual yoga”.

Ms Withell, from Eastleigh, said the church accepted the booking two months ago and she paid £180.

She was called later and told that yoga was “from another religion”, so she could not have the hall.

A separate pilates class she had booked was also cancelled.

Ms Withell said she did not use meditation in her classes, just exercises.

She added: “As a nation we have an obesity epidemic. I was trying to bring some exercise to the community and coming across blocks like this is frustrating.”

Yes but consider. There’s nothing about Jesus stretching in the bible. If Jesus had wanted people to bring some exercise to the community he would have said something about it while one of the stenographers was listening.

Ravindra Parmar, president of the Vedic Society Hindu Temple of Southampton, said yoga was “a form of exercise” and “not a religious type of activity”.

He added people were welcome to practice yoga exercises at the temple and said he felt “a little let down” because of the work the Southampton Council of Faiths does to “get all the faiths talking to each other”.

Ahhhhhhh yes talking to each other, but not doing yoga. There’s a difference, my friend.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    Sure they start with yoga, but where does it end up? Levitation, going without food for years, tantra! Give ’em an inch and they’ll go all Kama Sutra on you. And spicy curry!

  2. screechymonkey says

    I’m reminded of a recent Onion article about a priest who insists he is “religious but not spiritual.”

  3. Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل) says

    “but underneath, they’re plotting to do spiritual.”

    hilarious. next thing you know it’ll be people indulging erotic whimsies in church!

  4. says

    Rodney Nelson

    So I put karmic religion levitation yoga into google, and I think I found the page the good reverend must read: http://www.demonbuster.com/asianre1.html . Then I read this list


    expanding and transforming personal consciousness

    mind power

    Roman Catholicism

    cosmic / unity consciousness


    third eye (kundulini energy)

    demonic slain in the spirit



    spirits of the dead

    Ascended Masters

    space brothers

    another Jesus

    pagan mysticism


    WTF?! Roman Catholicism? Hey, he should be kicking himself out of his church!

  5. ismenia says

    I remember my Grandma telling us years ago that someone who came to her church had been handing out leaflets saying that practices such as yoga were anti-Christian.

  6. Musical Atheist says

    Pilates has nothing to do with Hinduism! It’s not the same as yoga! Good grief. I guess if one system of exercise can be practiced with optional chakras, maybe they all can. All that repetitive squeezing of the glutes might activate the kundalini by accident.

    When he says the hall has to be used for ‘Catholic activities’, does he mean only Catholic activities, and he was mistaken about the non-Catholic nature of yoga, or does he think that there might be some spiritual entities left floating around after class interfering with the eucharist?

  7. Don Quijote says

    Cafflik activities; Lessons in child abuse and how to avoid criminal charges. How to get children to lick cream off of a priest’s knees.

  8. yoav says

    That misogynistic streak of poo, Marc driscoll, have been going on about how yoga is a gateway to satan for years. Maybe she could try and teach Janine Turner’s jeebusyoga™.

  9. johnthedrunkard says

    In Florida some years ago a city shut down yoga classes after a campaign led by a fundamentalist Chiropractor.

    ‘Innate intelligence’ si, ‘prana’ no.

  10. Ant (@antallan) says

    “Ahhhhhhh yes talking to each other, but not doing yoga. There’s a difference, my friend.”

    Yes. Getting them to do yoga together would be a stretch…


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