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The Syro-Malabar Church has said that yoga and Catholic faith cannot go together. A report by the doctrinal commission of the Syro-Malabar Church underlined the views expressed by its Synod last year that yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience.

In its report titled “Yoga and Catholic faith”, the commission headed by Bishop Mathew Kallarangat of Pala diocese, said yoga would help physical and mental health but the spiritual means in yoga would not gel with prayers and theological views of Catholic tradition.

The commission was appointed to review the stand taken by the Syro-Malabar Church on yoga practice in view of the alleged communal politics and Hindutva agenda of the Sangh Parivar, the report said.

Last year, the synod of the Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, which discussed the role of yoga in their faith, had opined that divine experience could not be attained through a particular posture.

“The God in whom we believe is a personal god. God is not someone who can be reached through a particular posture,” a circular signed by the Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Cardinal George Alencherry, had said.

In its circular to its priests and laity last year, the church had said that recognising the important place given to yoga in Indian culture, it is to be considered as a physical exercise or postures to concentrate or to meditate.

“It is not quite right to think that the experience of God and the personal encounter with the Lord is possible through yoga,” the circular had said.