VMG writes: “A young woman in my parish is a Dru Yoga teacher and has put up posters and leaflets in the Church advertising her classes. I spoke to the Parish Priest who said he didn’t see anything wrong with it – it is just exercise. Can you tell me if it is ok for Catholics to take part in this particular form of yoga?”
Dru yoga is derived from the ancient yogic tradition with a particular focus on soft and fluid movements. Because all forms of yoga are part of the Hindu spiritual tradition, it should come as no surprise that this version of yoga takes its name from the Hindu deity named Dhruva.
A main component of Dru yoga is the activation of the body’s alleged “subtle energy” system (i.e., chi, qi, yin yang, universal life force) through sequences of movements that supposedly release blockages of this energy.
An integral part of the practice is its meditation technique which involves the quieting of the mind through focus on breathing.
“Dru Meditation, in common with many other types of meditation, starts with this gentle awareness of the body and breath,” the site states.
“The next stage of Dru Meditation takes us from just observing our mind to understanding the vast landscape of our consciousness, described in the yogic tradition through models such as chakras and koshas.”
The third stage is where practitioners learn to “transform your consciousness.”
“You’ll learn advanced breathing techniques, mantras and kriyas which will empower your strengths and help you to deeply know yourself.”
The creator of Dru Yoga is Mansukh “Manny” Patel, who was born to Indian parents in Africa during the mid 1950s, but eventually emigrated to the UK where he achieved a doctorate in cancer toxicology at the University of Wales, Bangor.
Patel’s passion has always been for the yoga and meditation techniques he learned from his parents, which he describes as the “core” of his work.
Dru yoga, which is named in honor of a Hindu deity, is obviously very much inspired by Hindu spirituality, a belief in an alleged universal life force which the Pontifical Councils referred to as the “new age god” (See Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life, No. 2.2.3.), and the use of meditation techniques designed to bring about an altered state of consciousness.
For all of the above reasons, Catholics should not become involved in this practice.