At the end of giving a presentation on the nature of evil at a local parish last weekend, a woman came up to me and admitted to how she had chosen not to listen to my warnings about participation in yoga classes . . . until the day a co-worker in a yoga studio quietly used a nail clipper to cut off the gold cross she was wearing around her neck.
Anonymous writes: “At the time I had been working in a yoga studio owned by two wonderful, practicing Catholic women. It had a strong community of fine people. I thought that what you said about yoga could not possibly apply to my yoga studio. I spoke to other Catholic women who practiced yoga and was surprised at their answers. Some felt very uncomfortable bowing in the child’s pose before a statue of Buddha; other women just didn’t feel right practicing yoga; their instincts did not feel guided to continue.
“Choosing not to listen to you, I decided to wear my small gold cross which was given to me at my Baptism many decades ago. I put it on a beautiful 5 ply 14” gold chain as I continued to practice.
“Several weeks and classes later I was working at the computer and was behind the front desk when a fellow yoga student entered. We greeted each other cheerfully. She was clipping her nails with a generic nail clipper. As I continued to work, she walked behind the desk which seemed odd but fine. She stood behind me and put her hand on my shoulder and said, “you look lovely today ______”, calling me by my name. She walked away and I felt my gold chain slip in front of me and my cross fell to the floor. As I said, the chain was 5 ply and had two safely locks on it because of its value. It could never break on its own. I had several thoughts at the time. First, I realized the power of the cross and how it was an affront to some people. Secondly I realized that I did not believe you the first time and this was a confirmation that I did not belong there.
“I finished my shift that day, gave my notice and gently left. I had stored enough time so the polite task of giving two weeks notice was not an issue.
“You teach your students to live like a Catholic. We are well advised to listen with open hearts.”