Blog Post

YMCA and Non-Christian Fitness Programs

(Image courtesy of Wikicommons Media, Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0)

ST writes: "With all the new age classes;{yoga, tai chi, pilates), and martial arts;(tai chi, karate), and SWAT taking place at the YMCA and any health club I've looked into, I avoid going to them even to ride a stationary bike or walk on the treadmill. People think I'm crazy, but I don't want to be in an environment that will put my soul in danger. That is most important. I was told by a priest that as long as I don't participate in these classes, that it would be OK to work out in these facilities.  I'm not feeling that he is correct.  What do you think?"

I would have to agree with the priest. Unless you are directly involved in these practices, you would not be harmed by them. This is especially true if you go to these gyms with the proper spiritual protection in place (being in a state of grace, praying for protection such as the St. Michael prayer, wearing your scapular or a blessed medal, etc.).

But having said all that, this whole situation still makes me want to scream and this is why.

Don't all of these fitness trends derive from eastern religions? Then why, in a politically correct culture that is always so careful not to push their religion on others, do they cram this stuff down our throats in every fitness center on the block? If these fitness concepts were based on faith in Jesus Christ, they'd be tripping over themselves in their haste to get the programs thrown out.

This is just another example of a dirty little double standard that Christians need to confront whenever they see it.

For instance, I just saw an article praising the benefits of tai chi in a Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine! Then there's Dr. O's book "You, Staying Young" that exalts either yoga or tai chi on every other page. This stuff is everywhere!

The time has come for Christians to fight back through 1) prayer and 2) writing polite letters that turn the tables on these establishments and let them know how dissatisfied we are that their organization/publication, etc. is foisting religion on people under the guise of health and fitness. (This is especially true for the YMCA the Young Men's Christian Association!!)

We might also point out that there is absolutely no reason to promote yoga, tai chi, pilates, etc. because there are many non-religion based alternatives available. And these alternatives are not based on the balancing of "universal life force energy" that is not scientifically supported. Established fitness programs are based on science and are a much healthier choice.

However, if an establishment insists on offering these programs (and they will because they're big sellers), they should at least provide full disclosure to participants by letting them know about their links to religion.

Another option will be to stop patronizing these organizations but be sure to send them a letter and let them know why you left.

However, don't be surprised or even disappointed if they continue to promote their yoga, tai chi and SWAT classes. The point is to at least make them squirm a little. If we have no right to "push our religion off on others" neither do they!

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