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In-out-in-out-in-out.

In-out.

In. Out.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inn … Outt …

Innn …

It's 7:45 p.m. on a weekday and for the first time today, I consciously slow down my breathing. I send the air deep down into my belly, letting it rise and fall like a wave. Inn … Outt …

Along with a group of 30 people in a darkened exercise studio at a Lifetime Fitness gym near Chicago, I use the unhurried cadences of the air filling and leaving my lungs to lull my muscles and joints into daring postures. My body becomes a mountain. An eagle. A warrior. A pigeon. A downward dog. A cobra. Finally—my favorite pose that comes at the end of each workout—a corpse, during which I lay down and relax every muscle.

Oh, and I'm an evangelical—mostly, a proud one. Proud of Christ, of Mary Magdalene, of G.K. Chesterton, of the way the Bible cuts through all cultures and all times and all hearts, and of smart evangelicals like historian Mark Noll at Wheaton College who have pried open the collective evangelical mind.

Sometimes though, I admit, I'm a tad embarrassed to be a member of the diverse evangelical family. Like yesterday, when I heard on NPR that the National Association of Evangelicals had led a charge at the Supreme Court opposing out-of-state wine shipments. May the finest wine maker have mercy on us!

Also yesterday, shame rushed through my face as I read on The Huffington Post, the hot, new, militantly liberal website, a reference to an article on yoga published by Christianity Today's sister publication Today's Christian Woman. In it, Max Blumenthal rightly pokes fun at the admiring article's main voice, which belongs to Laurette Willis, who believes yoga is pretty much of the devil. "Yoga's breathing techniques (pranayama) ...

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Yes to Yoga
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May 2005

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