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A product of Hindu culture, the meditative discipline of yoga—from the Sanskrit for “yoke,” meaning “to attach”—originated in India during the 2nd century BC. But can the practice, now common in Western exercise routines and relaxation regimens, be detached from its pagan roots? Some evangelicals argue that practicing yoga as a form of physical discipline is harmless, even healthy, while others go farther, integrating it into their prayer and meditation times. Still others suggest integrating yoga and Christian prayer is a dangerous entry point to New Age spirituality and syncretism. The rise of yoga has prompted evangelicals to take a closer look at the spirituality of exercise and relaxation.

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