Yoga is a spiritual practice that provides all the health benefits of physical and mind exercise. Yet, a British exorcist has claimed that yoga could put people in danger of being possessed by evil spirits. According to Father Jeremy Davies, exorcist for the leader of Catholics in the UK, yoga puts people at risk from devils and the occult is closely associated with the scourges of drugs, demonic music and pornography which are destroying millions of young people in our time.
But Madhavi Padhy, one of the foremost yoga exponents based in New Delhi, disagreed with the baseless claims of the 73-year-old Catholic priest.
“Yoga originated in India thousands of years back. It has no connection with evil spirits. On the contrary, it helps you become more aware of your body, mind and environment. It also plays a key role in relieving stress and bringing inner peace,” Padhy said.
Father Davies has argued in his new book In Exorcism: Understanding Exorcism In Scripture And Practice published by the Catholic Truth Society, that people who practice yoga may end up afflicting themselves by demons, British newspaper the Daily Mail has reported.
“The thin end of the wedge (soft drugs, yoga for relaxation, horoscopes just for fun) is more dangerous than the thick end because it is more deceptive — an evil spirit tries to make his entry as unobtrusively as possible. Beware of any claim to mediate beneficial energies ( reiki), any courses that promise the peace that Christ promises (enneagrams), any alternative therapy with its roots in eastern religion ( acupuncture),” he wrote in his newly published book.
Father Davies has also said that occult practices such as magic, fortune-telling and holding séances to contact the spirits of the dead are direct invitations to the Devil which he readily accepts.
“Even heterosexual promiscuity is a perversion; and intercourse, which belongs in the sanctuary of married love, can become a pathway not only for disease but also for evil spirits… young people especially are vulnerable and we must do what we can to protect them.”