Is Christianity and Yoga an oxymoron meaning “they don’t mix?” The answer is “Yes” they do and “No” they don’t. The answer depends from where you ask the question.
To answer this question you have to clearly understand the core teaching of Yoga and Christianity which is the core purpose of all religious teachings.
If this core teaching is not central to your understanding of Yoga and Christianity then they will likely be in opposition.
If this core understanding is recognised then they are recognized as being a different path up the same mountain. One can and does complement the other.
So what is the core teaching at the heart of Yoga and Christianity and all authentic religious teachings.
The core intention behind the teaching of Yoga, Christianity and all authentic religion is the overcoming of the idea of the separate personal self. – Tony Cuckson.
The Master Jesus spoke about this core teaching when he said.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 16:25
This is also the meaning of the phrase, “I have overcome the world.”
This is the world of time and space created by identification with the separate sense of the personal self by way of identifation with thought and the body.
Most Christians and Yoga teachings do not have as their core teaching the overcoming of the separate personal self that is the reason for most unnecessary suffering in the world.
If that were advertised as the key intention for the program no one would attend at Yoga class or at Church.
Its OK if Christianity or Yoga is simply a system of belief. The belief system simply becomes a part of the separate sense of self that the system is inviting you to overcome. The teachings become another way of maintaining ones personal identity as a Christian or as a Yogi.
From the level of personal belief Christianity and Yoga are often declared to be an oxymoron. This is because one is seen as on set of beliefs and the other another.
This is the level at which most Christians and Yoga practice operates.
I call it the basement level of experience. It is the experience of living from the personal and separate sense of self rather than from the revelation of the Christ within.
Living the revelation of the Christ within means leaving the basement and acending to the Penthouse.
However the ascent means you having to lose your personal sense of identity for the sake of living what the mystic Joseph Brenner called The Impersonal Life2.
This was the book that Elvis Presly was reading at the time of his death (The Seeker King – Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley – Gary Tillery3)