The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has said that yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience, though it would help physical and mental health.
The synod of the Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, which discussed the role of Yoga in their faith early this year, has opined that divine experience could not be experienced through a particular posture.
"The God in whom we believe is a Personal God. God is not someone who can be reached through a particular posture," said the circular signed by the Arch-Bishop of the church, Cardinal George Alencherry.
In its circular to its priests and laity in January this year, the Church said that recognising the important place given to Yoga in Indian culture, it is to be considered as a physical exercise or postures to concentrate or to meditate.
"It is not quite right to think that the experience of God and the personal encounter with the Lord is possible through Yoga," the circular said.
It said those who hold different opinions other than that of the Church in this regard are not to be encouraged. "In this context, each one should take utmost care to avoid getting into those prayer groups and spiritual movements which are against the Catholic faith and do not recognise the official teachings of the Church," the circular said.