Every Catholic should read the article about yoga, by Catholic author and publisher Cheryl Dickow on Catholic Lane. It is entitled "Yoga: What is So Bad About Feeling Good?" She does a brilliant job explaining why yoga is incompatible with Catholic Christian beliefs. It has really angered some people who enjoy the practice and see nothing wrong with yoga for health reasons. I sympathize with those who reap physical benefits from the practice, but I also encourage them to read her article with a prayerful heart.
A few years ago, I might have been one of those people defending yoga (although I can honestly say I would never get angry about it!) But here is the honest truth: I was once a Catholic who practiced yoga. Everyone said I would love it, that it would be the cure to any health issues, would be relaxing and fun. So I bought a purple mat, purchased some introductory lessons, and excitedly went to my first of many classes. I sat on the mat and obediently emptied my mind like the yoga instructor taught us. Physically, it was relaxing. Spiritually...there was an uneasy feeling deep inside I tried to ignore, to push aside. It was very inconvenient to feel this way about yoga, because I was really enjoying it! But the feelings continued to the point that I could not make them stop.
I realized that God would not have given me these uneasy feelings unless I was meant to learn from them, to find out more. So I began to investigate. For instance, why were we all bowing to each other and saying "Namaste"? Here's what I found, from Yogajournal.com: "The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore,namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you."