How does one get as knowledgeable about TOB as Christopher West? Is it okay for Catholics to do yoga? As a mother, I often feel conflicted about covering up to breastfeed. What does TOB say about the theology of my body in this regard?
Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute Director Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.
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Q1: How does one become as knowledgeable about TOB as Christopher West?
Q2: I enjoyed attending yoga classes and found it had many beneficial effects, but stopped going as I was told it was not compatible with Catholic teachings. My understanding is that yoga has physical and spiritual elements and essentially you are using your body to get into a pose and in doing so opening yourself up to other undesirable forces.
However other Catholics I know are of the opinion that yoga is just a form of exercise. The poses are not inherently bad and you can avoid the [non-Catholic] spiritual & meditative side of it and therefore it is not in conflict with Catholic teachings.
There are different opinions amongst the Catholic community on this and counter arguments to the above and I’m a little confused. From a TOB perspective can you share your views ?
If incompatible with Catholic teaching what are the consequences of practicing yoga?
Q3: Becoming a mother was a very enlightening experience, especially in regard to the Theology of the Body. Breastfeeding in particular is something I often contemplate which led me to a deeper understanding of the Theology of MY Body as a woman and mother. That being said, can you address the over-sexualization of a woman’s breasts? In our culture, if a woman breastfeeds her infant away from home, she often feels morally obligated to cover herself when she does this. While I understand this and do wear a cover, it frustrates me (and my babies). I struggle to understand why breasts, which are clearly designed to nurture infants, are hyper-sexualized and treated like a ”bedroom accessory”.
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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.
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