Mixed feelings on controversial yoga storm

As the controversy rumbles on regarding remarks by a Derry priest about the risks involved in yoga, local women have been sharing their opinions.

Women who attend chair yoga at Glenview Community Centre in Derry have mixed feelings on the matter.

CHAIR YOGA. . . . .Ladies from the Glen Community Centre pictured taking part in Chair Yoga at the centre on Thursday afternoon last. On right is Majella McIntyre, Soiul Serenity Yoga, their instructor. DER0815MC058

CHAIR YOGA. . . . .Ladies from the Glen Community Centre pictured taking part in Chair Yoga at the centre on Thursday afternoon last. On right is Majella McIntyre, Soiul Serenity Yoga, their instructor. DER0815MC058

Agnes Nolan from Oakbridge said Fr. Colhoun was entitled to his opinion, while Mary Harkin from Elmgrove said she didn’t take too much notice.

Majella McIntyre of ‘Soul Serenity Yoga’ teaches classes at Glenview. She has been practising yoga for 20 years. She started teaching yoga in 1999 and has been training yoga teachers in the North West for 10 years.

When asked for her reaction to Fr. Colhoun’s comments, Ms McIntyre said she believed Fr. Colhoun’s comments had hurt a lot of people.

“I didn’t feel insulted, but I felt disbelief that a priest, or anyone, can make a comment when they haven’t got their experience or knowledge first,” said Ms McIntyre.

“So, had he attended a yoga class and come away with those beliefs that would be his opinion.”

Ms McIntyre added: “Yoga is not keep fit. It’s about people learning to manage their health.

“It doesn’t cure anybody of anything, but it helps us to manage what we do and people feel really good after practising yoga, so we must be doing something right.”

The Bishop of Derry has been called on by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, to “apologize to the hurt worldwide yoga community” following comments by Fr. Roland Colhoun who told the ‘Journal’ he had warned parishioners about the dangers of yoga and Indian head massages.

A Diocese spokesperson told the ‘Journal’, Bishop McKeown would not be making any comment.