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More Mormons are connecting spiritually through ... yoga

Published January 17, 2012 2:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Among the findings in the massive Pew Research Center's study of Mormons was this gem:More members of the Utah-based church (27 percent) than the general public (23 percent) say they believe in yoga not just as exercise but as a spiritual practice.Really?Yes, says Lisa Butterworth, founder of feministmormonhousewives.org, who has witnessed this firsthand."I've been teaching yoga at my ward house for two years or so and I've been asked a ton of times to teach Young Women groups," Butterworth wrote in an email this week. "Mormons do seem to love yoga, and I've always had great feedback from members, even very conservative members, when I include allusions to Mormon beliefs about the body."This Pew finding comes at a time when yoga is a both a big business in America and linked with narcissism, as The New York Times debated this week. Back to the Pew poll.Barely one in 10 Mormons (11 percent) told the pollster they believe in reincarnation. That's far fewer than the 24 percent in the general public with such a view but still represents a solid chunk of Latter-day Saints with an unorthodox view of eternity.Who are these Mormons and are they sharing this view in LDS Sunday schools? Peggy Fletcher Stack