I want to say though that some people accompany yoga with ideas and practices that are unfamiliar in Greek and Russian Orthodoxy. One idea some people add (mentioned in the Convent article above) is that of balance. The idea is that good life and mental
and physical health demands "balance". However, can we really say that this concept is part of Greek Orthodoxy or mentioned by Greek Orthodox writers? I think not. We might say that the person works too hard, therefore he is stressful and he needs to relax and take a break, be calm. This is a reassertion of his "balance. But is that a teaching?
What ascetic writings teach Balance in Orthodoxy? The stylite movement does not seem to have "balance". Living on a pillar seems only balanced enough so you don't fall off the pillar.
If we look at the lives of the Saints what we see is that they have attained inner balance and stability, such that when faced with extremes they do not break down or become unbalanced.
Just yesterday I was looking at an article giving an explication of St Gregory of Nyssa's writings on the Inscriptions in the Psalms here is a quote from the article.
The music which reflects the wisdom of God in creating the cosmos is expressed in moderation and good order. The concord of creation is a harmony of opposites which produces a hymn of glory to God. “The accord and affinity of all things with one another which is controlled in an orderly and sequential manner is the primal, archetypal, true music." ...
Human existence is a kind of music. The question is what kind of music – whether it is in accord with God and the nature of the cosmos or not. This question for Gregory has to do with the proper ordering of daily life. For Gregory, the good life is kata physin: in accord with nature.
The Psalms also are a music in accord with nature. The Word of God “admonishes that your life be a psalm which does not
resound with earthly sounds, but by sounds, I mean thoughts, but which produces a sound from the upper and heavenly realms which is pure and audible.” Man’s life becomes a well-ordered psalm precisely through praying the psalms and putting into practice their divine teachings. The rhythms of their words and music heal the rhythms of human life, bring it to harmony and moderation:
In this singing nature reflects on itself in a certain manner, and heals itself. For the proper rhythm of life, which singing
seems to me to recommend symbolically, is a cure of nature. For perhaps the very fact that the character of those who live virtuously need not be devoid of the Muses, unharmonious and out of tune, is an encouragement to the more sublime state of life. Neither must the string be drawn taut beyond measure, for that which is well-tuned certainly breaks when it is strained beyond what the string can bear, nor on the contrary must one slacken the tension immoderately through pleasure, for the soul which becomes relaxed in such passions becomes deaf and dumb. In all other matters we must tighten and relax the tension at the right time, looking at this, that our way of life in the customs may continue always melodious and rhythmical, being neither immoderately slack nor strained beyond measure.
Edited by Anna Stickles, 30 September 2016 - 11:33 PM.