Pope says yoga courses have no answers

People seeking answers must turn to God, community, says Francis

(ANSA) - Rome, January 9 - Courses in spirituality or searching for answers through yoga are a waste of time because only through God can individuals find the love that sets them free, Pope Francis said Friday.
    In a homily during morning Mass at the Vatican guesthouse where he lives, the pope said that many people are seeking peace and a feeling of freedom, and try to find this through yoga and Zen studies.
    But those options appeal to an individual's pride, and instead, it is only by humbly accepting the Holy Spirit that a person can be free, the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
    "You can do a thousand courses in spirituality, a thousand in yoga, zen, all of these things," added the pope.
    "But all of this will never be able to give you the freedom of the Lord".
    The pope referred to Gospel passages describing the fear felt by the apostles when they saw Jesus performing miracles, because their hearts were too hardened to accept what they saw, said Francis.
    The apostles, like many people today, have hardened their hearts in response to painful experiences, he added.
    But that is the wrong response because it closes an individual to the community of the Church and the experience of knowing Jesus, he said. "Who teaches us to love? Who frees us from hard-heartedness? Only the Holy Spirit," said Francis.