Yoga fans everywhere might be carrying around Satan with their mats, according to E.W. Jackson, Virginia’s lieutenant governor candidate.
Jackson, a right-wing pastor with tendencies for dramatic flair, explained his reasoning in a 2008 book called “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True.” Betsy Woodruff wrote a post for the National Review about the highlights of the book, one of which was Jackson's thoughts on yoga.
"When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana," Jackson wrote. "The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want."
Jackson has made other controversial comments in the past, including his thoughts on how Planned Parenthood is similar to the Ku Klux Klan and how President Barack Obama espouses a “Muslim perspective.” He has also gone so far as to label gay rights as “icky.”
His odd opinions have stirred up a great deal of criticism against him in the media, but Jackson does not believe he has done anything wrong.
"I don't have anything to rephrase or to apologize for," Jackson said in May. "I would just say, people should not paint me as one-dimensional. I have a whole lot of concerns."