A Catholic priest in Ireland has become an online hit after asking parishioners in Gaoth Dobhair (Gweedore), County Donegal to refrain from taking part in yoga, tai chi or reiki.

Father Padraig O’Baoill, the pastor of the local parish in Gaoth Dobhair, made his comments in the weekly newsletter published by the church.

He said, “As followers of Jesus Christ we should not partake in deeds that go against our religion. Accordingly, you should do not take part in yoga, thai chai or reiki. Do not put your soul in jeopardy for the sake of these contemptable things [sic].”

A local yoga teacher said she was offended by the remarks, describing them as over the top.

The parish priest, who is currently in Lourdes, France, told reporters at the Donegal News that he would comment on his return.

His comments reflect the Catholic Church's teachings relating to yoga, tai chi and reiki.

However, his comments were not greeted with a great deal of seriousness online.

One Tweet quoted the comedy series “Father Ted”:

From the BBC: And they continue:

Gweedore parish priest, Father Padraig O'Baoill, says healing stretches and relaxation could “put your soul in jeopardy.”