SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE PRACTICING YOGA?
To start, this is a post about yoga is one I have been battling with posting for quite some time now. I have had some very uncomfortable conversations with friends and family members about this topic. Honestly speaking, I got so tired of explaining the truth to others that I just stopped trying.
Well, a few months back I felt this pressure in my spirit to speak up about it, and around the same time, I ran across this awesome yoga post on Facebook. I knew God was trying to pull something out of me. I made a post about it on my Instagram and Facebook page, but I haven’t said much about it since. Recently, I’ve been getting that same feeling, and God has a way of stopping everything that I want to do until I do what He wants me to do. So BOOM! Let’s Get This Party Started!
The heart of this post is to bring awareness to those of you who have never considered what I am about to say concerning yoga. If you are a Christian who participates in Yoga, take a few moments and read through this. Don’t want to hear this? No problem! God gives us the free will to make our own decision. I am not here to argue. If you are truly here because you have a heart for Christ and really are intrigued to know more, I am here for that. Most noteworthy, I care more about your soul and you defeating our enemy, the devil, than about winning a conversation. I am going to do my best to keep this brief and informative! Now let’s get into it!
I do not do yoga. Since I am in the fitness industry, I come across the topic of yoga often. With the widespread practice of Yoga, it has become a very lucrative business to get into. According to a 2013 Forbes article, Yoga is a 6 BILLION dollar industry. It has become the “trendy” thing to do! I literally can get in my car, drive down the street, and pass 3 yoga studios in just a few minutes!
Up until about 5 years ago, I didn’t really think much of it. I just considered it just another form of exercise. Consequently, one Sunday my pastor briefly mentioned it, and that prompted me to dig a little deeper. Let’s be clear, I am not the girl who sits in the pews and takes EVERYTHING that pastors say as truth. I do my own reading, testing, researching, and have my own relationship with God. It has to sit well in my spirit. It has to line up with the word of God. This is what I discovered after a bit of research.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” -Hosea 4:6
As a result, we are destroyed because we are ignorant to things OR because we suppress truth. We take too lightly things that open demonic doors into our lives. Once a door of sin has been opened, it gives the devil and evil spirits legal access to harass us with sickness, lack, confusion, troubles, lack of peace, deprivation, death, mental insanity, broken relations, and a number of other things. Sin invites harm (1 John 5:18).
Yoga (derived from Sanskrit word “Yuj”) simply means union, unite, or yoke. These words mean to be joined together, as to make two separate pieces into one. Yoga pulls its roots from Hinduism as a spiritual practice to align and enlighten the mind, body, and spirit. As Christians, we are only to be yoked to the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit. God and His spirit is how we find truth, light, and peace.
Yoga is broken down into 8 limbs:
- Yama: self-control
- Niyama: religious observation (implication of a religious practice involved)
- Asana: posture (worship poses)
- Pranayama: breathing exercises
- Pratyahara: sense control
- Dharana: concentration
- Dhyana: deep contemplation
- Samadhi: enlightenment
As you climb the limbs, it is said that you go from a state of ignorance to enlightenment. According to a historic Hindu text written by Bhagavad Gita, “Thus joy supreme comes to the Yogi… who is one with Brahman, with God.” Brahman is the supreme being behind all of the many Hindu gods and is mostly accepted as the ultimate deity of those who practice Hinduism. What all of this boils down to is that the meditating, breathing, and postures were all developed for serious spiritual and religious reasons. Reasons that I normally hear from Christians…
- “I don’t do it for all of that; I just like the stretching and relaxation.”
- “I don’t do the chants or say the phrases.”
- “I’m a Christian and God goes everywhere with me, so I’m good. God knows my heart.”
- “It’s just a fun activity that helps me with my flexibility.”
- “It’s not that serious.”
Yoga is a seducing spirit. It comes off as a healthy, beneficial, and life-giving practice. It’s promoted as a gentle, relaxing, and soothing experience. When it reality it is a deception tactic of the devil to lure you unsuspectingly away from God and to gain access to your lives in order to cause trouble. See the enemy never comes like a horned beast, but as an angel of light. He never shows up like your enemy, but instead your best friend. He knows scripture way better than most of us, so he uses it as a weapon of confusion instead of the weapon of truth.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils 1 Timothy 4:1
With all the explanations given, I can honestly say that I get it! I really do! But the fact that the poses are salutations to Hindu Gods makes it more than just some gentle, soothing, relaxing exercise. The fact that you are a Holy Spirit filled believer that willingly puts yourself in an environment that rejects God does have consequences. Whether you understand it or not, you are opening a door to let satan in. There are tons of healthy ways to relieve stress, lose weight, and build flexibility that don’t pull from idol worship.
One thing I do know is this: if you have hardened your heart and really don’t care to hear, then I could write a thousand posts and a dissertation about the origins, practices, and implications of yoga and some still would think its woo-woo. I just hope whoever this post is for gets it and passes it on to those who want to understand. It matters just that much.
As I close, please understand that if you are a Christian that does yoga, I am not saying that you don’t love Jesus or that you are going to hell. I am not here to bring down fear or condemnation. What I am saying is that you are opening a door for the devil to show up in your life. That open door can manifest in a number of different ways, but through the truth and knowledge of Christ we can be victors!
Above all, what I am saying is that if we are about defeating the enemy and being about our father’s business then it’s time to be all in! I love you beautiful women. I have included some links to people’s personal testimonies who have lived for yoga but came to know the truth, but I encourage you to pray and do some research for yourself. If you are interested in practicing a healthy lifestyle outside of yoga, I invite you to take a look at the fitness programs I provide. Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
Want more evidence? No problem check out the books and videos I have linked below!
Have you every hear this about Yoga before? If yes, what were your initial thoughts?