Christians and Yoga?

Word of the Day… YOGA – Today I was helping my children with their distance learning. As I was printing off their workload for the week, I was surprised to see one of the possible assignments for physical education. The school had sent out various workouts for our children to do online. Sadly, some of those links were various forms of yoga.

Today, many Christians have no idea what yoga truly is. In fact, one of the various forms of yoga is called “Christian yoga”. Yet, the very foundation of yoga is and will always be Hinduism. Even Wikipedia shows us this linkage as it informs us, “Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.” The New Age movement has also embraced the wonders of the spiritual awakening in yoga.

In short, yoga is not just exercise. It is a religious pagan ritual. It matters not the intention of the individual; the whole purpose of yoga is to help posture the body in a way to call and be filled with spirits that are not the Holy Spirit. Many would say that they don’t believe in demons and are not worried about anything because they believe in Jesus.

In truth, when we do what we want even when scripture warns us to refrain from such things, we fall to the same deception and lie that caused the original Fall in the Garden… Satan will always whisper the same thing in our ears. “You surely will not die!” Gen 3:4

30 years ago, you couldn’t find many Christians who were doing yoga. And the reason was that they all knew its history. Yet today in our postmodern culture, the walls of many hearts have been torn down and they now find truth in following any and all paths to God. Sadly, our scriptures are the exact opposite of postmodern thought. For in scripture, Jesus is the Way and that path is meticulously given to us as a Way of holiness. A Holy God has nothing in common with the ways of darkness.

So why have Christians yoked themselves with the demonic ritual of yoga? Paul gives us the answer in his pastoral letter to Timothy. He writes, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.” 1Tim. 4:1

Here Paul is saying that as Christians continue to live in sin, their conscience becomes seared. What this means is that they can’t hear the Holy Spirit within them anymore. (You see, normally, when a person is tempted, the Holy Spirit provides a sense of guilt or shame when our thoughts or actions go against holiness.) To have a seared conscience is like a teenager who no longer listens to or respects their parents. Eventually, the advice and correction given by the parents becomes white noise with no effect on the teen’s heart.

In the same way, in order for a Christian to embrace yoga, we either have to be uninformed of the connection it has with Hinduism or we understand the connection yet no longer care. So is doing yoga a sin? It is once you know that it is a ritual that is not sourced from Christ and you continue to do it anyway.

Sadly, yoga is hip and cool. It is even embraced by the YMCA which is a Christian organization. And now today, the public schools have decided to unknowingly introduce all of our kids to a demonic spiritual discipline through distance learning. Sure, to our kids it may feel like a fun way to stretch and relax. However, Satan has a way of finding our weaknesses and using them to bring us farther from Christ and His holiness.

What can happen if our children like yoga and are told it is OK? When they get to college or are having back problems in the future, they will search out what forms of yoga will help them relieve their pain. And that is where Satan will begin to introduce the more spiritual benefits of yoga. And no matter what you have heard, the spirit of yoga is and will always be void of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, let us choose wisely. For if we can only have darkness or Light dwelling as a spirit inside of us, should we not seek out the Holy Spirit with our actions?

Lord, I pray for all of us, even myself. For there are areas in our hearts that have been seared. Lord, continue to replace this heart of stone with Life… Renew us Lord. Let us push off all that takes away from your Name, and let us deeply desire your presence in our lives. Amen…