I decided to touch on this subject because it has literally engulfed the West, but more importantly, it has also infiltrated some churches and is followed by many professing Christians. Let’s look at some of the facts about Yoga first. Yoga has undoubtedly been a form of physical exercise and mental “well-being” for many, but should it be practiced by Christians? “Holy Yoga” is a form of practicing exercises, but at the same time placing a Christian worldview onto it. But are there any Christian roots found in Yoga? The answer is simple, no.
Yoga has been an Eastern spiritual practice that has been with the intent of worshipping Hindu gods. Yoga has been a form to acquire a deep knowledge of Self and to unite with Self with Brahman. It promotes that people are themselves “gods” and have everything they need within themselves. As Christians, we need to have discernment as to what is the latest craze or popular thing in our culture and compare it to what scripture says. Yoga and the Bible contradict each other, in this sense. In the Bible, we read that we are to deny our “self” (fleshly will and sinful nature). It reads in Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” What is Jesus saying here? Our human nature is tainted with sin in our bloodline. This sin naturally causes us to want to follow anything BUT God. That is what Jesus means. By denying this sinful nature, we are placing Him first in our lives and giving into His will for our lives too. If anything, we are warned in the Bible that in the Last Days, “But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good” 2 Timothy 3:1-3. The craze of Yoga fits with what scripture says here because Yoga is all about self.
Holy Yoga is nothing more than Christian Mysticism wrapped up in a “Christian” wrapper. It promotes the human “experience” over reading the Bible and praying, traditionally to God. It’s goal is to disassociate one’s senses and to draw into Self. This is very pagan and far from what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, it tells us that to connect to God, there is only one way and that way is Jesus, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me“. John 14:16. Once we humble our self and come to Jesus, through a personal relationship, we have direct access granted to us to God, by prayer. The practice of Meditation is not the same as praying. In Yoga, meditation is a New Age, mind- altering technique that involves “visualizing.” The problem is, no where in scripture is this supported. The deep breathing is another technique that is used and again, it is for little physical benefit, but more for focusing on self and “clearing the mind.” What a red flag that is! If anything, as Christians, we are to worship God with our minds and have it full of the scriptures we have memorized to combat evil, demonic behavior. So how interesting, that Yoga requires that the mind be rid of anything that might “interfere.”
My question to every Christian is this…why would we practice or worship God the way pagans worship theirs? In Deuteronomy 12:30, “Do not inquire about their gods, asking, “How do these nations serve their gods?” Also in 12:31 it reads, “You must not worship the LORD your God in this way because they practice for their gods every abomination which the LORD hates.” We want to please God, not to vex the Holy Spirit.
One of the things that I discovered, as I was researching this topic, was the meaning of the word, “namaste.” It literally means, “the god in me bows to the divine in you.” Now if you are not a Christian, you are merely bowing to the god of “self” in the person you are bowing to and vice versa. But, if you are a Christian, you are literally saying that the Almighty God in you bows to the god of self in that other person!!! This is called blasphemy. Please realize what you are saying before you just chant out a word that seems “innocent.” Remember that our enemy is quite cunning, he has been around long enough to make things “appear” to be innocent enough, harmless, but beware Christian! The devil is only out to destroy Christians.
One day I came across what is also a trend for many. It is called Goat Yoga. It seems so sweet and innocent because it usually has baby goats involved. These goats are allowed to jump on the person practicing their most difficult Yoga pose, forcing them to concentrate all the more to hold that position! Well, Christians, what animal does the Lord Jesus call His followers? What are we compared to? Sheep. What does he call the ones that are not His? Goats. Satan is no fool, he has to promote himself somehow! Come on, do you think he is going to just allow for people to just fall astray? No! He wants it to be CLEAR. He leaves his signature to make sure that he gets the glory for whatever lie people fall for, his objective is to be worshipped, even if it is indescriminantly.
Trust me, I have seen the physical benefits of Yoga in many that practice it, there is an obvious improvement in strengthening and breathing capacity, but for the Christian, we must use discernment. The enemy (the devil) is more cunning than we give him credit for. He is not going to spell it out to us Christians. It’s not going to be easily recognizable that something is a deception or a trap. He’s going to make sure that it looks “good to the eye”. He always uses the same tricks he used on Eve in the Garden. In Genesis 3:6 it reads, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” Just like he told Eve that she would “not certainly die” in Genesis 3:4, he convinces Christians to compromise to their non-believing acquaintances. You might be told, “just try it, it’ll be fun!” Don’t. Stand up for what you believe and know what and why you believe it.
I’m going to share my experience of what happened to me…I was working at the time and had to go to a training conference. Since we were exposed to a lot of mental health issues, one of the break out sessions at this conference included a “Mindfulness” workshop that focused on “self care” and relaxation. I was in! Who wouldn’t want some pampering- so I thought. I couldn’t find the room where it was located and I stopped this woman to ask her where it might be. When I touched her shoulder and she turned around, she jerked back (as if I had terrified her) and looked at me with fear in her eyes. I still asked the question, but she ignored me and ran away (literally ran)! I was left stunned and just brushed it off as someone that might be having their own “mental issues.” I went on my way and eventually found the room and settled down to see what it would entail. It was packed!
The woman Instructor walked in and lo and behold-it was that same woman! She began by talking about her small business, it’s location, hours, services and asked for a volunteer. She had the volunteer lie down on a massage bed, on her back. The instructor’s back was to the crowd and she began massaging the woman when all of the sudden – everyone heard this deep, voice that sounded like a beast. It was a deep grunting/growling from a creature that would’ve been the size of a hippo or something! I don’t know how else to describe it, all I know is that all of us were asking each other what that was? We were trying to find out because there was NO WAY a woman could make this sound! It was a very deep grunting and it had every single person’s attention. Finally, the instructor stopped and told us not to be scared because it was the Kundalini spirit that she was invoking and it would be sucking out the spiritual impurities from this woman’s body. After saying this, she began belching deeper than any guy I have ever heard. Then, suddenly the woman on the table sprang up off the table and stood up screaming, “it’s inside me, it’s inside me!” “I can feel it in my intestines, it feels like a snake inside me!”
At that moment, everyone was very intrigued. I looked around at all the stares from people’s faces and couldn’t believe they were not terrified, they were almost curious. There were just a few that were scared. The instructor convinced the woman to lie back down on the table again so that she could finish. The woman was very reluctant, but obliged to her wishes. I just remember thinking, “I think I am witnessing a demonic possession, here!” I started praying for that woman and stayed until the whole demonstration was over.
As I reflected on the events of that day, I realized something. God was telling me that the reason this instructor looked at me with a terrified look on her face, had nothing to do with me. In fact, I had never seen her in my life, so she didn’t even know me. God was telling me, “you have the Holy Spirit in you because you are my child, that demon in that woman was able to identify the Holy Spirit.” At that moment, the scripture in James 2:19 came in to my memory, “You believe that God is one. Good for you! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” I literally saw that demon tremble in that woman when she encountered the Holy Spirit in me! It was an amazing revelation. I was shocked that I had witnessed this demonic manifestation. I thought they only occurred in third-world countries where the paganism was at its strongest, but then I realized that our culture has embraced these demonic entities and they are very willing to possess people. It is interesting to note that spiritual beings need to be given permission or must be invited, before they can come in to one’s body. The same is true with God. He will not force Himself into anyone, but asks for repentance, humility, confession of sin and faith before the Holy Spirit will indwell us. The same is true for demons, they wait for the invitation. The woman that volunteered had given that demonic spirit the “go ahead” and that is exactly what he did, he possessed her body. For the Christian, once the Holy Spirit is in us, possession by a demon is not granted because “greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world” I John 4:4. But they must still be invited and if the Holy Spirit is not in that person, they can be possessed.
Consider some other form of aerobics or stretching. I know many are into Christian Yoga because it’s easy to justify. After all, they use scripture to meditate on or they use Christian music in the background, but again, why take part in anything that has its roots in paganism? I think that the most dangerous part of Christian Yoga is that it is a small form of compromise. This is all satan needs, just a little compromise, he’s not asking for much, or is he?
“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” Galatians 5:9
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