Any time you approach the conversation of Christian Yoga, you are going to get a lot of different viewpoints. Some people think Christians can redeem anything in culture, like Halloween, and take things from other religions and make them our own. I want to say early that I do not believe that simply doing Yoga once will mean you are not a follower of Christ. We will explore how these types of things can open you up for some spiritual attacks that you may not be ready for.
The Scripture We Are Going to Hold On To When We Talk About Christian Yoga
2 Corinthians 10: 4-6
Though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience when our obedience is complete.
One of the things many people don’t understand about spiritual attacks is that the Battle is always for your mind. The Battle is not finding some red-horned guy hiding around the way, trying to trip you up. A Spiritual attack is anything that gets you to think contrary to the Word of God. If God’s Word calls us to meditate on his Word, and some other teaching tells us to empty our minds, that becomes a spiritual attack and opens us up for worse attacks because we have dropped our spiritual armor.
Yoga, on the surface, seems to be a great thing. It’s breathing, it’s exercise, but it has Hindu roots. This means that people who get into Yoga tend to start walking down a teaching path inconsistent with the Word of God. God’s Word will say one thing, and then it will be ignored because the yoga teachings better tick your ears.
Every person I know who has gone deep into Yoga has had a wavering faith or left Christianity altogether. It’s always a slow process, but they start believing one false idea after another. The mind is no longer captive to obey Christ but to some other idol.
Exploring Yoga Teachings that Raise Concerns from a Biblical Perspective
Christian Yoga and Why It’s a Very Dangerous Idea. Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in India that aims to achieve harmony and balance between body, mind, and Spirit. Over the years, it has become increasingly popular in the West and embraced by people from various religious backgrounds. However, some Christians express concerns about certain aspects of Yoga, believing that certain teachings within the practice may conflict with biblical teachings. This article explores some of those concerns and examines how certain aspects of Yoga might be perceived as incompatible with Christianity.
One of the problems with Western culture is that people think they can take anything from other parts of the world and give it new meaning. You will often hear Christians who do Yoga say; I am just stretching when I do it. There is no sin or problem with it. It rarely stays that way. People eventually want to learn more and go deeper until they begin believing Hindu teachings and don’t even know it.
Here are some examples.
1. Concept of Divinity and Universal Spirituality
One of the primary concerns raised by some Christians is the concept of divinity in Yoga. In traditional yoga philosophy, the ultimate goal is often to merge the individual soul with the universal Spirit, also known as Brahman. This idea of unifying with a higher cosmic consciousness goes against Christian beliefs emphasizing a personal relationship with the one true God.
The entire purpose of Yoga is contrary to the Holy Bible. It pushes you away from the truth and moves you toward a demonic spirit. If it’s not the Holy Spirit you are bonding with, it’s something else from someone other than God.
2. The Notion of Self-Realization and Ego Dissolution
Yoga often promotes the idea of self-realization, transcending the ego, and realizing one’s inner divine nature. While self-awareness and humility are essential Christian virtues, some Christians worry that excessive focus on self-realization might lead to denying human sinfulness and the need for redemption through Jesus Christ.
The other factor here is like it says in 2 Timothy in the last days. People will be “lovers of self.” We don’t need more opportunities to love ourselves in our current society. It turns out that people who focus on loving themselves never seem to get to a place where they love themselves enough. Everything we need comes from a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. Practices Associated with Eastern Mysticism
Specific yoga practices like Kundalini yoga involve awakening psychic energy and chakras along the spine. These practices are rooted in Eastern mysticism and are viewed skeptically by some Christians, who believe engaging with such practices could open doors to spiritual dangers or deceptive forces.
If the Bible wanted us to open Chakras and do all this stuff, it would command us to. I remember watching “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and being intrigued by Chakkras. People will dive into this stuff and ultimately leave the Holy Spirit behind. When we leave the Holy Spirit behind, we may feel a spiritual high, but it’s not from the Spirit of light but from the Spirit of Darkness.
4. Yoga’s Origins and Association with Hinduism
Yoga’s historical roots are undeniably intertwined with Hinduism, and some Christians find it challenging to reconcile their faith with practices that have clear connections to another religion. The fear of syncretism, the blending of beliefs from different faiths, can lead to concerns about adopting Yoga in a Christian context.
If you’re going to do Yoga as a Christian, you must study Hinduism first. Hinduism is very fluid and nothing like Judaism, Islam, or Christianity. It’s important to say this because the biggest problem Hindus have is the idea of being the one true God. Hindus have no trouble believing in Jesus if they can add him to their extensive collection of gods, but they won’t do it if they have to drop them all to follow him.
By learning the religion, you can spot better places where you are being pulled into being a Hindu instead of just stretching. You have to see Yoga for what it was made for and not what you want it to be.
5. Practice of Meditation and Emptying the Mind
Meditation is a central aspect of Yoga, aiming to quiet the mind and attain inner peace and awareness. However, some Christians argue that emptying the mind can create a spiritual void that might be filled with potentially harmful influences.
We are supposed to be filled with the Spirit of God, which illuminates his Word. The mind will not be emptied, which is evil because as the mind empties, it will be filled up with something.
6. Use of Mantras and Sacred Sounds
In Yoga, mantras are repeated sounds or phrases that focus the mind during meditation. Some Christians express concerns about using mantras, especially those tied to Hindu deities or concepts, believing that it could lead to unintentional worship of false gods.
7. The Physical Postures and Their Symbolism
Specific yoga postures, or asanas, have spiritual associations with traditional yoga philosophy. For instance, the “Sun Salutation” is seen as a way of paying homage to the sun as a divine source of life. Some Christians worry that engaging in such postures may inadvertently promote the worship of nature rather than the Creator. Some say it just poses; the problem is you will only discover the truth when it’s too late. The key to deception is not knowing you’re being deceived.
8. The Idea of Karma and Reincarnation
Yoga often incorporates the concepts of Karma and reincarnation, which are central tenets in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. The idea of Karma suggests that actions have consequences that carry over into future lives, whereas Christianity teaches the doctrine of salvation and resurrection through Jesus Christ.
One of the most prominent places people lose hold of Christian doctrine is when it comes to Karma. There is no reincarnation in the Bible. John 3 tells us that we have to be born again. To be born again, you must believe in Jesus Christ and share with him in the resurrection. Reincarnation is based on and makes people do and work to be saved.
Conclusion On Why The Idea of Christian Yoga is Dangerous
As a physical and spiritual practice, yoga has many interpretations and approaches. While some Christians value adopting Yoga solely for its physical benefits, others may wrestle with reconciling certain aspects of Yoga with their faith. It is essential for individuals to thoughtfully consider their beliefs and understand the potential implications of their choices. Engaging in open dialogues and seeking guidance from trusted religious authorities can help Christians navigate these concerns and determine a course of action that aligns with their faith and spiritual journey.