Yoga In The Christian Community

Before I start, can I just say that I wrote this post and had so much trouble uploading it! As a matter of fact, it would not upload. Then the whole thing got deleted. It is confirmed that I must write about it lol

So, let’s talk about yoga. I would like to say that I am no yoga expert. Yoga has an extensive history that has many places of obscurity and uncertainty due to the oral transmission of sacred texts and teachings.

Background:

The beginnings of yoga were developed in Northern India thousands of years ago. The word Yoga was first mentioned in the Rig Veda (sacred text containing mantras, songs and rituals used by Brahmans *Vedic priests*). Over the years, yoga was refined by these priests along with Rishis (mystic seers). They also documented their practices in the Upanishads (containing many scriptures).

In the late 1800s, yoga masters began to travel west attracting attention and followers. They began to teach their practices and beliefs.

There are 6 main kinds of yoga-

Hatha

Raja

Bhakti

Jnana

Kriya

Karma

Each are unique, but the one used most in the U.S. is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is the physical practice of yoga which first focuses on one of the eight limbs of yoga call asanas (physical posture). It can also be paired with hand gestures, visualization, mantras and breathing techniques. Hatha yoga is thought to prepare the body for deep meditation.

My thoughts:

The word yoga itself comes from a Sanskrit word meaning to yoke or unite. Many sources say it is to unite the mind body and spirit. Other sources say it is to unite the individual consciousness with a universal consciousness.

My first red flag is the part about uniting. My mind is not the same as my spirit. They are not one and cannot be one. My mind is a part of my soul. The soul contains MY mind, MY will and MY emotions and my spirit is the part of me that is in direct contact with God.

One is ruled by me (freewill) and my response to my physical environment and the other is ruled by an infinite God who has no physical limitations. The soul and the spirit are so close that one may ask how we know they are not one. My answer is in the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit.

So, my soul can tell me to do one thing, but my spirit can say something else.

The next red flag for me was that many of the yoga positions were originally created to worship Hindu gods. Some of you may say, “I do Christian Yoga.” Or I focus on God while doing it.

In Deuteronomy 12:29-31 God tells his people not to fall trap to following the customs of pagans and not to worship their gods. He also says not to worship Him the way the other nations worship their gods.

Some of you may say it’s just exercise or it’s just stretching. I say to you that there are many other ways to strength train and other ways to train for balance.

Practicing things such as yoga, where you are uniting your mind with something else is dangerous at best. I say something else, because the word of God separates the soul and the spirit, so since you are NOT uniting with your own spirit, what spirit are you uniting with??

There are many ways to open doors in our lives, but when I know which door to close, you better believe I am going to try my hardest to slam it shut.

In conclusion, if you practice yoga as a Christian or if you are on the fence, pray about it! I know that I alone cannot change your mind. When you pray to God for discernment, he will speak to your spirit by his spirit. After all, he lives in you, so he is always there to help.

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