What’s Wrong With Yoga, Especially Christian Yoga?
Cassandrah Batya accepted Christ thirty-five years ago, at the age of eight. She lives in the United States, holds a Master Degree and has interests in God, biblical history, eschatology, apologetics, reading and writing. She enjoys spending time with my wonderful husband and other family members. She writes a monthly column for Christian Worldview http://Network.com and is occasionally, a featured speaker for Christian radio talk shows. Her testimony, '"The Great, Subtle Lie" of Contemplative Spirituality' is a true account of her experiences practicing esoteric/contemplative spirituality as a Christian. It has been read by thousands of people worldwide. '"The Great, Subtle Lie" of Contemplative Spirituality' continues to be the most popular article on her weblog, A Christian Journey. http://achristianjourney.blogs.comView all articles by Cassandrah Batya
FAMILY MEMBER: What’s wrong with yoga? It’s like you’re saying modern medicine is bad.
ME: Modern medicine is a scientific field. Yoga is a pagan religious practice, which taps into the spiritual realm. That is why it is called, “alternative” medicine.
FAMILY MEMBER: Everyone in the western world practices yoga.
ME: That doesn’t change the fact that yoga is an eastern pagan practice.
FAMILY MEMBER: But that stuff is real. I believe in it. It really works. So what makes it so bad?
ME: Of course, it is real and really works. The spiritual realm is real. We are spiritual creatures having a physical experience, but yoga isn’t from God. It’s non-biblical. And if something of a spiritual nature isn’t from God, then what is the only source left?
For those who read my blog, A Christian Journey, in September you will notice a new section on healthy living. The reason is that this summer, I started eating foods without processed sugar and enriched flour. I wanted a magazine that espoused my new philosophy about eating healthy. Almost every health magazine I looked through had an article about “the benefits of yoga.” The assumption is that healthy eating is naturally connected to transcendental meditation practices, such as yoga, acupuncture and similar spiritual activities.
Most yoga books come with some kind of “warning label.” Usually, teachers of yoga instruct their students that yoga is a process, in which a student must be conditioned to continue advancement. Yoga beginners are warned that only the most seasoned practitioners should attempt certain types of yoga. There is a reason for that. Inviting powerful spiritual energy into an unconditioned and unprepared body [or spirit] can leave a person insane.
When I was practicing mysticism, I was told that the position of the body is important because of spiritual points of energy on the body, also known as chakras. Some of these spiritual points were the head, mouth, chest, navel and the genital area. You had to sit with these areas open and unblocked. The hands needed to face upward and out. The physical positioning, chanting and emptying the mind was done in order to open the body up to receive greater spiritual energy. The ultimate purpose was to become as close as possible to the Supreme Being. The easiest position for achieving this state is called in yoga, The Yoga Lotus. Speaking from the experience of having once practiced this position, it does work. You are left with feelings of euphoria. At the time, I thought I was receiving spiritual energy from God. I was wrong.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light - 2 Corinthians 11:14 [KJV]
Yoga dates back over five thousand years to India. Because yoga is based on the non-biblical mystical belief that the highest level of spiritual development is self-awareness, I would not be surprised if it dates back even farther to the pre-flood era. About 2,000 years ago, modern day yoga emerged through the Hindu Indian sage Patanjali. He was a lead advocate of the yoga tradition. Patanjali is known as “the father of yoga” because of the Ashtang Yog. The Ashtang Yog is an eight limb system Patanjali introduced into yoga for achieving “salvation.” In his book, The Yog Sutras of Patanjali, he states that there are many ways to reach God, including controlling activities of the mind. This is in complete contradiction of the Bible, which teaches that there is only one way of salvation, through Christ and Christ alone.
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
- Genesis 3:2–5 [KJV]
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
- John 14:6 [KJV]
When attempting background research on the life of Patanjali, I found the most disturbing information about him. I could expound on the following statement and point out the obvious, but I won’t. To those who are biblically discerning, it’s unnecessary. The excerpt below is revealing in regards to what is most likely the “true” spiritual origins of Patanjali, the father of [modern day] yoga:
“Virtually nothing is known about the life of Patañjali, and some scholars believe he is entirely mythical. Various references suggest he lived between 200 BC and 400 AD. Ancient texts often refer to Patañjali as an incarnation of the serpent god Ananta, and he is sometimes depicted as half human and half serpent.”
- Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Patañjali
So, what’s wrong with yoga, especially Christian Yoga? Yoga seeks to lower a person’s spiritual resistance in order to open him or her up to the mystical powers of the spiritual realm. Not only is yoga spiritually and mentally dangerous, it is another way that pagan/demonic practices are infiltrating The Body of Christ through ecumenism. The term “Christian Yoga” is an oxymoron. It goes against the very foundation of the Gospel of Christ, which Christians are here to defend and protect. Yoga is founded on the opposing belief that there is more than one way to God, though the inner self [man] rather than Christ.
Biblical Christians should start asking their own questions of all churches and individuals that are promoting “Christian” Yoga. Where is this practice in the Bible? Why is this eastern pagan heresy being given a Christian title? How does The Gospel of Christ fit into any of this? What does light have to do with darkness?
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 [KJV]
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 [KJV]
When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
- Deuteronomy 18:9-12 [KJV]
[Informational Update: June 26, 2006 - The following linked article is meant to show how deeply the influence of Hinduism is affecting Christianity today. Please use discernment and compare everything to The Holy Scripture.]