Yoga Exercises and the Christian
YOGA IS POPULAR
Yoga exercises sound so beneficial. Book shops and libraries are full of yoga books. Doctors, clergy, teachers, and professional people practice it. Yoga claims to work on the muscular, glandular, and physical nervous systems. Wonderful physical and emotional benefits are promised. Indeed, yoga is a complex subject, with many different types, but this tract will be confined to the Christian perspective. Many Christians practicing yoga have expressed indignation when its connections to Hinduism and Eastern Mystical Religions are pointed out. Some Christians even declare that when they are relaxing or practicing yoga postures, they keep their thoughts on Jesus, and are therefore protected. Both Christians and yoga teachers are heard to loudly deny that yoga is any kind of a religion, but rather a beneficial exercise.
PRINCIPLES BEHIND YOGA EXERCISES
In truth, yoga exercises are NOT just of a physical nature. They cannot be separated from their mystical, Hinduistic purposes. Yoga teaches that there are some 72,000 invisible psychic channels, which constitute another-dimensional body. This "subtle" body is claimed to connect to the real body in seven predominant places, ranging from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The teachings of Hatha (physical) yoga teach that at the base of the spines lies coiled a great serpent power called Kundalini. A former yoga teacher for ten years, and former vice-principal of a large yoga school, now a Christian, comments
"Every posture is designed to stimulate this power to uncoil itself and rise up through the nerve centers in the spine, which are closely related to the endocrine glands, until it finally reaches the pituitary gland--the thousand petal lotus--and when this occurs after long and disciplined practice, perfect enlightenment is achieved."
A Christian need not be instructed on the significance of the original serpent, Satan the Devil! (See Revelation 12:9)
THE PURPOSE OF YOGA
The purpose of the yoga exercise is to align the "subtle" body with the real one, and thereby alter the consciousness of the practitioner in a specified way. The positioning of the body in the yoga postures opens up the practitioner to "vibrations" which teach him the "wisdom" of yoga. As a person proceeds with the physical yoga exercises, it will not be too long before he is asked to practice the "meditation" along with the postures. Often, this begins with just an urging to "empty the mind of all thought", and then progresses into real Hindu meditation. Christian meditation as taught throughout the Bible is a FILLING of the mind with the words and precepts of God, and is the exact opposite of yoga meditation.
PHYSICAL BUT NOT SPIRITUAL?
Skeptical Christians should go to their public library and read ANY authoritative book on Hatha Yoga (physical yoga). These various books will make it clear that physical yoga is just the first step to spiritual yoga, and its roots are solidly in Hinduism. One Christian authority on Yoga, Mother Basilea Schlink of the Darmstat Sisters warns in a pamphlet,
"...every Yoga posture was originally designed to worship the Hindu god Krishna".
YOGA'S VIEW OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is presented by yoga as just one of many great masters like Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. Yoga teaches that there are many ways of reaching God, all equally good. If Christians are seeking peace and relaxation in yoga, then they are seeking the world's way, not the Way of Jesus Christ. John 14:27 puts it well, quoting Jesus Christ,
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
The true peace from Jesus Christ sustains the Christian through all circumstances, not just while exercising or meditating.
Christians practicing yoga need to cease immediately, repent of it, and ask God's forgiveness.