The article went on to say:
“Yoga is now taught at public schools from the rural mountains of West Virginia to the bustling streets of Brooklyn as a way to ease stress in today’s pressure-packed world where even kindergartners say they feel tense about keeping up with their busy schedules.”
Right now, yoga is everywhere. It has become the “coolest” exotic fad to hit popular culture in years.
Yet we aren’t hearing many people tell us the truth about the dangers of yoga.
Let’s begin with the escalating yoga hype in the media.
Last year, NBC Nightly News did a rather flattering promotion of yoga as a positive alternative for inner-city kids.
It was about three urban siblings who learned yoga from their father as a means of growing spiritually who were now teaching yoga to elementary age kids in Baltimore, MD.
Their activities were being hailed by NBC as a positive alternative to gang involvement by helping these children do something “positive” for their minds and bodies.
Admittedly, almost anything seems like a positive alternative when compared to gang violence and drug abuse.
But it doesn’t stop there. The yoga promotions are coming from all directions. It turns out that the news media as a whole seem to be pushing yoga as if it was the cure for cancer… more so, as if it was spiritually harmless and divorced from the occultic spirituality from which it came.
The positive press and endless promotions of yoga seem over-the-top. One headline reads: “Pilot Study Shows Yoga Positively Impacts Students’ Ability to Handle Stress” (December 10, 2011).
The study wants to convince us that yoga is the answer to all human ills. They say it makes us more attentive, improves memory, improves academic performance, lowers blood pressure, and prevents drug abuse.
But in spite of all the hype, the reality is that yoga is a spiritual expression through the physical world. And that spiritual expression is anything but Christian.
Anyone who thinks that yoga is just a harmless physical exercise that involves twisting and stretching on the floor is simply unaware of the spiritual roots of this Hindu/Buddhist practice or the occultic symbolism behind its techniques.
The public school decision in San Diego is the latest step in an ominous trend.
A Harvard-educated religious studies professor found the San Diego district’s program to be “pervasively religious, having its roots in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and metaphysical beliefs and practices.”
It is a sad fact that more and more people who call themselves Christians are now practicing some form of yoga and then angrily defending it as in perfect harmony with Christianity.
This shows that Christians are (1) either denying what yoga really is; or (2) they’re ignorant of what yoga is; or (3) they don’t understand what Christianity is and how Christian doctrine is at odds with yoga according to the fundamental tenets of both.
I have a strong suspicion that #2 and #3 are most likely. Most people don’t understand yoga or Christianity well enough to postulate a coherent argument on the nature or fundamentals of either.
That’s why so many professing Christians are getting involved in it. And even well-taught Christians are getting swept in by yoga’s constant marketing as “harmless” and “beneficial.”
The fact is, yoga cannot be separated from its spiritual roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. There is no way to harmonize these false religions with biblical Christianity. As noted earlier, even the postures and positions of yoga have occultic spiritual implications.
Right now there is growing acceptance of yoga within mainline Christianity.
I know that even some hospitals and local YMCAs have yoga classes offered to members as innocently as if they were cycling classes. I understand the strength of the positive hype on people’s understanding of this.
Not only that, but my wife tells me that it’s difficult to even find a pair of exercise pants at a clothing store without them changing the name to “yoga pants.”
This is all part of the deception. In the minds of most people, yoga is now synonymous with exercise… healthy, harmless exercise.
But there are apparently enough naïve churchgoers (and pastors) who have convinced themselves that yoga is nothing more than stretching on the floor and deep breathing, that a growing number of churches now offer weekly classes on yoga.
They apparently don’t understand how Hindus and Buddhists spread their faith. To be sure, yoga is a form of witnessing for the tenets and beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism.
That’s right. Yoga is a form of pagan evangelism for what they believe about “the divine” and their body. In its most sanitized forms, yoga builds an attractive bridge into the realm of accepted practice so that more people will embrace it as beneficial.
However, it is impossible to sanitize the role of sexual energy in virtually all forms of yoga and of ritualized sex in some yoga traditions so as to make it “safe” and “harmless” for even young children to practice in local churches (and this actually happens in some churches).
The more one understands what yoga really is, the more outrageous and disturbing all of this positive sensationalism from the media seems to be.
Paganism is beguiling the Bride of Christ.
So from a Christian perspective, what are the problems with yoga? And why should Christians have no associations with this practice?
For starters, yoga begins and ends with an understanding of the body as a channel to the divine. This is irreconcilably at odds with the Christian understanding of our bodies and how we truly know God through faith in Christ.
Christians are not supposed to empty their minds by thinking about nothingness or to see the human body as a means of connecting with and coming to know the divine.
Instead, Christians are called to fill their minds with the Word of God. The Bible is the external Word that comes to us by divine revelation.
It does not come to us by means of meditation upon nothingness while muttering incomprehensible syllables with fingertips lightly touching.
But someone will argue, “When I practice yoga, I only meditate on Scripture. I think about Jesus and my favorite praise songs.”
My answer to this is that what you are practicing is neither true yoga nor true Christianity; it’s called syncretism. You are mixing Christian concepts with a distinctly pagan practice.
Here’s another problem. Yoga cannot be neatly separated into physical and spiritual dimensions. In practicing yoga, the physical is the spiritual.
The exercises, movements, and disciplines of yoga are meant to connect the practitioner with the “divine” which is deep within them.
Yoga is not merely about physical exercise or health. All forms of yoga involve occultic presuppositions. That’s why there is no such species as “Christian Yoga.” The very idea is as incongruous as “Christian Satanism.” They oppose each other. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Many forms of yoga in America are often presented as a merely physical discipline of relaxing and stretching. But if all you want to do is relax and stretch on the floor, then don’t call it “yoga;” call it stretching or exercising because yoga means much more than that.
It is surely greivous to God and a scandal to the church when people who call themselves Christians associate the name and reputation of Christ with occultic practices that deny everything that Jesus Christ taught His people to believe and practice.
Association with yoga may speak louder than words to the unsaved around you; and what it says does not exalt the truth about Christ. It does the opposite.
Over ninety percent of those who practice yoga are women and many of them are claiming to be Christians.
Christians who understand the dangers of yoga need to say something to warn the body of Christ about the seduction of their minds and bodies by the religious zeal of paganism. It is so subtle and deceptive.
Right now, there is an evangelistic passion in our world to promote and defend yoga. That’s what’s happening in San Diego right now.
Those who speak against it or even question its spiritual dangers are vilified in the blogosphere and in the press.
If you are a Christian, leave the promotion of yoga and the other forms of paganism to the pagans. Let the church be the place where Christians understand what the Bible means by what it says. Let those who name the name of Christ come out from the world and stop imitating its sinful practices.