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'Christian Yoga' Takes A Punch To The 'Core'

I first wrote about Yoga from a Christian perspective back in 2008.

My article back then opened with these words, which are still relevant today I'm afraid...


"There seems to be a growing trend these days involving un-Biblical practices such as mysticism and eastern practices being introduced into local churches under the guise of Christian self-awareness and spiritual healing. Worse is the fact that many so-called Christians are beginning to fall for these blasphemous and dangerous teachings with open arms and in record numbers. These spiritual growth programs have grown in popularity because they give so freely what so many people seek from their religion and faith in the 21st century -- a feel good, seeker sensitive message and experience. I hate to ruin the party, but there is absolutely nothing 'Christian' about these teachings."


The term "Yoga" (from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means "yoke" or "to unite," as in "uniting the body, mind and spirit") was first used in Hindu texts in the 5th Century BC so that's long before Jesus Christ.

Yoga originated in Hinduism, and remains a large part of some Hindu practices today. However, things have changed in the last few thousand years, and most Yoga currently practiced in America is said to "only slightly resemble" the original practice.

Some proponents will even argue that most of what we call Yoga in the West today is not truly Yoga at all -- it is only "Asana," the physical postures, and "Pranayama," the breathing exercises (as if that's somehow supposed to make the practices ok for us Christians).

Ok, but can Christians safely do Yoga? Or, is it simply too dangerous and not worth the risk?Those are questions we should feel comfortable asking and then discussing together. Unfortunately, it's not something that people want to think about though.

How many times have you heard the rebuttal from family members, friends, and/or co-workers?


"What's the big deal? It's just a form of exercise! Besides, even if it is an 'ancient spiritual practice' tied directly to Hinduism and Buddhism (and other Eastern religions), it's not like I actually believe in any of that myself, so why all the fuss?


Trust me, there's good reason for the fuss, my friend.

Every now and then I find it helpful to try to refocus our attention upon some key truths regarding some popular fads and trends. Today is one of those days.

Is there such a thing as "Christian Yoga" as it's been called? I intended that to be a rhetorical question, but just in case you’re new here (or new to the subject entirely), I would like to refer you to the latest investigative study published earlier today.



 
The Dark Side Of Meditation And Mindfulness: Treatment Can Trigger Mania, Depression And Psychosis, New Book Claims 
Meditation and mindfulness is promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Brand, who boast of its power to help people put stress out of their minds and live for the moment. But the treatment can itself trigger mania, depression, hallucinations and psychosis, psychological studies in the UK and US have found. The practice is part of a growing movement based on ancient Eastern traditions of meditation. However, 60 percent of people who had been on a meditation retreat had suffered at least one negative side effect, including panic, depression and confusion, a study in the US found. 
And one in 14 of them suffered "profoundly adverse effects", according to Miguel Farias, head of the brain, belief and behaviour research group at Coventry University and Catherine Wikholm, a researcher in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey. The shortage of rigorous statistical studies into the negative effects of meditation was a "scandal", Dr Farias told The Times. He said: "The assumption of the majority of both TM [transcendental meditation] and mindfulness researchers is that meditation can only do one good. This shows a rather narrow-minded view. How can a technique that allows you to look within and change your perception or reality of yourself be without potential adverse effects? The answer is that it can’t, and all meditation studies should assess not only positive but negative effects."


Of course, when they refer to "meditation" and "mindfulness" they're referring to the kind associated with Yoga (and even what's called "Kundalini" within the Christian Church) as opposed to the kind of "meditatio" that Martin Luther encouraged.

Supporters of Yoga will often point out that meditation is referenced throughout Scripture -- Jesus did it, David did it, and the Lord exhorted Joshua to do it (Joshua 1:8). The claim they try to make is that meditation is as integral to Christianity as it is to Hinduism.

Be very careful. Here is where the deception starts to show itself. Meditative practices in Yoga encourage the person meditation to focus on themselves. Was Jesus Himself really that self-centered whenever He meditated and prayed? No, of course not! He was always focused on His Father's will and Word!

As Lutherans, we proclaim to believe, teach, and confess that our justification is entirely from outside of ourselves and that Jesus does all the verbs. What are we confessing we truly believe when we focus all of our energies inward and upon ourselves in an attempt to "become one with God and all of His creation" as practitioners of Yoga do?

It's nothing but navel-gazing all the time, isn't it? Not good. Not good at all.

Let me see if I can break things down for us even further to demonstrate why Christians should not be engaged in practicing Yoga.


"There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing. But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible. By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure. But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus."

**************************************

"In the words of Martin Luther, Lutherans confess that 'God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.' Lutherans understand the Bible to teach that human beings as whole persons -- body, mind and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23) -- are the handiwork of their Creator (Psalm 139) and the objects of His love and care (Psalm 145:8-16). With gratitude to God, Christians look upon their mind and body as a precious gift entrusted to them for the maintenance and promotion of good health and personal well-being—for glory to Him and service to the neighbor. Accordingly, programs of physical exercise and health -- promoting mental pursuits, especially in view of the stress and tensions of modern life -- are to be affirmed and encouraged."

**************************************

"Giving sound teaching on yoga is important because there is increasing adoption of yoga by our culture, with over 15.8 million people practicing yoga and nearly every store you go into selling all kinds of yoga products. It’s gone mainstream. As such, Christians are also adopting it as a healthy aspect of exercise and lifestyle -- complete with things like 'Holy Yoga,' which is an oxymoron. Saying yoga can be Christian because you do it for Jesus is a bit like going into a mosque, going through the worship practices, and then saying you’re not a Muslim because you’re doing it for Jesus. They don’t mix."

**************************************

"When looking at the acceptance of yoga in the Christian church, I find that there are two issues at hand: (1) People simply don’t understand what yoga is, its roots, and its tenants; or (2) People think that they can engage in yoga because it’s just stretching, while ignoring the religious aspects of the practice of yoga."

**************************************

"Christians may think that Yoga is a purely physical and mental discipline for the purposes of bodily health and relaxation. However, they need to be keenly aware of the fact that yoga has its roots in, and is integrally related to, Eastern philosophical systems (especially Hinduism) that conflict with Christianity. And especially since Yoga is very often taught and practiced for the express purpose of offering spiritual enlightenment and growth, Christians need to exercise extreme caution. They need to recognize the dangers of accepting a given practice as necessarily good merely because they think 'it works' (pragmatism). Christians should avoid Yoga classes that integrate religious assumptions such as those highlighted above, holding firmly to what God’s Word teaches regarding these elements."

**************************************

"As one woman who identified herself as a mainline Protestant said in an article about my comments a year ago, 'Here we go again with fear-based, black-and-white thinking. It's not fair to say yoga is demonic. In fact, I find it insulting. There are many ways to grow spiritually.' To this I would reply, 'No. There are not many ways to grow spiritually. There is one way, which is through the power of the Holy Spirit provided through Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross, as part of God the Father’s plan for salvation.' Comments like this woman’s are the exact reason why it’s important to explore what yoga really is and what it teaches, and to understand that the spiritual elements of yoga make their way into our life and culture in ways we don’t necessarily see overtly."

**************************************

"Christians, in whom God’s Holy Spirit dwells, are commanded to avoid the mixture of Biblical truth with pagan beliefs (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)."

**************************************

"Jesus taught that the only path to life and salvation is through faith in Him (John 14:6; Acts 4:14; 1 Timothy 2:5)."

**************************************

"The true God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- created the heavens and earth, preserving and ruling over all things. He is separate from and above the creation (transcendent), not one with it or identical to it as some force or power (Genesis 1-2; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10- 12; Isaiah 42:5; etc.)."

**************************************

"Human beings by nature are spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of God because of the fall into sin -- not innately good (Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:7)."

**************************************

"'For by grace you have been saved through faith [in Jesus Christ]. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works [human effort]...' (Ephesians 2:8-9)."

**************************************

"The historic purpose behind yoga, therefore, is to achieve union with the Hindu concept of God. This is the purpose behind virtually all of the Eastern varieties of yoga, including those we encounter in the West. This does not mean it is the purpose of every practitioner of yoga, for many people clearly are not practicing it for spiritual reasons but merely to enhance their physical appearance, ability, or health. However, as I’ll show, it’s nearly impossible to practice yoga and divorce it from its spiritual elements. This is a sentiment that is not just mine but also shared by prominent Hindu academics such as Professor Aseem Shukla, who wrote in The Washington Post: 'Why is yoga severed in America's collective consciousness from Hinduism? Yoga, meditation, ayurvedic natural healing, self-realization—they are today's syntax for New Age, Eastern, mystical, even Buddhist, but nary an appreciation of their Hindu origins. It is not surprising, then, that Hindu schoolchildren complain that Hinduism is conflated only with caste, cows, exoticism and polytheism—the salutary contributions and philosophical underpinnings lost and ignored. The severance of yoga from Hinduism disenfranchises millions of Hindu Americans from their spiritual heritage and a legacy in which they can take pride. Hinduism, as a faith tradition, stands at this pass a victim of overt intellectual property theft, absence of trademark protections and the facile complicity of generations of Hindu yogis, gurus, swamis and others that offered up a religion's spiritual wealth at the altar of crass commercialism.'"

**************************************

"Basically, what Singleton is saying is that despite the arguments that yoga is just stretching, there is no historical evidence that this is the case—quite the contrary. The history of yoga is overwhelmingly spiritual in practice and the postures of yoga are only one aspect of yoga, and they are part of a broader system aimed at union with God and attaining enlightenment. It is important to note that the exercise/stretching/posturing element of yoga only represents one of the eight limbs of yoga viewed as a whole. As Elliot Miller describes: 'The eight limbs of yoga involve strict moral, physical, and mental disciplines. They are (1) moral restraint, (2) religious observance, (3) postures (asanas), (4) breath control (pranayama), (5) sense withdrawal, (6) concentration, (7) meditative absorption, and (8) enlightenment (samadhi). A consideration of the limbs quickly reveals that yoga is a demanding autosoteric (salvation based on self-effort) system, similar to original Theravada Buddhism with its eightfold path, which historically preceded Patanjali’s yoga system and probably influenced it.'"

**************************************

"The purpose of these exercises—both physical and mental—was to attain a state of 'pure consciousness...where the practitioner begins to lose the distinction between subject [self] and object [whatever one is focused on]' in order to feel at one with the universe or God. The ultimate goal of the entire practice of yoga is 'samadhi,' which is direct and ultimate knowledge. The first seven limbs of yoga were meant to result in the eighth limb -- samadhi -- 'which is defined as direct knowledge, free from the distortions of the imagination,' completely free from the constraints of the material world. In this way, yoga is a religious practice that advocates oneism (or monism). Oneism is a pagan and idolatrous practice that claims there is no distinction between the creation and the Creator -- and can even be a denial of a Creator altogether. The material form of oneism is atheism, and the spiritual form of oneism is often called New Age, New Spirituality, or Integrative Spirituality, which are categorically committed to pantheism or panentheism."

**************************************

"According to spiritual oneism, the universe is a living organism with a spiritual force present within everything. Thus, everything is interconnected by the life force or the world soul. This life force manifests as spiritual beings (Christians realize these are demons) that manipulate the course of world events. These spirits can be influenced to serve people by using the ancient magical arts. Humans possess divine power unlimited by any deity. Consciousness can be altered through the practice of rite and ritual. Magic is the manipulation of objects, substances, spirit entities, and minds, including humans and demons, by word (rituals like yoga, incantations like om, curses, spells, etc.) and objects (charms, amulets, crystals, herbs, potions, wands, candles, etc.). Visually, you can think of this in terms of one circle in which everything is contained and interconnected as one. Through various rites and rituals -- such as yoga -- the reality of the universe and consciousness can be manipulated, it is said."

**************************************

"Oneism -- and by association, yoga -- is antithetical to Christianity in a number of ways. It states that: (1) There is no distinction between Creator and creation. Romans 1:25 calls this paganism and idolatry: 'They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.'; (2) There is not a focus on looking out to Jesus Christ for salvation, but rather in to self for enlightenment and peace; (3) There is no distinction between good and evil since all is one, which leads to cultural pluralism and the denial of truth; (4) There is no distinction between humans and creation since all is one, thereby lessening the value of human life (which was created in the image of God); (5) There is no distinction between religions as all spiritualities are one, resulting in a vague spirituality and people saying, 'There are many ways to grow spiritually,' 'all religions are the same,' or 'I don’t have a religion. I’m just spiritual.'"

**************************************

"Spiritual enlightenment or knowledge comes only through Jesus Christ (John 1:19), Who sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who believe in Jesus (John 14)."

**************************************

"Whether they know it or not, Christians who engage in yoga are participating in a religious expression that is antithetical to Christianity. The result is often an unguarded spirit that is susceptible to the many lies of Satan and a slow, almost unperceivable degradation of faith and Christian truth in one’s life. The act itself is a worship act. Subsequently, it cannot be done in a way that is not spiritual. Romans 12:1 is clear that what we do with our bodies is worshipful toward the God of the Bible or something or someone else: 'Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.'"

**************************************

"According to Miller, 'Kundalini yoga deliberately attempts to arouse and raise the kundalini, believed to be Shakti or creative divine energy, which sleeps at the base of the spine like a serpent, coiled in three and one-half circles.' Through control of the respiratory system, Kundalini yoga teaches that people can tap into this energy within and harness it, thereby controlling their entire body. Not surprisingly, this system of yoga is also associated with visualization—the belief that you can manifest reality by imagining what you want. Kundalini yoga is on the rise in our culture in a materialistic form with such teachings as The Secret, which asserts that you can manifest your desires by simply visualizing them. In this way, people are given almost God-like power to create their own reality and rule sovereignly over their lives and futures."

**************************************

"Humans are born and die once before the final judgment of God comes (Hebrews 9:27)."

**************************************

"Christian Yoga? As stated earlier, there is a growing movement of Christians who are engaging in 'Holy Yoga,' claiming that you can practice yoga and be a Christian as long as you divorce the practice of yoga from the teachings of yoga. As I’ve explained in this post, yoga is a religious philosophy that is in direct opposition to Christianity. Thus, in its true form, yoga cannot be simply received by any Christian in good conscious. To do so would be to reject the truths of Scripture and thus Jesus himself. Thinking through whether a Christian can redeem yoga becomes murky. As I alluded to earlier, going to a yoga studio to practice yoga as a Christian is a bit like going into a mosque to practice Islam as a Christian. They don’t go together. Complicating the issue even more is that, as explained above, yoga is often not overt in its teachings but rather weaves them through seemingly harmless practices such as stretching. Without a discerning spirit, one can find oneself naively participating in spiritual activities that are not Christian. My advice is to not attempt to redeem yoga properly understood, as it is a system of belief that is unchristian, against Scripture, and thus demonic in nature. You cannot redeem such a thing."

**************************************

"Salvation and liberation come to a person only through faith in Jesus Christ, who is proclaimed in the good news of the Gospel (Romans 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Titus 2:11)."

**************************************

"So, in conclusion, Christians must reject yoga, as defined here. I’d also go so far as to say you should reject the term 'yoga,' as it is impossible to divorce it from its historical and spiritual context without much explanation and linguistic gymnastics. Instead, feel free in Christian liberty to stretch however you’d like, participate in exercise, calm your nerves through breathing, and even contemplate the Scriptures in silence. But do so in a way that does not identify with yoga and non-Christian mysticism. Do not seek to negate your mind, but rather renew your mind with the Word of God. Do not seek to empty yourself, but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not seek to turn into yourself for enlightenment, but rather look out to the God of the Bible. Do not seek to become one with the universe, but rather be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ."

**************************************

"Exercise is a gift of God for us to take care of the bodies that he created for his glory. It’s good and important to exercise. But we should never, in our desire to be in shape and be healthy, adopt systems antithetical to Christianity because they make us feel good or have bodily value. Rather, let’s first stay true to God and his Word and work out our bodies to his glory by his values handed down to us through Scripture."

[Various Christian Sources Used From The Internet To Compile This Section]


Wow! I know that's a lot to digest and to process, but this is serious stuff and I just want to try to provide you all with a comprehensive and definitive source on this subject if I can.

Hopefully, that should be more than enough to discourage any God-fearing, Bible-believing Christian from playing around with any kind of "exercise" that requires you to relax yourself through various breathing exercises and mantras you repeat until you "free" or "open" your mind to become a "god" and "Master of Your Own Domain" they'll say, and yet, millions of people (yes, many of them self-professing Christians!) see absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.

I would caution you to please prayerfully consider what it is you're opening up your mind up to, because it's usually left up to each individual to decide, and I would assert that it's nothing but dark, demonic, evil spiritual influences. It's opening the door and inviting them right in. I think a study like the one I just shared above should help to support such a claim too or at least get you to think twice about doing Yoga the next time around.

Still, I know there will be many Christians reading this who will tell me I'm completely nuts. I have one dear family member in particular who I know feels that way. Some might even go so far as to say that there's no such thing as a spiritual realm that contains demonic, Satanically-inspired entities bent on damaging and destroying us.

If that's you, then I would like to kindly ask you to go back and read your Bible please (2 Corinthians 11:14-15; 1 Peter 5:8).

So, this notion that we can somehow "Christianize" a demonic and pagan practice is both naive and dangerous. The term "Christian Yoga" is an oxymoron, referring to a non-Christian religious practice hidden beneath a deceptive veneer of Christian terminology.

No devout Buddhist, Hindu, or Christian would use such disingenuous terminology. Unfortunately, many Christian churches are unknowingly welcoming this Trojan Horse into their midst.

I wasn't the one who came up with that analogy, but calling it a "Trojan Horse" is a perfect description I think. Of course, none of this is that much of a surprise to us, is it?

For years, other faithful Christians have dedicated themselves to exposing the truth about this spiritual poison that has been masquerading itself as being "no big deal because it's just exercise anyway!" and have received ridicule for even suggesting such a possibility.

Looks like they were right all along. I'm glad that there's now some hard medical and scientific evidence from non-religious sources to perhaps sway the skeptics who completely shut down whenever people like us try to discuss the topic from a distinctly Christian perspective.

At the end of the day, however, only the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel and the Lord's Sacraments can help to open the eyes and ears, hearts and minds, of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are succumbing to this Satanic deception.

If, after everything that was just presented, you still feel that I'm getting all worked up over nothing (or know someone who feels that way themselves), then please prayerfully consider this additional statement on the dangers of Yoga from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)...


Q: I'm interested in Yoga and the practice of meditation (meditation meaning the quieting of the mind to allow the "voice of God" to enter). Is there anything in the church guidelines that discourages or forbids these practices? 
A: Let us share briefly an LCMS perspective on the practice of Yoga (of which, of course, there are several forms – e.g., Karma, Bhakti, Juana, Raja). While the initial stages of Yoga may be focused on physical exercises involved, Yoga has its roots in Hinduism and the philosophical aspects of Yoga are integral to it -- something that becomes more apparent in more advanced stages. In Hinduism, Yoga is a means of striving for personal salvation, the ultimate goal being the human soul's union with "the world soul." 
In contrast to assumptions intrinsic to Yoga, Christianity teaches on the basis of the Holy Scriptures that salvation becomes the personal possession of an individual through faith alone in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world (Ephesians 2:8-8). And, spiritual enlightenment comes not through external bodily discipline, activities of the mind, or union with a divine "soul," but through the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who hear the Word of God and receive the Sacraments (Lord's Supper, Baptism). Jesus promised, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:25-27). 
In summary, from our theological perspective, techniques of relaxation and/or exercise (mental as well as physical) are not, of course, problematic in and of themselves. But it is the religious aspects of a practice such as Yoga that raises concerns for Christians. 
[Source]


Not so "harmless" after all,is it?

Christians have no business associating themselves with anything having to do with practices that have their roots in Eastern Religions. That's the long and short of it.

What's more important? Exercise or eternity? That's another one of those rhetorical questions that I hope we all know the answer to. So then why take that kind of risk with your soul just for the sake of your body and mind, which should already be captive to Christ anyway (2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 1:13)?


Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Bottom line? We need to ask one simple question that has one simple answer.

Should Christians stay away from Yoga because of its demonic roots? Yes, absolutely.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I wholeheartedly agree with what many other Christians before me have concluded when they quipped that so-called "Christian Yoga" is quite a stretch indeed.



NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

3 comments

  1. JKR,

    I agree with you regarding yoga, as it is commonly taught.

    However, be aware that the language is changing. I know of an exercise teacher who leads a conventional western stretching / flexibility class that contains some moves that are shared with hatha yoga, who feels that she must call her class a 'yoga class'. She is careful not to promote New Age beliefs or Alternative / Integrative medicine--or any religious practice. She refuses to lead guided meditations, just a moment of silence at the start and end of class. She does not play New Age music--she uses classical music instead. She refuses to lead poses / stretches that good science has shown to be dangerous or ineffective. She feels that she must call it 'yoga' even though it isn't, in order to get gigs / attract students. She says that people now use the term 'yoga' very broadly and include the sort of class she is leading under that umbrella. She hates the term, but has resigned to call her class 'yoga' even though it really isn't.

    This teacher is clearly the exception, not the rule. I still agree with you.... stay away from Yoga. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anon Y. Mous,

    Thanks for the insight. I'm glad to hear that more people -- including the Instructors themselves -- are at least becoming more aware of the differences (and very real dangers!) between Christianity and Eastern practices.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond.

    Grace And Peace,
    JKR

    ReplyDelete
  3. My church has just got involved with holy yoga. Doing research on it, I can only conclude that holy yoga is a subset of new Age, and that Christians should NOT engage in holy yoga or Christian yoga.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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