Is There "Christian" Yoga?

by Roger Oakland "Yes to Yoga: Can a Christian breathe air that has been offered to idols?"1 The title caught my attention in a Christianity Today article. The author begins: It's 7:45 p.m. on a weekday and for the first time today, I consciously slow down my breathing. I send the air deep down into my belly, letting it rise and fall like a wave. In ... Out ... Along with a group of 30 people ... I use the unhurried cadences of the air filling and leaving my lungs to lull my muscles and joints into daring postures.... Finally--my favorite pose that comes at the end of each workout--a corpse, during which I lay down and relax every muscle.2 Now, you may be asking the question, why would Christianity Today publish an article promoting Eastern religion? Yet, the author of the article claims to be an evangelical bornagain Christian. She says yoga draws her closer to Jesus. In her own words: [Y]oga has never had any negative influence on me, and it doesn't trigger any harmful religious impulses. Just the opposite is true. The three hours a week I spend doing yoga ... draw[s] me closer to Christ.3 Why would it draw you close to Christ? The woman sees yoga as a way to connect with the Holy Spirit, and the breathe in, breathe out repetition is essential: Do You have to meditate to feel the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is already in You once you excepted Chirst. Why to you have to ask him to come in again? Holy Spirit in. Anything that's not from God out. Come Holy Spirit. Renew my mind. In. Out.4 Christian yoga practitioners often claim they cannot be deceived, even though they know what yoga is and where it comes from. The author of the article states: Now, my enthusiasm for yoga doesn't mean I'm in denial about its Hindu roots.... I know that hard-core yogis believe that yoga is more than exercise or a relaxation technique. To them, it's a religious ritual. But the Hindu gods don't make it onto my mat. Yoga purists don't lead classes at mainstream American gyms.5 In other words, it's OK to do yoga if you only do it halfway. But the problem is, you cannot disobey God just halfway--and the demons know it. So what would Jesus say? Can a Christian incorporate Hindu spiritual practices in order to get closer to the Jesus of the Bible? I have a strong suspicion the "Hindu gods" have an agenda to introduce unsuspecting yoga practitioners to a different Jesus.

C. May 2005.. His resentment is understandable.for more on Yoga and its Hindu roots. a Hindu Yogi. Ibid.. "Communion is about Jesus Christ. Thomas Nelson. "When East Meets West" .. Vedavisharada. In 2006. It is a Hindu word." I thought." I could feel the wheels spinning in my brain.. How would we feel if there was suddenly a new craze called Hindu communion.ay.A most insightful article on this topic comes from a surprising source. 4.. a Vedavisharada trained in the traditional gurukural system. 5.htm Excerpted from Lighthouse Trails Newsletter. 6/16/09 http://www." is written by Yogi Baba Prem.htm . or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization.. the largest Christian publisher. read Out of India) Notes: 1. many ministries and Christian organizations are selling the book in their bookstores! (from Faith Undone. So how did we get "Christian Yoga"?.6 This Hindu yogi resents Christians grabbing Hinduism's spiritual practice and calling it Christian. We'd say. http://www. C. but Christian leaders don't. I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. 3. then that is another thing. It can't possibly be called Hindu... Hinduism should guard against its sacred traditions becoming distorted and taken away.. And incredibly enough. especially when they have no history of those teaching within their own system. "Christian Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian word! . Now while Christians can practice yoga. "There is No Christian Yoga" October 2006.0. Ibid. published a book titled Yoga for Christians. Yogi Baba Prem. The article. Agnieszka Tennant. titled "There is No Christian Yoga. 6.http://yogibabaprem. Listen to what he has to say about Christian yoga: It was quite astonishing to see on the flyer "Christian Yoga! This Thursday night. chapter 6.lighthousetrailsresearch. the same year this article came out. Hinduism should reclaim its full heritage and not allow other groups to rename its sacred teachings under their banner." How tragic that a Hindu guru sees the problem. "Yes to Yoga" ChristianityToday. If they wish to "borrow" and say this comes from our brothers and sisters in Hinduism.html 2.sulekha.