Questions Christians Should Ask Before Doing Yoga

6 Questions Christians Should Ask Before Doing Yoga

“Thanks to ingenious marketing, yoga is no longer weird, foreign, and seemingly cult-like here in the West…the teachings of yoga will be expressed through semantics that can easily be absorbed by our secular filter...America has chosen to dilute, reinterpret, and turn a blind eye to what yoga actually is...”  ~ Jill Lawson, certified Yoga instructor (source)

Questions Every Serious Christian Should Ask Before Doing Yoga

If you are considering yoga or already doing yoga, I pray that you will read through these questions and Scriptures and ask God for wisdom. If you finish and still feel comfortable doing yoga, that’s your choice. I just pray you will not get involved with yoga until you have full information and understanding. Thanks!

1. Why is this particular form of exercise your choice? Do you believe it is the only way you can stay fit?

Exercise in and of itself is not pagan. However, yoga bears a pagan name, has a pagan origin, and each position mimics Hindu rituals to make a person one with a false god. Even if you can do it without including the pagan chants, wouldn’t it be better for a Christian to choose an exercise program with non-pagan origins?

1 Corinthians 10:23:  "I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive.

2. Have you carefully studied the meaning, methods, and philosophy behind yoga so you are able to discern any pagan influences in your yoga program?

It's important to examine the arguments against yoga so you get both sides of the issue. And I encourage you to read some of the testimonies of those who were possessed by demons through practicing yoga (Example) so you have a full understanding of possible side effects.

Separating ourselves from pagan, occult, and ungodly influences is an important part of our walk with the Lord.

6 Questions Christians Should Ask Before Doing Yoga

2 Corinthians 6:14-18:  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

3. Are you prepared to clarify the type of yoga you do (i.e. non-pagan yoga) every time you tell someone you do yoga?

The term yoga is used to describe all forms of yoga, the most religious to the least religious. You could easily give someone the wrong impression if you don't explain the type of yoga you are doing. It's important for a Christian to represent Christ in all that we do.

1 Corinthians 10:31: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

4. If what you’re doing is just exercise and not related to any of the meditative or religious practices, why do you call it yoga?

We don’t need to explain that we do Christian or non-religious calisthenics, hiking, or skiing but we do need to explain we do Christian or non-religious yoga. This is because it involves meditative techniques and methods of clearing the mind, which means it’s not “just exercise.”

Do you believe that these techniques are superior to normal prayer and Scripture meditation? Why?

1 Corinthians 10:14-22: Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

6 Questions Christians Should Ask Before Doing Yoga
5. Will weaker Christians or non-Christians get involved in the pagan forms of yoga due to your witness (i.e. your involvement)?

Suppose it’s possible for a Christian to do yoga without compromising their faith by carefully omitting the Hindu emphasis. Might it still damage your witness?

Suppose another weaker Christian starts yoga based on your example, but they’re not as careful about avoiding the Hindu practices. Suppose a non-Christian friend follows your example and also gets involved in Hinduism and is no longer interested in pursuing Christianity.

When yoga is taught in schools, it's not likely that a child will be mature enough to understand and avoid pagan aspects.

I’m aware of a professing Christian who teaches yoga to young children and she sees no problem incorporating words like “namaste” in her classes, claiming they have a different meaning for the Christian.

However, this word originated in Hinduism and means “I bow to the god in you” or “the god in me bows to the god in you.” This pronouncement is not something one Christian would say to another even though we are both indwelt by Jesus. But it's especially inappropriate for a Christian to say to someone who is not indwelt by Jesus.

The following excerpt from 1 Corinthians 8 talks about doing things associated with pagan rituals. Even if you believe yoga is a completely non-religious form of exercise, the principle in this passage would apply. The whole chapter is linked, and I encourage you to read it.

1 Corinthians 8: For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

6. Could the attraction and popularity of yoga in our country be a satanic attempt to blind unbelievers to the truth and compromise weak believers? Do you want to participate in that venture even if it doesn't harm you personally?

2 Corinthians 4:4: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Below is another passage that talks about approving something that might cause your brother to fall into sin:
Romans 14:21-22: It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

Another article sharing the cautions of Christians teachers and writers regarding yoga:
 Piper, Mohler, and MacArthur, on Yoga.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...