Fast Facts on Yoga
- Yoga is a 2,000-year-old discipline originally devised not as an exercise technique, but solely for Hindu religious purposes.
- Yoga means “yoke” or “union” with the Hindu concept of god. The goal of Yoga is to aid the practitioner in becoming one with the impersonal, monistic-pantheistic god of Hinduism (all is one and all is god). This Hindu worldview is antithetical to biblical Christianity.
- In one school of Yoga, the practitioner seeks to awaken the Kundalini, the spiritual serpent of light that lies coiled at the base of the spine, so that it might travel up the body’s chakras to ultimately bring the practitioner to enlightenment. This is not exercise, this is occultism.
- The fact that Yoga has exercise benefits is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a Christian should practice Yoga. There are countless pagan religious activities that have exercise benefits (ex. Shamanistic spirit dances, Islam’s circumambulation of the Kaaba, etc.), but as Christians we do not engage in them because we understand their unbiblical nature.
- As Christians we are called to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). These admonitions do not cease to be relevant when we enter the doors of our local gym to burn some calories.
- There are many forms of exercise, including stretching, that have nothing to do with pagan, occult practices like Yoga. Christians would be wise to consider such alternatives.
For more information on Yoga and the Hindu worldview, please check out the documentary DVD, Yoga Uncoiled: From East to West, available in our online store.
Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.