This post is in response to my sister- Temi’s post about prenatal yoga. It is by no means written to hurt or offend anyone, but rather to share the truth as it has been revealed to me in scripture. I briefly mentioned my thoughts on yoga in the comments section of the abovementioned article. But then I came across the concept of Christian yoga and my heart broke to a million pieces. I am zealous for the body of Christ, her beauty and holiness. I cannot stand and watch as satan so subtly bring the things of the world in to my God’s house and deceive the children of God into sin. How dare he? My love for holiness of God, and the Church compelled me to write this, and I pray that God may give you discernment and wisdom.
If you have been tempted/pressured to do yoga, or walked away from it after learning of its idolatry, I pray that God would reward your acts of obedience in dying to your fleshly desires and following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I pray that a deep peace that comes from our Lord, Our God who IS PEACE, to come upon you and fill you until you overflow. May your hearts body and minds be cleansed and renewed with His love, and his peace that surpasses all our understandings to the glory of His name. Amen!
I would like address the topic of Christian yoga. I had no idea that there was a thing called Christian yoga. It seemed like a paradox to me. I googled it, and to my horror I came across so many Christian yoga programs. I grieved in my spirit and could not understand how this had come to be. How can there be such a blasphemous practice permeating, the body of Christ? The devil indeed is a crafty one. Crafty, but not clever. His schemes are no different that it was in Genesis 3. He is still manipulating the things of the world, covering it with things that look like God, to deceive the body of Christ.
3 things that came to my mind as I read about Christian yoga
Firstly, I had a picture in my mind of a pile of mud, or soil, or fertilizer, that was shaped in to a cake, covered in icing, cherries on top. Now while it looks great on the outside, the truth is, it is a still a pile of filth, coming from unclean source. No matter how much icing you pour over on it, it still doesn’t make it anything other than what it is, unclean.
Secondly, the words “wolves in a sheep’s clothing” came to my mind. And finally, i was reminded of Aaron’s sons as described in Leviticus 10:1. They offered what they presumed to be an acceptable act of worship unto God, only to be told otherwise, and they paid for it with their lives. And God’s response to their offering was ” Among those who approach me, I will be proved holy”. Our God is Holy. He will not share his worship with another, especially another practice that is rooted in worship to other false gods.
Yoga, no matter what word you put in front of it, is still idolatry. Its poses and breathing exercises all are born out of Hinduism. One can breathe deeply, and think about God, but it still does not change what it is. This is why Christian yoga is that much dangerous. It is like that cake made of fertilizer, a wolf in sheep’s’ clothing, an unauthorized fire offered to God contrary to His command (Lev 10:1).
Generally speaking, Christian yoga like all other types of yoga seems to offer two things; Relaxation or health for the mind and body, and spiritual connection to God. Let me address both reasons separately:
Relaxation or health for the mind and body
To my knowledge there is nowhere in the bible where God tells us to breathe deep and think about him, or do specific poses, think about him to relax our body. We are however called to meditate on HIS WORD, every minute of every day (Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 6). That means to think about his word, what it means, and how we can apply to our daily life. The purpose of “meditation on his word” is not to relax us. It is meant to:
1) To bring conviction of our own sinful nature, and our constant need for God and therefore lead to repentance (conviction is always painful and humbling, certainly not relaxing),
2) To renew our mind, so that our thoughts and our actions become more and more like Christ,
3) To help us to rejoice and give thanks to the Lord, because His word reminds us of all that he has done, is doing and will do.
That is the purpose of meditating on his word, and these three things together with the power of the Holy Spirit, encompasses the work of salvation, sanctification and releases the Lord’s peace that ultimately calms us and strengthens us to endure in the face of busy lives, tired body and stressed minds. As stated in Matthew 6, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and everything else will be added on to us”. And I believe “everything” includes health as well. Scripture instructs us again and again, not to seek after things of this world and sin that so easily deceives us (Hebrews 12:1) but to fix our eyes and our mind on Jesus and to trust Him to be sufficient for us to live our lives well. We don’t need yoga or Tai Chi or any otherworldly ways to relax us. God is sufficient for us. His grace is enough. His peace is enough. Our lives are in His hands, And He will provide. He’s got us and He will never forsake us.
Spiritual connection to God
There is nothing that we can do, no matter how “Spiritual” it may seem that will help us to feel connected to God. The truth here is as reveled by the infallible word of God is that WE ARE CONNECTED TO GOD THROUGH CHRIST. It was His sacrifice of love, His life that was laid down for us, His blood that was shed for our sin on the cross at Calvary that connects us to the Lord. It is Jesus, and ONLY Jesus that brings us in union with God. There may be days where we don’t “feel” connected to God, but our feelings are from our heart and flesh, and our heart is deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9) and our flesh is weak. So why rely on our feelings to connect with God? Let us strive to rely on the word of God, that never fails, that tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from God (Romans 8:32), and the Holy Sprit that testifies that we are God’s Children (Romans 8:16). We don’t need to do anything to connect to God. We are always with Him through His son Jesus, who tore the veil and made a way for us.
Here are some scripture, to meditate on as we all encounter stress and other daily things. May it bring Peace and rest for our souls.
1 Chronicles 16:11
“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”
And my three personal favourites, that have brought rest for my soul and health to my body, through every trial, testing and temptation I have faced thus far:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall, I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope, Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3: 18-23)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
We live in a broken world, all of us struggling with our own sin, satan and his host of principalities and forces of darkness. We are not unaware of his schemes, but his plans will never succeed. Yoga may come to the church like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, like delicious looking cake, to deceive and enslave many to the demonic forces of darkness. But it will not prevail. For the one in us is greater than one in the world. While we wait for that glorious day, when our savior returns, with his victory, and salvation for the children of God, let us stand. Let us be vigilant, and keep watch for the spirit is indeed willing but our flesh is weak. Let us identify idolatry and sin, for what it is, and stand on the truth, which is the word of God. Let us look to God and trust him for all our needs, and the well being of our body, mind and soul. Let us not mix the things of God, with the things of this world, but rather be set apart, loving God and following all His ways. Let us be holy, for the Lord our God is holy.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19-20)
To God be the glory forevermore.