CAN YOU DO YOGA AS A CHRISTIAN?
To begin with, let us find out the meaning and origin of yoga. According to Wikipedia, yoga is ‘a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.”
From the above definition of yoga, is it fitting for a Christian to get involved in such practice? The answer is a CAPITAL NO! The Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul warns, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 15. Some might argue that yoga have several health benefits. For example, eMedicineHealth says that yoga is a ‘systematic practice of physical exercise, breath control, relaxation, diet control, and positive thinking and meditation aimed at developing harmony in the body, mind, and environment.’
As interesting as the definitions and benefits might seen, it origin and philosophies leaves much to be desired. When you do yoga, what do you meditate about? God already gave us material to mediate about – the Word of God. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1: 8. Instead of indulging in pagan exercises in the name of yoga, you can safety register in a regular gym to do your exercises. No matter how yoga has being modernized, there are aspects that still point you to its Hindu background. Proverbs 14: 12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” While some folks might say that yoga is not harmful; you can do moderate yoga, other Christians are doing it etc. What you could fail to see is that most yoga classes conceal the spiritual aspects of yoga such as emptying the mind and the worshiping gods in their courses. They teach these things as aspects that you must know or do to better appreciate the exercises and their benefits. You will unknowingly be practicing what will lead you to hell. Whatever you do should be what will bring glory to God. How will yoga bring glory to God? The Bible says that bodily exercise profit little. “For bodily exercise is of a little profit, but godliness is profitable for everything, holding the promise of the present life and of the one coming” 1 Timothy 4: 8. I urge you to only engage in bodily exercises that are profitable for your body, spirit and soul. What will it profit you now to exercise with yoga and loss your soul?