Is Yoga Just Stretching?

Many wonder if Yoga is okay for Christians. Of course, some will sneer at this issue as “legalistic.” But, there were certainly things that God has commanded His people not to do. It’s certainly valid for one who is seeking God’s character to ask, is Yoga just stretching? Or is more going on?

I snapped a picture of a banner at a Yoga center where my wife does karate. I didn’t get a picture of the little idols they have on the shelf, but I think this paints a pretty clear picture of what goes on with this “stretching class.”

Some versions of the Namaste (name-es-stay) include “I honor the divine in you.” So, this one is a bit more tame.

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Here we just honor the “place” in each other. But, that “place” is where the whole universe resides. Love, light, peace and truth all reside within ourselves … that inner place.

Makes me think of “Christian” novelist Ted Dekker’s latest “meditations” on the Bible.

See, Satan–who is real–deceives the same way as always. We are the light (ref. Ted Dekker). We have peace within ourselves. We have truth within ourselves. The whole of the universe is in that place in ourselves. We are one.

I’ll tell you who is One–That’s God. He has claimed a Oneness out of a plurality known as the Trinity.

So, this is a false worship of a plurality of humans making One.

There are Christians who went to see Doctor Strange and found that it was JUST FINE! And yet, in that movie, they talk of channeling the power of the multi-verse through themselves. It’s no mistake they had the movie, and The Ancient One (Ancient of Days, anyone? A name for God? No? Not familiar?) holed up in Nepal, the seat of Eastern religion … and Yoga.

Well, I don’t believe all that stuff, I’m just getting a workout! 

What we allow around us will eventually influence us. If we’re not separate from the world, we fall prey to its destructive influence. Lot may have considered himself separate from the wicked people of Sodom, but he was captured in one of their wars. He was tormented daily by their wickedness to the point he offered his own daughters to be gang-raped by the hoard of lustful men outside his house! He spent his last days in a cave being drugged and raped by his own daughters!

But, you say, he wasn’t practicing the witchcraft of the Sodomites or engaging in their lifestyle!

He was saved as a brand plucked from the fire!

He got burned.

What does it mean to be separated unto God if we indulge in every cultural fad, despite the obvious signs that they are extolling false idolatry and pagan worship?

I know, people will say “All things are lawful … like the meat sacrificed to idols!”

Let’s get context here. Paul was saying that he wouldn’t ask where the meat came from so that he wouldn’t make an issue of it. Many sides of meat in those marketplaces had been sacrificed in temples.

Paul certainly didn’t go to the sacrificing ceremonies! And if the person made an issue that the meat had been sacrificed to an idol, he wouldn’t eat! He would remain separate.

The better analogy for this type of thing is a Target store issue. Perhaps there are other stores that endorse sinful behaviors or give money to abortion clinics. But, if we don’t know about that, we can shop there without a problem. If they start advertising their positions and making it a big, public spectacle, we should refrain from giving them our business for fear that it would be construed as support for their views.

So, is Yoga just stretching? No. It isn’t. It’s a form of pagan worship that has been around a long, long time. Cults will practice Yoga. Alistair Crowley, renown Satanist, practiced Yoga. The poses that are done are actually physical offerings to various deities! The doctrine taught is to find that “place” or the “divine” within yourself.

Eat of the tree that will make you like God.

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5 Comments

  1. Christians have been saying “namaste” to one another and to their Hindu neighbors in India for the longest time, for them it’s a greeting much like “hello” is to us, or “aloha” is in Hawaii – in fact, it’s more like “aloha” in that “namaste” is also said to say “goodbye”.
    We also have a cultural similarity in that we also “bow down” to others – in a “hats off to you” sense. So I understand a “namaste” as the two concepts merged – saying hello and goodbye while respectfully giving a bow to someone. I read up on the concept of the divine spark in someone and I understand it’s connection to eastern beliefs about chakras – which they have a right to believe as they do. I learned about them on this show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StrbppmsZJw
    To borrow it’s metaphor, it’s up to you to decide what will you will allow to flow in and to flow out of your soul – if you’re a strong person, it doesn’t matter what the origin of these things are – consider the similarity, Christianity is all about letting the emotional baggage you acquire flow down to the cross of Christ, in exchange for casting one’s burden’s on him, they get to become the best version of themselves – which is basically the same concept.

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    1. That’s interesting. Thanks for the info. I suppose it’s the same as Christians in Saudi Arabia using Allah as the name for God, since that’s the only word in their language. The truth, however, is that Allah is not God, in the theological sense. What I was attempting to address here is that Yoga embraces the Eastern religion and the “divine” within each person, which goes beyond a respectful “hello.” But this is a good point that namaste is not, in and of itself, a bad greeting.

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    2. As to Christianity being about letting “emotional baggage” to flow down to the cross and becoming the “best version of” yourself … that’s not the Gospel. The Gospel is that we are rightfully under God’s wrath in righteous judgment for our selfish rebellion against Him as our Creator. We’ve set ourselves up as gods, buying Satan’s lie in the Garden. We’ve rejected our loving God. We go to the Cross where our sin is fully paid and that self-life is put to death on the cross with Christ. We are given new life in Jesus’ resurrection to serve God in the manner for which we were created. It’s not the same as the self-centered false religions. That said, many “Christians” practice a pagan-style Christianity that does exactly what you said and it’s moderately distinguishable from other false religions.

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      1. I was thinking about 1 Corinthians 15, “When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.” It talks about how mortal people are one way, but the resurrection makes them another: “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
        Which to me, it sounds as if the promise is that everyone will be the best possible version of themselves.

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