Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yoga-A-Go-Go: Christians, Yoga and Other Things That Don't Mix Well

Yoga mania came some years ago to America, in my mind the 90's seem to have been when it really got crazy. Everyone and their mother (probably literally) was taking Yoga classes and getting into it as way to exercise and relax. Nowadays, there are Yoga studios in almost as many places as there are Starbucks. From what I hear there are also even Churches that offer Yoga classes. (and should we be surprised? we have been warned that doctrines of demons would make their way into the church)

A few years ago, when I was in my wondering UFO phase again, my wife and I went to go take Yoga classes at the fitness center. I had read that Yoga was New Agey, but after a little while, I concluded it was more or less harmless. I changed my mind after a few classes when I found that after Yoga I usually got a splitting headache. Years later, I overheard my chiropractor telling another patient not to do Yoga and that it was indeed not good for her. So, I quit, but not because of any spiritual reason.

Looking back, I'm glad I didn't keep up with it. In addition to the undesirable physical side of things (ie pain and hearing from a seasoned chiropractor that it was bad for your back), there is also an undesirable spiritual component as well. This makes Yoga an especially dangerous trap for Christians. A trap that most of us don't even realize is there. I had a Christian lady ask me about Yoga once because she wanted to try it.

So, why is it dangerous? Why shouldn't Christians do Yoga? Let's start at the beginning: What is Yoga?

That's a very large answer.

There are a huge variety of Yoga methods out there, and they all have their own individual flavors. So rather than dissect each one, Let's look at the basics. Here in the west, Yoga typically won't go past those stages anyway, and even those are enough to understand why Christians should avoid it. One could assume that the further one delved into Yoga, the more dangerous it would become spiritually. It's the same with any other occult practice. It starts out fairly innocent, but before long (to quote an interesting rap song) play time gets serious.

Bill Myers and Dave Wimbish ("The Dark Side of the Supernatural") quote the Encyclopedia International (and I'll paraphrase) that its more or less one of the ways that Hindus attaing salvation. Not only this, but it's a way that that they believe they can encounter God.

The duo also quote Douglas Hunt, author of a book on the occult, who equates the practice of Yoga with religion. Myers and Wimbish go on to say that Yoga involves mind-emptying meditation (in addition to the physical movements) which is especially dangerous. They also state that some who practice Yoga claim that they can foresee the future, levitate and recall "past lives."

Where have we seen that before? Probably with Qigong, but it's also fairly standard New Age stuff. So even with this very spurious connection we can see why Christians shouldn't do it-it's essentially New Age religion in a physical fitness package. I don't need to beat a dead horse, but Christians should not touch the New Age! I did after becoming a Christian and it only made me spiritually destitute and drove me further from the Lord God.

But, I'm sure there are some of you Christians (or non-Christians) might enjoy your Yoga and won't give it up so easily. OK. Let's continue. "The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj," meaning "to control," "to yoke" or "to unite." Translations include "joining," "uniting," "union," "conjunction," and "means.” The word yoga may also derive from the root "yujir samadhau," which means "contemplation" or "absorption." Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini."

So as Douglas Hunt (an occultist) wrote, this "yoking" is yoking in a religious/spiritual sense. One more from Wiki.

"The goals of yoga are varied and range from improving health to achieving Moksha. Within the Hindu monist schools of Advaita Vedanta, Shaivism and Jainism, the goal of yoga takes the form of Moksha, which is liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), at which point there is a realization of identity with the Supreme Brahman. In the Mahabharata, the goal of yoga is variously described as entering the world of Brahma, as Brahman, or as perceiving the Brahman or Atman that pervades all things. For the bhakti schools of Vaishnavism, bhakti or service to Svayam bhagavan itself may be the ultimate goal of the yoga process, where the goal is to enjoy an eternal relationship with Vishnu."

So the goal of Samsara is at odds with what the Bible says. There is no reincarnation, only birth, life, death, resurrection and then judgement. We also know that for us Christians (or anyone) there is no relief from physical suffering in this world, and that God uses that suffering for our good. We can also see that one of the other goals, that is to have a relationship with Vishnu, is also not what Christians should aspire to.

The processes of Yoga involve these kinds of goals. Whether one seeks those goals or not is immaterial. Yoga was invented as a method to achieve these goals. Fire is meant to cook, but if we use fire (the method) to scratch an itch, the fire will burn. So to with Yoga, if you practice it devoid of the intent, it will still have some impact. We do know that intent is in fact important (especially in the occult) as well, but even so, the practice has repercussions as well.

Here are a few resources on Yoga that should hopefully also shed some light on why Christians should avoid Yoga. Even if it is divorced from the original goals, western Yoga has sort of evolved into a self-worship and also has also picked up a lot of New Age believes (which they stole from Yoga and other eastern traditions anyways).

(Exercise great caution following the "Yoga Journal" links, as they detail introductory occult practices. I provide them only so you can see for yourselves, and also know that I'm not just pulling this stuff from a hat.)

Yoga Journal has a few basic notes on Yoga. First, they emphasize chakras ( which are alleged energy centers on the human body. Apparently they can become blocked through various means and of course, they can only become unblocked by practicing Yoga.

The main take away on this article is that clearing these blockages clears the way so one can attain a higher conciousness. In my examinations of New Age philosophy from years of reading "Fate" Magazine, any time a "higher conciousness" is attained, it's a spiritual thing and can often bring about spiritual events such as, contact with spirits, seeing "past lives"/the future or gaining some sort of supernatural ability. In short, it gets one in touch with fallen spirits.

In poking around on their website, I found a creepy side of Yoga (or I should say a creepier side) and this creepy side is called "the corpse pose. ( Yes, there is a pose where one imitates a corpse. Now, just superficially I find this odd, especially if Christians were to do it. Somehow, I don't think that's what Christ had in mind when He said to die to ourselves.

So the corpse pose they describe as basically dying to our usual mode of being and thinking. In other words becoming passive. It ends with a blurb on abiding in yourself. As I recall Christians are called to abide in Christ, and die to ourselves. Die to ourselves not by pretending to be a corpse, but by choosing to follow God rather than our sinful desires.

This is all nothing to say about what kind of possibility there is for encountering demonic spirits or opening one's self up to their influence.

OK, so we so Yoga has its original origin and purpose of purifying the body for spiritual reasons (Reincarnation) and to attain "higher conciousness" as well as to facilitate a relationship with Vishnu (and probably other gods) and Vishnu I've already blogged about has a connection to Buddha and the Antichrist. Those are all red flags for Christians to leave this be. But don't take my word for it, here are some links to Christian testimonies, and how Yoga did not bring them closer to the Living God, and they were only set free because they turned to Jesus Christ.

The first one,

( is by the child of someone who worked for JPL (a place with a huge occult foundation to start with. Just read [very carefully i might add] Richard Hoaglund's "Dark Mission") This is more a normal testimony than anything with Yoga, but worth reading nonetheless.

The next

( is an awesome testimony of someone who did trancsendational meditation and Yoga. It's a good testimony, but I am not sure what to make of their statement on being lead to Christ through Benny Hinn's ministry. I'm not sure about Hinn, but God used him to lead this person Christ.

Lastly here is an awesome article by (my new hero) Michael Gleghorn. He really picks apart Yoga and why its not really compatible with Christianity.

My favorite part is when he gets into the dangers, not because I want to see people hurt, but because it shows how dangerous it is. What makes it even better in my eyes is that these warnings he posts are from Yogis themselves. Like Qigong (another meditation) Yoga is dangerous for your physical and spiritual health. A few are:

* doing the breathing wrong can cause permanent brain damage which is incurable (caused by a demonic entity no doubt)

* that the kundalini (serpent) energy can cause one to to go bonkers. He also posits that the purpose of all Yoga is to tap into this kundalini energy. We all know who else is a serpent, don't we?

Gleghorn also links to a site by a former Yoga instructor turned Christian, which i haven't had a chance to check out much yet (update 10/3/11 this praise moves isn't any better. Her testimony is good, but praisemoves is very similar to Yoga. Beware) She does have an awesome breakdown of Yoga, and why its not something Christians should meddle with. She does offer an alternative called praise moves, which I haven't looked at yet. Look at it, but use your own judgement to ensure that she's not just up to a new trick. The main thing at her site is the "about us" which seems to look at Yoga quite in depth. I've only had the most superficial look at it.

So is your church having a Yoga class? If so, maybe you should speak up and say why its a bad idea. From what I've uncovered Yoga, regardless of intent, is designed to get one to foster a relationship with god as a force and the god within. Perhaps its akin to breathing. When I breath, i don't intend oxygen to get everywhere, but my body does it naturally. Perhaps Yoga is the same, doing the exercises manifests the energy no matter what. Apparently there is no way to separate the physical from the spiritual. In any event we are to reject the god within, which we call the self, we are to crucify ourselves daily and walk with Jesus. Only by placing our faith in Him, and having a relationship with Him can we have any relationship with the Most High God.

If you are doing Yoga, this is your chance to repent of it, confess it to Christ and ask for forgiveness. Ask Him to get rid of any demonic influence. The power of Christ can free you from this yoke of oppression. His yoke is light, take it up and follow Him.

I apologize also for not including copious amounts of scripture. I think that this one is mostly self explanatory in that 1) yoga falls into the doctrines of demons 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons.

Then we also know that yoga seeks relationships with other gods, which breaks the first commandment of having no other gods but THE God of the Bible.

If anyone wants to suggest some scriptures for this one, feel free. I'm not being lazy, I just think that the evidence speaks pretty well for itself, and Christians should know well enough that its bad stuff based solely on the evidence of danger in yoga.

"Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga"

Update 10-3-11 proof that Yoga is spiritual, and not just exercise. Surprise! The poses have meaning in the spirit world!

Update 10-25

Looks like Yoga's mental benefits are all in the head. This article claims that while Yoga helps low back pain, it's supposed mental benefits are not really such.

I would argue that the lower back pain is bunk too, not because i don't like Yoga, but my chiropractor told one of his patients that it was bad for their back. If you have low back pain, go to a Gonstead Chiropractor.

Update 1-24-2012

Here's some other info, courtesy of the Bhagavad Gita, their most revered scripture. In it they explain yoga is a sacrifice as is the breathing control they do. This sacrifice they do, they believe cleanses them from sin and brings them closer to enlightenment.

So anyone who says it's just exercise is ill-informed. It appears that Hindus (generally) believe, according to their own scriptures, that doing the yoga and breathing is part of their ritualistic sacrifice to attain "enlightenment".

Chpt IV verse 28 (from the online version)

"Having accepted strict vows, some become enlightened by sacrificing their possessions, and others by performing severe austerities, by practicing the yoga of eightfold mysticism, or by studying the Vedas to advance in transcendental knowledge."

Verse 29

"Still others, who are inclined to the process of breath restraint (Pranayama) to remain in trance, practice by offering the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming, and the incoming breath into the outgoing, and thus at last remain in trance, stopping all breathing. Others, curtailing the eating process, offer the outgoing breath into itself as a sacrifice."

Verse 30

"All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reactions, and, having tasted the nectar of the results of sacrifices, they advance toward the supreme eternal atmosphere."

Update 2-9-2012

One more, this more or less proves that the poses (asana) and the breathing (pranayama) in "exercise" yoga, are actually a part of Hindu religious practice. They are merely part of a whole, but still a part. The Bhagavad Gita (Hindu holy book) says to practice the "eightfold mysticism yoga" of which the "exercise" is a part.

Update 6-25-2012

Thanks to Gaz Parker for these links.

Yoga for Christians


  1. I was watching a five part series the other day called "The Pyramid Code", and in one episode they mentioned something that I had never heard before, but it makes a lot of sense...

    I had already heard from many sources which make a connection between the "third eye" and the pineal gland in the brain. But in this series, they made the assertion that all of the so-called "chakras" are actually connected to various glands throughout the torso.

    So, if "opening your chakras" to the "kundalini energy" is the goal of TM, then what that would effectively mean is that the practicioner is actually doing is using physical techniques to "invite" the serpent energy (i.e. the demonic entity) into their body through a succession of glands. This would mean that the whole Hindu/mystical concept of the chakras being a chain of "doorways" has an element of truth behind it. When the "energy" (demon) is allowed to reach the "last chakra" (the pineal gland), this is the part of the body that is itself capable of secreting chemicals/hormones which, if released in large enough quantity, can propel the individual to an altered state. Such altered states can also be achieved through "shortcuts" like LSD or Hiawaska, etc., which apparently do so by directly stimulating the pineal gland to secrete these chemicals. But the difference with Yoga however seems to be that the goal is more of a permanent "activiation", in the sense that once a person gives full access to the "serpent energy", it becomes possible to achieve altered states that are far "deeper", and far easier to achieve, than even with powerful psychadelic drugs. An adept yogi can essentially turn on or off their "altered state" almost like a light switch. So in yoga, as in all other brands of mysticism and occult practices, the goal of "enlightenment" really just means giving the demonic realm full and complete access to one's one mind, and the freedom to play around with an individual's own connection between spirit and body...

    The reason I believe most Christians do not appreciate the danger of Yoga is that they are largely ignorant to the realities of altered states in the first place, and do not realize that this is a fundamental tool of the demonic realm...

  2. BINGO!

    Its funny. the other day, i saw a bumper sticker for a local seminary, right next to a bumper sticker for a local Yoga studio. on the same car.


    You must be a futurian with all this talk of pineal glands. Just wondering if you've heard Dr. Future give his talks about that. you've also brought up nephilim before. If you bring up "rockefeller" I'm gonna have to just quit this blog and send you over to future quake instead.



    (oh, and serpent isn't a dead give away, is it?)

  3. Thanks for writing this. I started a cleanse a few days ago (The Detox Box) that includes yoga as part of the program. My 3yo daughter was watching me this morning, happily bouncing around smiling and playing, until she saw me do (as instructed) "the most important of all the" (some style name) poses, the corpse pose. She stopped playing and started crying quiet, heartbroken tears, and got up to try to leave. When I realized she was crying, I stopped her and asked what was wrong. She looked like she had been slapped and was just so shocked and sad. She wouldn't say anything, but just continued to cry. I was SO upset by this, and felt in my heart there must have been a spiritual connection, so I sat and prayed with her. I felt like I needed to look into this further. I'm not normally a yoga person, but I thought it was ok since the program presents it very spiritually neutrally, and I just meditated on God...I'm thankful for this revelation though. It's not something I want to practice at all, ever! Thanks again!

  4. Praise God!

    Glad this helped you, I'm glad to see this bearing some fruit. This is the exact sort of situation I pray for (restoring wandering believers). Give thanks to God, and share it with others who do Yoga that are Christians and tell your own story too.

    Also, please pray. I have a friend who's a believer and his wife teaches Yoga, but they don't believe me.

  5. Yes, sorry, I just get on a roll.

    I always try to keep it short, but it gets out of hand

  6. wow. just how fat ARE you? you realize that sitting on your sanctimonious ass and demonizing other peoples' choices is incredibly hateful and hypocritical, right?

    and HATHA yoga - physical yoga, the kind that is taught in the states - is a practice, nothing more. it was invented to get people to the point where they could sit and meditate for long periods of time. y'know, like jesus did. "yoga" means "union", and there are many different kinds. if you'd done your research you'd know that, instead of just leading with hate.

    it's getting where any ignoramus with an internet connection thinks they can speak for god. shut up and read your bible. especially the part about not giving false witness. hate is hate, even when couched in pseudo-religion...