Why would a church that had “Bible” in its name offer a yoga class?
In the past several years, many evangelical churches have either encouraged their people to attend so-called “Christian” yoga classes or they have offered such classes themselves. Strangely, few Christians seem bothered by the historical link between yoga and Hinduism, apparently accepting the popular assumption that the physical exercises can be separated from their spiritual origins. Sadly, Hindu yoga practitioners almost universally refute this idea. Appealing to the Hindu scriptures, a writer for Yoga International explains:
According to the scriptures, hatha yoga is a complete path leading to physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual illumination. Hatha yoga practices combine asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), concentration, and meditation. The word hatha is itself an indication of the goals and objectives of this practice: ha means “sun,” and tha means “moon.” Thus, “hatha yoga” is the practice that enables a practitioner to balance his or her solar and lunar energies. Hatha yoga practices create a state of harmony in body and mind by balancing the solar and lunar, masculine and feminine, active and passive aspects of oneself. Unless you combine the disciplines associated with breathing and meditation with the physical postures, you cannot expect to achieve this harmonious state. And without this inner harmony, we waste a great deal of our time and energy fighting the distractions and disturbances arising from both the inner and outer worlds.https://yogainternational.com/article/view/what-is-the-purpose-of-asana
People in so-called “Christian” yoga classes may very well use the yoga poses as nothing more than stretching exercises, but eastern yoga practitioners would argue that they don’t practice true yoga if they make this separation. On that point, we’d do well to avoid misrepresenting our exercise routines as yoga.
But even if we adapt yoga poses to mere stretching, we have a problem. Did you know that each of these poses and hand postures represents homage to a Hindu deity? You may not do those poses with the intent of worshiping false gods, but you are — like it or not — dabbling in the worship of demons. To document this statement, I’m posting an interview that Doreen Virtue had with Jenn Nizza, a former psychic and yoga instructor who has since come to Christ. I think I’ve set the video to the 7:15 mark, where they explain the spiritual ramifications of yoga poses:
I’m convinced (after studying this topic much more than I wanted to study it) that holding yoga classes in a church facility opens people up to demonic activity. You can disagree with my conclusion if you wish, and I know you could substantiate your objections wish God’s Word. Even if holding yoga poses doesn’t actually invite demonic forces into the building, however, wouldn’t the representations of those false gods desecrate a place intended to honor Christ?
In thinking about people doing yoga, or even yoga poses, within church buildings, my mind went to that horrible scene in Ezekiel 8, when the Lord took Ezekiel to the Temple and showed him how it had been desecrated by unclean pollutants.
7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. 9 And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.” 10 So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. 11 Standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 And He said to me, “Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing.” ~~Ezekiel 8:7-13 (NASB95)
Those idols had absolutely no business being in God’s House! This desecration of His Temple was the reason He commissioned Ezekiel to prophesy against Israel and Judah about the impending Babylonian Captivity. The Lord demands purity in worship, and will not tolerate anything that even hints at competing for His glory. So just as the detestable things in the Temple offended Him, Christians assuming poses of Hindu deities offend Him.
I understand that no one intentionally does “Christian” yoga for your purpose of idol worship. But please consider the possibility that yoga actually does desecrate the church. If your church offers yoga classes, may I urge you to talk to your pastor and explain why yoga and Christianity are mutually exclusive. If he persists in allowing this idolatry to continue, you may need to pray about your membership in that church.
The Lord calls His people to purity in our worship. Don’t allow yoga to interrupt that purity.