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Posted: 08/01/05

Warning: Christianity and Yoga Do Not Mix!

by Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson


"Yoga purists are bent out of shape".  This was the headline of a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.[i]  The article explained that traditional Yoga "experts contend that Hindu religious elements are being profaned by fad versions of the ancient practice."


So, what are these "fad versions" of yoga that are upsetting the Hindu yogis?  The article cites as an example the "millions of Americans… practicing yoga to improve flexibility, strengthen muscles and relieve stress."  These 16.5 million American yoga enthusiasts "spend nearly $3 billion annually on classes and products".


The problem with this, according to the Hindu yogis quoted in the article, is that yoga was never designed to be an exercise, yet alone an exercise "fad".  Rather, yoga is an ancient Hindu religious practice, intended to unite a person's soul with the impersonal, universal force Hindus call "god".  The Hindu Sanskrit word "yoga" literally means to be yoked or joined in union.  And the goal of every Hindu yogi is to use the religious practice of yoga to lose their personality and individuality and to become one with the monistic-pantheistic spiritual force of Hinduism.  This is done through Hatha Yoga (the physical disciplines), where one seeks to call up what Hindus say is the Kundalini or spiritual force described as a "coiled white serpent of light" to aid them in their transcendence to impersonal spiritual monism.  There should be no doubt about it; yoga is a 2,000 year old Hindu religious practice designed for very specific spiritual and occult purposes. 


This Star Tribune article should be a wake-up call to the thousands, if not millions, of Christians who are regularly practicing yoga.  And it should be a wake-up call to the hundreds, if not thousands, of Christian churches that have embraced yoga as a regular part of their weekly worship.  Too many Christians have erroneously strayed into participating in various forms of this Hindu religious practice.  The common claim is that they're only doing yoga "for its exercise benefits"; or for those aware of its Hindu religious origins, that their yoga meditation is "directed towards Jesus Christ and not the gods of Hinduism".  The fact of the matter is this, God strictly forbids his people from dabbling in the false religious activities of the world.


As you read through Scripture, you will not find one example of God tolerating His people's participation in pagan religious activities.  Rather, over and over again God explicitly condemns this.  So, why should we think that just because yoga has some exercise benefits, that God's standards have now changed?  Why should we think that a pagan religious practice, even one that may work, is suddenly acceptable in God's eyes?  Think about it, there are a lot of pagan religious practices that work (witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism, ouija boards, etc.), but we don't recommend that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ participate in them.  So, why should yoga be any different? 


Christians who have mistakenly gotten involved in the practice of yoga need to stop now; there is no excuse for staying involved in a pagan religious activity.  And Christian churches that have embraced yoga as a regular part of their worship need to put an end to this and repent; God will not tolerate His people's participation in pagan religious practices.  God calls His people to be set-apart, to be salt and light to the world.  How are we being faithful to this calling if we are participating in the rituals of pagan religions?


[i] Minneapolis Star Tribune "Faith & Values" July 30, 2005, p. B5

Distributed by

By Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson

Jason Carlson

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Bio and archived articles
Ron Carlson
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Bio and archived articles

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Other dangers
Posted On: 06/09/12 01:10:58 AM Age 0, CANADA
You are right in pinpointing the dangers of yoga for the soul. But the current campaign against everything indian also bears the danger of letting us forget many other evils that stem from forms of paganism even more dangerous since they are closer to our own origins : before removing the neighbor's eye's straw, why not starting with our own's beam?. Most olympic sports such as pentathlon and running and jumping were originally part of a most wicked cult, that of Greek olympian Gods, far more cruel to humans than most hindu demons, and were meant, each of them, to invoke a particular force to be displayed. One proof of that is that most collective demonstrations of such sports have always been cherished by anti-christian political movements such as nazism or communism. Pierre de Coubertin who put the Olympic games and disciplines back into fashion was a racialist nazi indeed, and a sworn enemy of Christ as well as of weak and poor people. All stage and social dances have a clear pagan origin, there is no such thing as innocent ballet. Gymnastics have always been condemned by classical Jews and first christians alike, for they were part and parcel of a way of life impossible to conceive without the tutelage of pagan deities. One proof of it is that people who excel in them comprise a far greater proportion of criminals and drug-addicts and felons than the general population who don't do them. Base-ball is even worse, for its rules have been designed by outright satanists and free-masons, and people who attend it just reproduce the spirit of the ancient circuses the first Christians put so much effort in suppressing.

Yoga is excercise
Posted On: 01/05/11 09:19:56 AM Age 0, NE
Dear Reader, I'm a born-again Christian and have been for decades. I'm also a practicing Catholic and I read the Bible - Old and New Testament - everyday and do Bible study. I am active physically and like to run, exercise and I'm into a healthy body and healthy mind. I'm old fashioned. I also like ballet and many of the yoga postures are very similiar to ballet exercises. What yoga (the exercise) was designed to do was to add strength, flexibility and suppleness to the human body - to get it into shape. I'm not Hindu. As I said, I'm a Christian and a practicing Catholic. Any person who wants to add a chant, mantra, or whatever to ANY form of exercise can do it at any time. Yoga is an exercise of the body. It helps teach focus. It doesn't try to persuade you to change your religious beliefs any more than ballet, aerobics or running on a treadmill. I do yoga for the physical benefits, which are multiple. I also like ballet, aerobics, running on a treadmill and a lot of other types of exercise. Signed, "A health enthusiast, who also happens to be a practicing Catholic and a born-again Christian." I only pray to God. I do not worship any demon or any other form of religious idolatry. I am also a born-again Christian who accepted and believes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah... Just because someone stands on their head or does a backbend, does not mean they are doing something which is opposed to Christianity. If you believe that, then every child in a PE class who does floor exercices would be suspect! God bless and best wishes always, Victoria Morrow

Christianity and Yoga Do Not Mix
Posted On: 08/14/09 12:05:13 AM Age 29, WI
Let me just clarify something here. We all know right from wrong. He knows what you're going to do before you do it. He knows what's in your heart at all times. If you want to live a good life, you will. It's as simple as that. And you don't have to have certain clothes or a certain haircut to accomplish that. I know I'm a good person. I can, with no apprehensions at all, look back on my life and still like what I see. Religion starts at home. Honestly, it's between me and God. If I feel there's no harm in stretching every morning, then there isn't. Don't slap a label on all the good Christians whom choose to stretch out a certain way...Because that's all yoga is to me. It seems to me, you're far more interested in it than I'll ever be. If you're so insecure and unstable in your faith that you can't do yoga without feeling like you're worshipping another deity - then by all means...don't do it. Just don't expect the rest of us to follow blindly along.

Yoga is not Christian?
Posted On: 08/13/09 11:55:20 PM Age 29, WI
When I do yoga with my wife, we aren't worshipping anyone. If anything, we're able to enjoy life more and be more thankful to God because of how much better we feel when we're done. We're maintaining the amazing temples, our bodies, He gave us. I don't care about the origins of yoga. I only care about the health benefits. I don't care if all the yogis don't approve of me doing it if I'm not worshipping their God. And, frankly, this is the most spiritually unsober and paranoid article I've ever read. It's what's in your heart that counts. That's all He's interested in. If you're going to scrape the bottom of the barrel, why don't you cut out cartoons as well? Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone - and I believe someone was meditating on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Are you kidding me? Sober up.

Christ-Christian Paradox and Misrepresentation of Yoga
Posted On: 03/15/08 12:43:38 PM Age 32, MA
There is no Christian Yoga or Hindu Yoga or this Yoga or that Yoga. There is only Yoga. As I have come to understand, it is a very deep philosophical system with eight limbs/aspects (ashta= eight anga=parts or aspects). Hatha yoga (the physical part of Yoga which many of us seem to have undoubtedly enjoyed the benefits of), consists of two of the eight aspects (asana and pranayama). All Yoga as practiced today was codified and summarized by a respected Indian sage named Patanjali. Some Yoga teachers recite an invocation to the sage when they start. How is respecting a sage who wrote the first codification of Yoga disrespectful to Christ. Christ himself was the epitome of tolerance and would never have allowed the kind of intolerance that is now being shown. Now lets ask ourselves a question. If we are about to start a class in quantum physics and remember Einstein with respect, does that become disrespectful to Christ. If we wish to Worship Christ and follow only the physical aspects of Yoga, there is no need for us to disrespect or demonize Hinduism just because we do not understand the rich cultural context in which it evolved. The Christian establishment seems to be parasitizing Christ's name to spread intolerance about cultures that we know nothing about. Dont you think that is wrong and Christ himself would have abhorred such intolerance? The sages of Hinduism (the vedic seers of ancient India), Christ, Buddha, all saw God and taught wisdom to their followers. There is no need for followers of one to demonize the others. Tolerance should be the central theme. Not insecurity and demonization of a rich culture that we know nothing of. May the blessings of Christ and of Yoga be on those who choose one or both paths.

Yoga is evil
Posted On: 12/24/07 07:24:58 PM Age 30, CANADA
Firstly; as a Christians we should be in the world yet not part of the world.We can not be partakers with Christ ,and also partakers of the enemy.As the scriptures say we cannot serve two masters ,and this issue of Yoga is pretty much an exact example of doing so. Spiritually trying to mingle an eastern Hindu teaching with Christianity is completely against scripture in every way.How as Christians can we accept the things of this world ,and put a tag of Christian next to it to make it true.Is this to hide our shame? If we are true believers saved by Jesus then too accept any worldly belief system contrary to the word of God causes us to defile are selves ,and fall from the grace bestowed upon us. Don't believe the lies of Satan set out to devour ,and be given over to believe the lie.Just because the world says it OK doesn't make it true way all things against the word ,and see if it is righteous or unrighteous. Saying Yoga can be separated from Hinduism is an out right lie.Even the word yoga(yoked)stems directly from Hinduism.As far as the other things mentioned by posters here we shouldn't be caught up in Christmas ,easter, Halloween ,and so on it time for the church to wake up.Also; it's only by Jesus we are saved ,and by no other means.So; if you believe this you don't need to mix ,and mingle with anything else.Don't be led astray by the prince ,and power of this planet.

Re: Warning: Christianity and Yoga Do Not Mix!
Posted On: 09/12/07 05:28:26 AM Age 81, VA
I am amused by the judging of those who are christian and use yoga for pain relief. God helps those who help themselves. I also see this as a pre-emptive advertisement for an almost certain up and comming type of "Christian" yoga that is soon to be released on the unsuspecting masses, for only 19.99 per video. Tell me I'm wrong!

Re: Yoga
Posted On: 04/13/07 02:42:11 PM Age 33, D
About HINDUISM HINDUISM is lately suffering from SUBVERSION OF ITS HISTORY , ITS SACRED SCRIPTURES & MISINTERPRETATION OF VEDAS , UPANISHADS & OTHER HINDU MYTHOLOGY . This is done for political reasons in India , by a government dominated by Left Wing Government . There are Specially appointed Historians , Colleges , Universities & Institution created for this very purpose & Done in a very Covert manner . This is being done for political reasons . So you cannot get the Real Truth about Hinduism from Major Internet Websites , except for being thoroughly Misinformed about it . Hinduism is projected as a Early Religion ,not more older than 2000 years old . Reality About Hinduism HINDUISM IS THE MOST ANCIENT RELIGION in the World . The Word Hindu is not of Indian Origin but coined by Islamic Invadors , a Word used for People residing beyond the Sindhu River ( Indus river in Pakistan ) . India is also not the original name for this country ( Since coined by British ) , neither "Hindusthan" ( Coined by Islamic Invadors ) . Hindus must best be referred to as 'DECENDENTS OF BHARATA" ( An Ancient Indian Ruler ) ..., before that as "Decendents of YAYATI" ( Another Ancient Ruler before Bharata . India also gets its name "Bharat" ( Used in Hindi ) because of this . India's Original Name is 'JAMBHU- DWEEPA". This word is the original name for India . The Word Jambhu comes from Jambha Phalam ( Jamun Fruit- Hindi ) ...Described by many names as nandi, rajjambul and surabhipatra, this purple and small fruit, more commonly known as Jambuphalam in Sanskrit, became synonymous with the landmass geographically described in ancient times as Jambudweepa, which included the Indian subcontinent. Botanically known as Eugania Jambolana, its appearance coincides with the season's first showers India is Jambhu Dweepa ...Jambhu Dweepa is India . Jambhu Dweepa is the Ancient Name for India .It is the Original Name for India . Dweepa ( Means an Island ) , Jambhu Dweepa means India was once upon a Time an Island . From Maha Shiva Purana Jambudweepa is also known as India. It stretches from south of Himalaya to the north of ocean. The total area is about nine thousand yojans. It is further subdivided into nine land segments, seven mountains, and seven sacred rivers near the seven places of pilgrimage and many other rivers. Before India was being referred to as Bharata , it was called Jamb.hudweepa ( In Bheeshma Parva ) According to Buddhism Dweepa-The Jambudweepa (India) is the birth place of all Buddhas. How Jambhu Dweep Creates the HIMALAYAS ( The Tallest Mountains in the World ) Indian Landmass ( Jambhu Dweep ) Collides Eurasian Plates . From Wikipedia According to the modern theory of plate tectonics, their formation is a result of a continental collision or orogeny along the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Yoga is EXTREMELY ANCIENT ( NOT 2000 YEARS ) ...There are verses in Hindu Scriptures that Support it . Hinduism may be EXTREMELY ANCIENT ( NOT 5000 YEARS OR 10000 YEARS ) . Also please see the Close Connection between Hinduism & Himalayas . There is a Lot of Dis-information campaign goin on in the Net about Hinduism ...we Suspect vested Interests from our own country .

Re: Warning: Christianity and Yoga Do Not Mix!
Posted On: 10/25/06 09:04:19 AM Age 38, TN
Dear Carlsons, the Bible says that the sun revolves around the earth, earth is flat, Overnight humanrace came into existence. These are fallacy and are proved wrong. Only Hinduism has made to realise its followers that leading a correct way of life is more important than being associated with a particular regilion. This is missing with Islam or Christianity. The other religions give importance to religion and its practices instead of more real things in life. That is why we see a lot of violence with other religions. Yoga is the only way out of this stressfull world. I strongly suggest all to practice this form of ancient Hindu art to lead a good and peaceful life.

Re: Re: Re: Warning: Christianity and Yoga Do Not Mix!
Posted On: 08/09/05 07:41:51 AM Age 41, FL
Okay. That's what i was trying to find out. So if i am understanding then, there are things in yoga besides simple basic exercises that, if pursued, lead to other things. That is what i was unaware of. Thank you.

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