Yoga is great. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a relaxing place….. Like on your couch not doing Yoga..
Yoga has become very popular among the people of the United States. According to a 2008 survey, there are about 15.8 million Americans who practice Yoga in their daily lives. Before we decide whether Christian’s should practice yoga or not, we must first define what Yoga really is. Please know that, yoga is taught within all sects of Hinduism, in which it is taught as a means to attain salvation.
There are different ways of yoga, but One thing they all have in common is they all teach a way to earn salvation themselves. There are several practices within Yoga and these include, but are not limited to meditation, repeating the divine name, breathing exercises, performing acrobatic exercises, trying to put one’s own body in difficult postures for what ever reasons.
So can a christian practice yoga?
The problem is that yoga is religious in nature. The reason to practice yoga is to unite oneself with God. The quote from the Yoga Journal says: “Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. The inherent meaning is to empty your mind, but that’s NOT What the BIBLE SAYS, It says MEDITATE ON THE WORD DAY and NIGHT. It says to fill your mind with Word of God, but yoga says to empty your mind so you would be receptive to the thoughts of satan.
As Christians we are to meditate only on God and His Word. We should not to focus on ourselves or to clear our minds. The Bible never gives us a prescription to free our mind. The prescription that the Bible gives us is to only meditate on God and His Word.
Is there anything wrong with doing stretching exercises?
This question needs to be answered since the major part of yoga is stretching. There is nothing wrong with stretching your body. In fact stretching is a very useful exercise that helps people stay healthy. The problem comes when one meditates and focuses on the religious aspects of yoga. One needs to distinguish between purely stretching and yoga. So if one is just purely stretching and is not practicing the philosophical and religious nature of yoga, then feel free to participate.