A lot of people say that yoga is demonic, and Christians shouldn’t practice it – hat even if they call it Christian yoga, it’s still wrong. The truth is, yoga is a way of living. It isn’t just an exercise regime that will make anyone feel the difference physically. But instead, it helps you feel positive about yourself. Yoga has a healing and rejuvenating effect on your mind, body, as well as your soul.
The truth is, yoga is an age-old practice that has been picked up as one of the most raging fitness trends of this age. Sadly, even though different parts of the world embrace and reap the benefits of yoga, there are a lot of myths surrounding the concept of yoga. If you lack the proper knowledge, then you will end up just like the others who have developed wrong notions about the practice, due to which a lot of people stay away from it.
Christian Yoga: Can Christians do yoga?
Yoga is a great form of exercise to stay fit. It’s low impact, especially if you have dodgy knees, but you’ll still get a good burn if you do it properly. However, we cannot deny that it has its roots in the eastern religions, and there are spiritual dimensions that Christians should know.
So, just like a lot of things we do as Christians, it’s something we can do even though it originated in a context from which our God is absent. We just need to be aware of what’s going on around us – discerning what is good and right, and removing ourselves if we know that our actions are putting distance between us and God. (1)
What makes Christian yoga different from traditional yoga?
Christians have a radically different view than the view shaped by traditional yoga. First of all, our approach toward history, toward our well-being, and God are radically different. As an example, in Christianity, progress toward wholeness moves from a God who communicates with us through language to be understood. It moves through the person of Jesus Christ, who once became fully human, and speaks to be understood by the mind, without canceling the mind.
The Lord Jesus Christ died in the flesh and was resurrected. Through these, he objectively overcame a real Satan and guilt before God through a gospel message for us. It has been written in history, with historical events behind it.
Progress toward wholeness moves through the knowledge and understanding of that message, consciously in our minds, through the following:
- Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
- The promises we understood and believed
- Joyful meditation of those objective promises
- The transformation of the Holy Spirit
- The objective words that we understood, as we continue to meditate in progressive likeness to Jesus Christ, as we see the glory of Christ in the world in the gospel
- Practical deeds that will lead us to help other people in need
- A life of transformed godliness into the eternal life, where God will be our joy forevermore…
And that is Christian yoga. It is way more different compared to the kind of worldview that lies behind meditative, physical, emotional, and intellectual practices that flow out of the traditional yoga that most people know. (2)
What are the six principles of Christian yoga for the body?
Consider Christian yoga as the wholeness of your body and health. So, how is it related to the body? And how does this relate to the workout exercised and stuff you do with your body? The following principles below should be able to answer these questions. After all, Christian wholeness and body health is a realistic and chastened view that is marked by these principles:
- We are fallen, and therefore we will all die. We are physically, intellectually, and emotionally under a curse on the whole creation, which began when the forbidden fruit was consumed in the garden of Eden.
- If we have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be raised from the dead. This is the kind of health that we should mainly aim at. When that time comes, we will be perfectly healthy, physically, spiritually, and mentally. That will be our glory and our hope in the new heaven and the new earth.
- During our stay in this temporary earth, our outer nature is wasting away. However, our inner nature will be renewed day by day. (See 2 Corinthians 4:16)
- All bodily exercises are of little value, as what Saint Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:8. However, spiritual exercise will be of value in every way.
- We should never damage our bodies unnecessarily. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which means that we should seek the maximal use of our bodies, in the goals that God has given us. It’s wonderful to be physically healthy, but it isn’t our goal. It is, however, a means to much greater goals, and a qualified means at that, since there are more important means than achieving a body that is super fit.
- We may be able to accomplish our goals through death – perhaps by risking our lives in getting diseases like dengue, malaria, Covid-19, and more, in some missionary activity. Christians don’t strive to achieve maximal physical well-being. But it is a subordinate goal Christians can do to achieve something greater. It may be intentionally compromised by putting our lives at risk for the sake of someone else.
Any physical regimen that starts to take place in the pursuit of sacrificial service and holiness, by which we may lay down our lives is perhaps starting to become a religion for us. In fact, it looks like yoga has already declared itself by its very name on that score. However, we shouldn’t look at it like that. After all, if we were to serve God with our temporary flesh, wouldn’t it be better if we are all physically healthy through Christian yoga?