Yoga and Christianity 3

Posted by admin on 26 Feb 09

Continued from Part 2

Health Benefits
There are many people who testify to the health benefits of doing yoga. Celebrity instructor Ninie Ahmad blogged that:

“From the age of age of 13 to 17, I suffered chronically from asthma, requiring me making biweekly visits to hospital for treatment, subsequently inhibiting me from participating in physical activities and sports. After my introduction to yoga at the age of 18, God willing, I have not experienced a single asthma attack since…”

Check out Ninie’s fun post also, it is very humuorous.

Many Christians who practice yoga readily admit to its health benefits. There is no dispute that doing yoga poses makes you feel good. It is interesting that the bible does not mention exercise but remember that at the time of Jesus, people travelled on foot in contrast to our society today.

It is safe to say that people then are generally healthier compared to people today. The bible says that for believers, the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, so presumably God wants Christians to look after their body. I believe that yoga at its basic level can be an exercise which helps you achieve that.

However yoga at its deeper, spiritual level involves additional elements. For example, the first and second limbs are known as Yama and Niyama, and have to do with right behaviour at a personal and social level.

The elements of Yama include practising non-violence, speaking truthfully, exercising sexual control, being honest and generous.

The elements of Niyama include purity, contentment, discipline, spiritual exploration and surrender to the divine.

A full appreciation of yoga involves a moral and spiritual element which I’d say most yoga students are unaware of.

Author Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga says:

“When the fire of a yogi’s life is burning brightly, she is a beacon of light radiating balance and peace to the world…. The seeds of wisdom are sown when you surrender to the unknown.”

In contrast the bible teaches that God is light and the true source of all wisdom. Contrast also the need for high level yogis to meditate in the wild and isolation with what Christian author Rick Warren says in his best selling book The Purpose Driven Life:

“It may seem easier to be holy when no one else is around to frustrate your preferences, but that is false, untested holiness. Isolation breeds deceitfulness; it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are mature is there is no one to challenge us. Real maturity shows up in relationships.”

Summing it all up…
Yoga IN ITS TRUE FORM does not sit well with the Bible. The Bible does not specifically prohibit yoga, but at the same time warns that the devil is a deceiver and masquerades as an angel of light. As early as the Garden of Eden, the devil deceived Eve with the false promise that she would be like God if she ate the apple. Likewise the promise of some super spiritual power is at the heart of real yoga.

It is unclear whether the yoga classes offered in Malaysia are of that level (most likely not), but if you pursue yoga spiritually through meditation, then I believe there will be some risks.

“I am afraid just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”2 Corinthians 11:4

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5 comments for “Yoga and Christianity 3”


KL Yoga » Blog Archive » Yoga and Christianity 3…

Many Christians who practice yoga readily admit to its health benefits. There is no dispute that doing yoga poses makes you feel good. It is interesting that the bible does not mention exercise but remember that at the time of Jesus,…

February 26th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Hi there,
Just dropped by from PPS. Let me get you right

Deepak Chopra quote + Bible quote = Yoga does not sit well with the Bible?

Confusing as to how that’s even an fair, balanced, empirical comparison. Your intentions are right; your methodology maybe off. Try going deeper.


February 27th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I have to agree with RoK there. this is a far too simplistic manner of checking out the fundamental issue, and researching your ideas based on whatever the fundamentalists are saying out there won’t help. Do more research… check out shalom place (go google). its for christians who discuss your version of ‘yoga in its true form), the controversiality of stuff like kundalini yoga and how it relates to the Christian idea of holy spirit rising.

Meditating has been mistaken by many people as ’emptying of mind’. in actual fact it is rather impossible to be ‘blank’ in thought. Mystical Christianity might sit will with yoga… unfortunately the fundamentalistic components of Christianity as a wholove prioritize on dogma and principles. Anything that is beyond their grasp and understanding automatically gets labelled as ‘Satanic’.

March 12th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

A deep meditation will lead to Kundalini awaken. When it is awaken, your mind if not blank, you still have the consciousness, you can feel some sort of “hot” prana flow through your chakra towards your head very quick..That’s wat my teacher told me.

According to her, ones must purify the body and mind before going into deep meditation. So that you can really control it.

One of my christian’s fren never do meditation. I asked him why. He told me that they believe that spirit might go inside the body. But most of the yoga practitioners think that isn’t a spirit, instead it’s kundalini awaken! a very deep meditation which will eventually lead to liberation. So confuse rite?

Scientist considered that as psychology problem. But it is a good thing for those who want to awake it, especially buddhism and hinduism. So, it depends on what result you really wan to achieve or see…

There are so many poses in Hatha yoga, but it doesnt mean that we need to be able to perform all the asanas rite? I remember Yoga Masters always say: choose the posture that suits you, listen to your body…dun do it, if you cant..

So i think the concept is the same. Skip the component within the 8 limbs which you think is uncomfortable to you or maybe against your religion, let say the meditation part. But if you dun believe abt Kundalini, or you feel that light meditation helps you to calm you mind..then, just go ahead!

March 27th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

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