Why Yoga and Christianity Cannot Mix, Ever

Christianity and yoga goes together like, ice cream and beach sand, or corn flakes and brake fluid; The food becomes utterly uneatable.

What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

What would you say if you heard of a group of Hindu’s who were practicing biblical baptism for the purpose of ritual cleansing. This sounds confusing so you do some research and you find that a spokesman for the group has been quoted as saying that the group makes it a priority to always be as accurate to what the bible says on baptism as possible, however they were still very definitely completely Hindu and that the practice was an excellent way of cleaning themselves.

Say what?? Yeah exactly, what a ridiculous notion.

The idea of a Christian doing yoga is exactly the same. It is a Hindu rite, a salvific (equivalent) practice, the idea of a Christian participating in such a practice is utterly ridiculous, what part does Christ have with Belial? answer NONE. Any benefit in exercise is quite besides the point.

How is it then that so many (usually) left leaning professing Christians practice yoga? I can think of a number of reasons.

  1. Firstly out of ignorance. They don’t know any of the history behind it and because so many of their friends do it and because there is so little teaching from the bible.
  2. Second, its possible that the people doing it are unconverted. They are people who have always gone to church cause that’s what their parents made them do and it became habit. But they were never converted. Now the bible talks about false conversions and false believers being amongst the true believers (Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 13:24-30; Luke 8:5-15 et al). And as an unbeliever, why wouldn’t they do something that in their mind is a good form of exercise.
  3. The third reason I can think of is that they are being disobedient to the teaching of scripture. This may be out of ignorance or not, and there could be a large variety of implications. Either they could be ignorant and hopefully a bit of teaching clarity would help bring them to their senses. Or they could be aware of the verses but for some reason not put two and two together between what they believe and what they do. Or they could be fully aware and determined to do it anyway. These people have decided that doing the yoga exercises for health sake is more important than obedience. In this case I would question the person’s salvation. I would have grounds on the basis of 1 John 2:3.

That all being said, I would identify ignorance in one form or another as being a primary cause, so its left for me to bring some clarity. For those who are not ignorant but wish to do it anyway, I call you to repent and to obey Christ and His written word, the bible. But for those who are in the dark, let me switch on a torch so that we can see.

Yoga, according to Wikipedia means to to join, to unite, or to attach. Join to what? according to the article it has several functions. At the lowest level there is a health component but as you move up the scale in the different schools there is meditation and mystical preparation for being filled by the Brahman so as to see the world outside of the pain and suffering caused by karma. (I may be using the wrong terminology here, apologies if so).

Buddha in yoga positionTwo quotes:

The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity while meditating on the Hindu concept of divinity or Brahman. – Wikipedia

Yoga’s metaphysics center around the quest to attain liberation from one’s conditioning caused by past karma – Rajiv Malhotra, the huffington post

So the idea of yoga is to get tranquillity by attaining liberation from life’s conditions and problems which are cause by (usually bad) karma. Where in any of this is there anything even remotely Christian? Yoga is a primary salvific practice (to use a Judaeo-Christian term)of the Hindu religion. There is also elements of empting one’s mind to allow possession, by Braham (as they would say) or demons (as we would say). Any potential health benefits are totally negated by these facts. To try and mix the two is insane. God has many many things to say on this is the bible, indeed half of the Old Testament is about God’s judgment because Israel sinned by either disregarding God for idols, or by trying to mix the two. One verse will suffice, the one I quoted in the beginning of this post.

What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

Nail in the coffin, watch this clip by the folks at Wretched Radio, as a Hindu gentleman disassociates Christianity from yoga

One final point. According to Wikipedia the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word translated ‘yoga’ literally means ‘yoke’. Another direct quote from Wikipedia:

This self-discipline is the ‘yoke’ that one puts upon oneself for the purpose of attaining moksha. – Wikipedia

Yoke

Jesus said:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

 

I know that many may disagree with me, I have known enough professing Christians who also practice yoga to know that most of them defend this idea fiercely. Please note, I am not judging you by saying you are not saved if you do yoga. I cannot know this. I do know that a number of formally professing Christians who now a new-agers and the first step for them was yoga. What I am calling you to do is to examine the scriptures and consider the incompatibility of Christ and yoga.

Agree or disagree? you are welcome to leave a comment.

Bearded gentleman, Christ follower, Christian and theologian blogger. Owner of Havelock the cat. Reader of Tolkien lore

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