Monday Morning Insights

Photo of Todd

    Can Yoga Be Christian?

    Can Yoga Be Christian?

    Here's part of an article published yesterday in the LA Times:  Christian pop music played quietly in the background as instructor Bryan Brock led a recent yoga class at the nondenominational Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth.  Incorporating prayer and readings from the Bible, Brock urged his class of about 20 students to find strength in their connection to their creator through yoga's deep, controlled breathing. "The goal of Christian yoga is to open ourselves up to God," he said. "It allows us to blur the line between the physical and the spiritual."

    The instructor then recited the Lord's Prayer while his students moved slowly through a series of postures known as the sun salutation.

    Such hybrid classes, which combine yoga practice with elements of Christianity or Judaism, appear to be growing in popularity across Southern California and elsewhere.

    Is Yoga able to be redeemed?

    Would you offer a 'Christian' Yoga class in your church?



    if you want a Globally Recognized Avatar (the images next to your profile) get them here. Once you sign up, your picture will displayed on any website that supports gravitars.

    1. Steve on Tue, April 06, 2010

      According to the, “Yoga is union of mind and body, a spiritual science of self realization. The root of yoga goes to India by an Indian sage PantaJali.” 

      The Bible teaches that we are made up of body, soul, and spirit.  Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the Word of God is designed to “separate” soul and spirit.  The Bible also clearly teaches us that even though we are to exercise control over our bodies, we are NOT to be one with it.  We will eventually receive our spiritual bodies.

      And finally it seems to me that “self-realization” is against the teaching of the Bible that stresses we really find our lives, by losing our lives in Christ.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be called or associated with the word “yoga” at all.  I really think most Christians have no idea of the roots of true yoga.  You can give anything a Christian label to attract Christians.  That’s the sad part.  We could relabel Casinos to Christian Casinos…adultery to Christian adultery (since it would be between 2 Christians.)  My point is that giving something a Christian label does not make it Christian.  Do some investigating.

    2. Steve on Tue, April 06, 2010

      Sorry.  I didn’t answer your question Todd.  No.  I would not offer Christian Yoga or Yoga at my church (if I was still pastoring).  Some form of exercise classes would be a great idea, but I wouldn’t do Yoga and practice its principles.

    3. Leonard on Tue, April 06, 2010

      I don’t think I would offer this at my church…

    4. CS on Tue, April 06, 2010

      Yoga is a Hindu spiritual practice at its core.  The Bible says that we should not participate in false religions or have partnership with them.  Therefore, Christians should not do yoga.


    5. Mark Collier on Tue, April 06, 2010

      I am all in favor of people being in better shape physically. My family takes TaeKwonDo regularly. There are many “roots” of TKD that would not jive with Christianity, but our instructors do not teach those items. The focus of our classes are to honor God with our bodies, to keep them healthy and strong, to have healthy self-esteem, and for self-defense. For us, we intentionally “redeem” the incredible benefits of TKD and point everything to God throughout the process. To throw out the benefits due to the belief system of the founders or other practitioners would be sad in my opinion.

      To keep one’s body healthy and flexible should not be a bad thing. The poses and exercises that yoga provides are great for a person’s health. There is no reason why a Christian could not/should not feel free to exercise in these ways while maintaining a strong Christian belief system. The exercises do not have to be connected to another religion in any way unless you want them too - regardless of how it may have originated. There’s no such thing as a “list of stretches” or “list of positions” that Christians aren’t allowed to use because someone bad thought of them first.

    6. Allen on Tue, April 06, 2010

      Ours is called “Christian Stretching” as opposed to say, unChristian stretching…

    7. Rusty on Tue, April 06, 2010

      Absolutely I would. In fact we are in planning on beginning this type of program in a few monthsl

    8. Christopher Fontenot on Tue, April 06, 2010

      The deceit of this practice is it subtly causes you to concentrate and focus on YOU.  Self-focus is antithetical to Christianity.  We are to deny ourselves and focus wholly on the Lord.  The only self-inspection is to understand our exceeding falleness and thus confess our sins to God.

    9. Fred on Tue, April 06, 2010

      I agree with Mark. No matter what “real”
      Yoga is, the Yoga most Americans do is just exercise. Everybody and his brother has taken Karate without getting into the spiritual aspects of it. The Nintedo Wii has Yoga and it is just stretches and balance work.
      Yes, you have to focus on yourself doing the balance exercises so you don’t bust your behind. smile

    10. Mark on Wed, April 07, 2010

      Are Christians so weak, frightened and pathetic that they are afraid of yoga?  God created the universe in only 7 days but Yoga is a threat??  I guess it’s a threat that christians feel their God can’t deal with.

      Come on, people!  Grow up and get a life.

    11. Lori on Wed, April 07, 2010

      My biggest problem with yoga, and I why I don’t do it, is that I can’t get over the fact that each pose is meant as worship to a Hindu god.  I guess to me that is like having a Buddah in my house but telling people its just for decoration.  I believe the Israelites were in trouble a number of times with God for this kind of thinking.

      As far as exercise, my physical therapist friend has taught me numerous stretching exercises that are nothing like yoga, have more science behind them, but are just as beneficial as yoga.  We don’t need to compromise to be physically healthy.

    12. Joey on Wed, April 07, 2010

      I’m fine with it.  To ask if yoga can be Christian is much like asking can a church service be Christian or can your vocation be Christ centered.  Yoga is not some magic spell of witchcraft as some might suggest but is the practice of paying attention to your body (which is NOT to be so separated from spirit unless of course you’re entrapped by platonic thought). 

      All things are spiritual and can/will be captivated by God.

    13. bishopdave on Wed, April 07, 2010

      I wouldn’t eat meat offered to an idol. Unless it was ribeye, Medium rare.

    14. Leonard on Wed, April 07, 2010

      It could also be a rack of ribs Dave.

    15. Leonard on Wed, April 07, 2010

      But then I would have to do a lot more yoga…  sigh

    16. Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

      Post a Comment

    17. (will not be published)

      Remember my personal information

      Notify me of follow-up comments?