Can a Christian practice yoga without getting caught up in the religious aspects of it? – Jeremy Butler

Can a Christian practice yoga

without getting caught up in the religious aspects of it?

by Jeremy Butler

By defintion, Christians should not practice yoga. They can, however, stretch. Stretching is good. The philosophical occult aspects of yoga are not. Yoga is religious in nature and an eastern philosophical one. Remember, the point of the practice of yoga is to unite oneself with “God.” Take this quote from the Yoga Journal…

“Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.”

As one can see, Yoga is more than just a physical exercise. We do not want to leave our minds open to false teaching.

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Should Christians Practice Yoga? – Jeremy Butler

Should Christians Practice Yoga?

by Jeremy Butler

No, Christians should not practice yoga since the intention of yoga is a path to attain salvation through union with a false deity. Some Christians practice yoga and say that all Christians can practice yoga. But, that is incorrect. Christians should not be involved in any meditative methodology that deals with energy balancing, focused energy movement, chakras, etc., of which yoga advocates.

What is Yoga? – Jeremy Butler

What is Yoga?

by Jeremy Butler

Yoga is a practice that has become very popular in the United States. According to a 2008 study, there are 15.8 million Americans who practice Yoga. Before we can answer whether Christian’s should practice yoga or not, we need to define what Yoga is.

Yoga is a practice found in all sects of Hinduism. There are different types of yoga, but all are touted as a means to achieve unity with the divine and thus to earn salvation. There are several practices within Yoga. These include, but are not limited to meditation, repetition of sacred sounds or syllables (typically “Ohm”), breathing techniques, acrobatic exercises, and positioning one’s body in difficult postures.

Meditation is central to all forms of Yoga. Meditation helps its practitioners to be able to find release from the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. “Yoga is a method of spiritual training whose purpose is to integrate or unite the self. A physical exercise, its goal is nonphysical-uniting with God. Yoga teaches that people should attempt to yoke the individual spirit to God, to atman – the individual soul or essence of a person – and to Brahman”. So we see that Yoga is essentially physical exercises in which one tries to attain unity with the universal divine essence of Hindu theology.

If there are medical benefits from practicing yoga, then why should Christians not be able to practice yoga? – Jeremy Butler

If there are medical benefits from practicing yoga, then why should Christians not be able to practice yoga?

by Jeremy Butler

With any physical fitness, there are going to be some positive medical benefits. There are many other great physical fitness programs that are out there with great benefits. So why take the chance in meddling with something that comes from, and is associated with, a false view of salvation? Why do we feel like we have to use an exercise that has religious values from a false religious system? Yoga is different than other exercise systems because it is more than just exercise. The point of yoga is to combine body, mind, and soul together.

Is there anything wrong with doing stretching exercises? – Jeremy Butler

Is there anything wrong with doing stretching exercises?

by Jeremy Butler

This is a fair question since stretching is a major part of yoga. There is nothing wrong with stretching. In fact, stretching is a very useful exercise to help people stay healthy. The problem comes when one incorporates Eastern “meditation” techniques or other inherently religious practices that distinguish yoga from mere recreational stretching. One needs to make a distinction between purely stretching and yoga. So if people are just exercising by stretching and not practicing yoga, then feel free to participate.