I had no intentions of writing an article today about yoga. But I was compelled to do so. What brought this on? A conversation with someone about so-called Christian Yoga.
Christian yoga is a certain merging of Christianity and Hinduism for practical purposes of well-being. This is done through various systems of special stretches, breathing, and meditation.
The merge is surprising because Hinduism is a religion and philosophy that is diametrically opposed to the Bible’s revelation of sin, grace, judgment, forgiveness, and righteousness. It also flat out rejects Jesus Christ as Creator, Savior, Judge, and Almighty God.
My immediate thoughts at this oxymoron of Christian yoga was to consider the proposed idea that we should not let the devil have yoga! Apparently, the answer to demonic yoga is to sanctify its practice through prayer and Christian music. This got me to thinking.
Is It Okay For A Christian To Do Yoga?
Some Christians think it’s okay to do yoga if you change its name, do it in the name of the Lord, or pray before you do it. Maybe even add a some Christian music to it.
But how do you cleanse through prayer and Christian music that which is inherently antichrist? That which is fundamentally false and dangerous? That which is at its core Hinduism?
How about Christian fornication? First, we pray. Next, we put on some nice Christian music. Of course, we turn the lights down low. Mood is everything. Then we come out of those clothes in the name of Jesus.
Now we truly enter into the Spirit by anointing one another with holy oil—all over! Yum, yum, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Too obviously foolish? Obscene even? Well, it’s not as obscene as getting intimate with demons through yoga. So save your shock. But we’ll use another example.
Okay, how about we use the fantasy idea of using prayer and worship to make something evil into something good? We’ll use something that may be considered by some as a gray area. Cigarettes.
Why should the devil own the cigarettes? Let’s take them back for Jesus! We can pray over them, sing a worship song, and light up. That will remove the poison, right? All those carcinogens and toxic and radioactive metals removed by the power of prayer and worship!
Now, Eric, you’re being silly and cynical.
Cynical, yes; silly, absolutely not.
When we declare the power to sanctify something that is inherently bad, we must follow that logic to its inevitable conclusion. If we can make one evil thing good by prayer and Christian music, we can make other bad things good in the same way.
Yoga And Christianity More Than What Meets The Eye
But what’s so bad about so-called Christian yoga. Ahh, now that is the question, isn’t it?
What could possibly be wrong with stretching and exercises and deep breathing? Of course, the answer is nothing. But that is not all there is to yoga. Let’s take a look at its name, origin, branches, beliefs, and dangers.
What Does Yoga Mean? What Does Yoga Stand For?
We’ll understand the name of yoga better if we look at a couple of definitions of it taken from Webster’s dictionary:
(1) A Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.
(2) A system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation derived from Yoga but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being.
American Christians involved in yoga race to the second definition and are either ignorant of the first definition, or they choose to rationalize it or ignore it.
But we must understand (and admit) that there is no second definition without the first. The baby came from its parent. There is no way to scrub away their common spiritual DNA.
Even a Hindu scholar and proponent of yoga has written an article exposing the impossibility of “Christian yoga.” The article is A Hindu View of “Christian Yoga.”
The word yoga comes from the ancient Indian classical language of Sanskrit. It means to “join to,” “unite to,” or “yoke to” something.
The above question of what is evil about yoga is answered in its name. What does yoga propose to join you and unite you and yoke you to?
The Origin of Yoga
Yoga has been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Yet American Christian adherents of yoga speak as though it is nothing more than a relatively new way to get in physical shape and to relax.
We must be clear on this point: the origin of yoga in the western hemisphere in the 19th century by evangelical swamis was not the origin of yoga. It was the introduction of yoga. And it was repackaged and rebranded in a way that appeals to our materialistic, non-mystical culture.
The Many Types of Yoga
Did you know there are many kinds, or branches, of yoga? There’s Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Lyengar Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Viniyoga, Tantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and more. Basically, there’s a yoga to fit any individual personality and societal culture.
If you are an American Christian adherent of yoga, you are probably practicing Hatha or Ashtanga or one of the many gentler versions for beginners.
But you may be more predisposed to vigor and challenge. So maybe you chose the high temperatures of Bikram Yoga or the physical endurance of Power Yoga.
What Made You Choose Your Type of Yoga?
Why did you choose your type of yoga? Did you choose it after researching its philosophical origins? Did you at least do a casual Google search of general beliefs of yoga? Did your research lead you to believe there is no spiritual conflict in the practice of yoga and the demands of Christ?
I suppose that for most, the answer is, No, and why should I research whether it’s spiritually wrong for me to stretch, exercise, breathe, and perhaps meditate? There’s obviously nothing wrong with this.
I can give you qualified agreement. If we are talking about stretching and exercising and breathing and meditating, I agree. But that is not what we are talking about.
We are talking about an antichrist worldview that uses a system of stretching and exercising and breathing and meditating to move its practitioners on a journey toward a self-realization goal that God sees as rebellion, idolatry, and witchcraft.
Now how did we go from stretching to witchcraft?
Christians Don’t Understand Yoga
The typical Christian yoga practitioner does not understand yoga’s beliefs. They don’t understand that yoga and Christianity conflict.
Beliefs? you exclaim. Yoga doesn’t believe anything. It’s stretching and exercising, you moron!
I don’t believe you got that opinion from research. Rather, I think it’s a default opinion based upon you carelessly following the crowd to do something you have very little knowledge of.
Back to what the name yoga means. Recall that it means to “join to,” “unite to,” or “yoke to” something. As varied as the different styles of yoga are, they are all yoga. That is, they are all designed to yoga you to something?
What is this something?
A Definition of Yoga Straight From its Birthplace of India
The following excerpts are from an article, Yoga: It’s Origin, History, and Development, written by Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, and posted April 23, 2015 to the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs website.
- The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man & Nature.
- One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be in yoga, and is termed as a yogi, having attained to a state of freedom referred to as mukti, nirvana or moksha.
- Thus the aim of Yoga is Self-realization, to overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to ‘the state of liberation’ (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya).
- For many, the practice of yoga is restricted to Hatha Yoga and Asanas (postures). However, among the Yoga Sutras, just three sutras are dedicated to asanas. [F]undamentally, hatha yoga is a preparatory process so that the body can sustain higher levels of energy. The process begins with the body, then the breath, the mind, and the inner self.
- Yoga is also commonly understood as a therapy or exercise system for health and fitness. While physical and mental health are natural consequences of yoga, the goal of yoga is more far-reaching. “Yoga is about harmonizing oneself with the universe.”
Yoga’s Definition Made Plain
Universal Consciousness. Since the aim of all yoga “leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness (Excerpt 1),” shouldn’t you know how yoga defines universal consciousness?
In case you don’t, the path of yoga leads inevitably to an altered state of mind where you are mystically, yet actually, merged with the universe. However, universe in this context is synonymous with the Ultimate Reality.
Another name for it is Brahman—the supreme god of Hinduism!
Self-Realization and State of Liberation. So the goal of yoga is for you to reach full self-realization by joining with the universal consciousness, or ultimate reality, or Brahman, which produces the state of liberation (Excerpts 2, 3).
The state of liberation is that blissful place of nirvana, or Moksha. A state of mind that transcends all and fulfills all.
Yoga Prepares You for Supernatural Energy. Yoga is not about stretches, exercises, breathing, mantras, and meditation. It is not about health. It is not about peace of mind. Those are all simply ingredients of the yoga road (Excerpt 4).
Yoga is fundamentally about preparing the practitioner for the destination at the end of the yoga road—union with the mystical Ultimate Reality, the Universal Consciousness, the transcendent and all-powerful Brahman (Excerpt 5).
The Dangers of Yoga
Okay, so what? So what if yoga is fundamentally a philosophical system designed to join me with some mumbo jumbo universal this or that? I’m not into that. I’m just getting into shape.
It doesn’t work that way. Or to be more specific, your relationship with God and spiritual warfare doesn’t work that way.
What if a college student was under a lot of stress to get good grades and she began taking meth to help her stay awake and concentrate better? No amount of good intentions or naivete will protect her from meth’s harmful side-effects.
Sure, this is an extreme example, but not an unreasonable one. The Christian who participates in yoga is taking spiritual meth, and is in danger of at least two side-effects.
Yoga Is Idolatry And Provokes God to Anger
For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
For they provoked him to anger with their high places [of worship to false gods], and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, He was furious, and greatly abhorred Israel.
The truth of God being a jealous God is not Old Testament. It is His nature, and, therefore, eternal. The Bible is full of chilling examples of God severely judging His people when they turn to other gods.
Whether you are deliberately seeking to be joined to a mystical universal consciousness or not, you are on that path with yoga. Like I said, you are taking spiritual meth.
You need to stop.
Before you provoke God to act, either in discipline or judgment.
Yoga Is Sinful And Gives Place to the Devil
God warns us to “neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). What happens when we give place to the devil? We turn over control of a portion of our lives to him.
The Christian who participates in yoga is actively involved in a system designed to take the place of Jesus Christ. This is the spirit of antichrist.
The yoga Christian, knowingly or unknowingly, enters Satan’s domain and places herself under his authority. This concept of submission and slavery is clearly and consistently taught in the Scriptures through examples and doctrine.
For instance, Adam and Eve obeyed Satan and became his slaves.
Here is a Scripture that I hope will help you see what danger you are in as a yoga Christian:
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
You may say that you have not presented yourself as a slave to anything. You’re just in an exercise program. Again, that’s not how it works. There are spiritual laws at work here.
The one I am thinking of is that you receive whatever spirit (I’m speaking literally) is behind the words, doctrine, practice, philosophy, or religion you accept. You can check this yourself in Matthew 10:40 and 2 Timothy 4:1-3.
You receive the words of Jesus spoken through a servant of Jesus, you receive Him and His Father and the Holy Spirit. You receive the words of a demon spoken through a servant of Satan, you receive Satan’s spirit.
For more information on how we open ourselves to demonic spirits, check out my book, Deliverance from Demons and Diseases, on Amazon.
Resources To Help You See The Danger of Yoga
These resources are for one purpose only: to provide third-party evidence of the true nature and dangers of yoga. Do not let curiosity get the best of you.
Do not do a little experimentation just so you can see for yourself whether or not it’s dangerous. Would you smoke a little meth just to prove to yourself that it’s really dangerous?
- Incredible YouTube video interview of Steven Bancarz. He was a New Age social media superstar teacher to hundreds of thousands of people before he repented on Facebook: Christian Yoga: Should Christians Do Yoga? Here, also, is a video of his testimony: Steven Bancarz: Leaving the New Age and Finding Truth.
- Article showing how American culture has tried to take the spiritual aspect out of yoga to make it more acceptable to Americans and more profitable to businesses. Yoga in America: Where Bowing to God is Not Religious.
- Article published by The Yoga Journal. It was written by Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswatian, a yogi and leading authority on yoga. Here you’ll get an unfiltered explanation of the Hindu foundation of yoga. Yoga: The Path to Universal Being.
- A website dedicated to providing compelling reasons and testimonials that should convince any sane person to leave yoga alone! Yoga Dangers.
Stop Doing Yoga, Repent, and Cast That Yoga Demon Out of Yourself!
Similar to dangerous drugs, people have different levels of resistance to the dangerous side-effects of yoga. So it may be that some of you yoga Christians can simply stop and go on with your life without any repercussions.
However, as one who believes what the Bible teaches about spiritual warfare, and as one who delivers God’s people through the ministry of casting out demons, I’m confident that some of you have come under a curse as a result of your rebellion, idolatry, witchcraft.
Yes, that’s what this is. Seeking supernatural power, knowledge, and so-called enlightenment that does not come through the biblical Jesus is rebellion, idolatry, and witchcraft.
Some of you will find that after you repent of this sin, ask God to forgive you, and command the yoga demon to leave you, that you will be freed from some allergies, sicknesses, diseases, and pains. You may also be delivered from some mental and emotional problems.
Get Delivered Now From Yoga!
It’s not enough to abandon yoga. You must be delivered from the harmful spiritual side-effects of the demon activity you’ve invited into your life through yoga. Read the prayer below, and if you agree with it, pray it out loud. Then you’ll do self-deliverance.
Prayer Of Release From Yoga
Lord God and Father of Jesus Christ, I’m sorry for my sin of getting involved in yoga. I see now that yoga is much more than stretches, controlled breathing, harmless mantras, and relaxing meditation.
Lord, I ask you to wash me clean of all spiritual defilement. Wash me clean of my rebellion against You. Wash me clean of my idolatry. Wash me clean of witchcraft.
Now Lord, as I lay hands on myself to cast out any demons that may have entered through the open door of yoga, I ask you to protect me. I claim protection for me and anything or anyone that pertains to me, directly or indirectly.
Thank you for forgiving me. I pray in the mighty name of Jesus.
Self-Deliverance From Yoga Demons
God has given Christians the power to cast demons out of people in the name of Jesus (Mark 16:17). This is done through commands of faith. You can speak in a normal tone of voice.
In most cases, you can cast them out of yourself. What should you expect when you do this?
If a demon isn’t there, of course, you’d expect nothing. However, I’d give the commands several times because often they will only leave after several commands.
Now if there is a demon present, he may immediately leave, and without any manifestation. But, usually, there is some kind of manifestation during its departure. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Involuntary Coughing
- Sudden yawning
- Feeling like something is being pulled out of you
- A feeling of lightness, like a weight has been lifted from you
- Unfortunately, sometimes vomiting
Get alone and sit down where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Put one of your hands on your forehead and one on your belly. Now as you begin to give commands, you may notice one or more of the following things begin to happen.
Don’t be alarmed. This is routine. Just keep commanding calmly until the yoga demon(s) leave.
- Nausea or a swirling sensation in your belly
- A feeling of fear
- A feeling that something is moving around inside of you
- Strong thoughts telling you to stop; maybe even threatening you
- Sudden pain
- Some other temporary phenomenon
The thing to keep in mind as you’re in this process is that Satan’s strength is darkness. These manifestations are evidence of the light of God’s truth undermining Satan’s hold on your life. He will be gone very shortly. Let’s get on with the commands.
The Commands of Self-Deliverance from Yoga Demons
Satan, I made a mistake in listening to you, but God has forgiven me. So according to 1 John 1:9 your accusations against me are meaningless. I quote God’s Word to you now: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
In the name of Jesus, I renounce yoga and command that any yoga demons leave me now. I command demons of rebellion and idolatry and witchcraft to leave me now. I command demons of antichrist and false religion of the occult to leave now.
I command demons of universal consciousness and ultimate reality to leave now. I command demons of Brahman and nirvana and Moksha to leave now.
I command demons of seduction and lies and false Christ to leave now. I command demons of false peace and sickness and disease and curse to leave now.
And if there is any other demon spirit that has entered me on account of yoga that I have not specifically named, I also command that you leave me now.
Continue to do this for at least several minutes before stopping if there appears nothing is happening.
Now stay away from yoga!
If you didn’t click on any of the links I provided above in support of this article, please go back and check them out. Don’t read them simply out of curiosity! Read them only to see and understand the dangers of yoga.
Once you’ve read enough, stop reading and ask God to cleanse you of any spiritual defilement. Command any yoga demons and occult attraction to leave you in the name of Jesus!
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