I know I’m probably either going to get slammed or gently corrected by some in the Church family, or celebrated by yoga-fans, but I just attended my first yoga class today and here are some of my thoughts…..it was really relaxing and felt like a good workout too. Somewhat like, a more complicated version of Pilates. I found myself at rest and at peace, and ready to burst out into singing a psalm, speaking in tongues or asking the holy spirit to come. As I raised my palms upwards towards what the yoga instructor vaguely called ” GOD up there”, I knew who MY GOD was, and who I was raising my hands towards. I envisioned myself worshiping God in all the stretches and poses, and found that it was like a worship and soaking session, instead with some good exercise added in. I know the controversy behind Christians doing yoga, and I just wanted to share my heart on this. If this offends you, you know what?
Hey, i still love you 🙂
So, all I am reading about Yoga is that it is meant to prepare the body to be in union with God, and it is “based on the belief that man and God are one” according to gotquestions.org.
What I’m thinking is, might this be so bad after all? We ARE One with Christ aren’t we? Can we, do these exercise and instead of meditating on the original philosophies, mediate on God’s goodness? Can we, instead of preparing our bodies to be in union with the Hindu God, prepare our minds and bodies to be aware and conscious that we ARE in fact in UNION with our Lord Jesus Christ?
He did afterall die AS us, FOR us, so that the holy spirit can come and live IN us.
As a Christian, I have heard how “demonic” Yoga is, and some horror stories of Christians manifesting into yoga poses when they were being delivered from demons. That freaked me out; but the more I came to know who I was in Christ, the more I knew that greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world, the more I realized how the enemy loves to imitate the things of God and try to steal Gods ideas, then I felt like I was beginning to realize that SO SO SO Many things in life which were meant to be for the glory of God were perverted by the enemy into a twisted form of self worship or another religion.
God created rhythm and beat, and just because some Satanic ritual played certain beats to summon demons doesn’t make drum beats and rhythm satanic.
God created music, every genre and kind of music from rock and roll, to R&B, electronic pop etc came from God. Everything is from God. We would not have creativity without God. We cannot create anything apart from the creativity from our Creator! Electronic or loud rock songs with lyrics full of lies from the enemy doesn’t make Rock Music Evil, it’s the lies in the words that does. So if we take the same tune, and change the words to the truth of the love of Jesus Christ, is it still evil? Can we as followers of Jesus Christ, redeem what the enemy has used for his purposes, for the glory of the one and only God our father?
Look at us, we who were once totally dead, total slaves to sin, are now made alive and righteous. Is there really no hope for the redemption of the ways of life, dance, music, movies, exercises…. And yoga?
Yes, I have read the philosophy behind yoga and yes, I have read the origins and the history too, but we who live by the truth and the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, can we not redeem the stretches and dance moves that were thought of, to be used to glorify God and thank him for the body that he has blessed us with?
I have heard that the poses invite the 300 million or so Hindu gods to come enter you. But if I am doing the poses just for a good stretch, and am focused on MY heavenly father and have no qualms and honour for the so called “Hindu gods” which I know are just fallen angels, which have no authority over me, who have to bow to the name of Jesus, who would not be able to come near me one inch because of the angels that surround me because I am the righteousness of God, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit live in me, then I am in fact, just stretching.
I love what Paul said to the Corinthians which really sealed the deal for me, “ Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no God but one. For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for who we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” –(1 Cor 8:4-13)
I see food offered to idols as “movements of the body offered to idols”. Just as the food which was for the purpose of worshipping idols, was of no concern to Paul because he knew the truth that an idol or I would say Hindu god, had no real existence, similarly a stretching pose which initially originated from being a form of worship to the Hindu god, is of no concern to me now because I have only one God, the Father – and through him ALL things came, and FROM HIM, we exist.
Paul goes on to write that “however, not all possess this knowledge”, and to take care that although it doesn’t really make a difference whether we do or don’t eat the food offered to idols, we should be careful not to become a stumbling block to the weak.
This just really tells me that Christians who still believe in the “see not, touch not” ways are really actually in fact, weak in their faith. Of course, I’m not talking about going to watch porn or seeing and touching things that are obviously going to cause you to fall into sin. I am talking about things like dancing, singing, forms of art, eating, and basically ways of life that have been traditionally used for the wrong purposes but are actually our birth and human rights. To move and exercise, and dance and pose in whatever ways cause a stretch, to bang our heads to a loud rhythm or song that praise Jesus and not birth lies, to eat everything that God has created for us for food. God has made everything clean, let not man pronounce what God has made clean, unclean.
If you are reading this and have a strong belief that Christians shouldn’t do Yoga, then by all means please do not do Yoga. I don’t want to convince you against what you have the faith for, because when your conscience is weak and you end up doing yoga against your conscience, that’s when it doesn’t become right.
What I hope to achieve by writing this is for you to ask this question about traditions, religious occasions and maybe even Halloween – CAN THIS BE REDEEMED by the changing of my mind, by changing the reason why you celebrate or participate.
If you’ve been celebrating Christmas, which I think you pretty much have been all your life, you have been celebrating a festival originated from Paganism which “represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices” according to the website Patheos.com.
But you do celebrate Christmas to honour Jesus’s birth, right? And you do know that the 25th of December is not the Lord Jesus’s actual birth date, right?
Knowing this, will you bring yourself to stop celebrating Christmas altogether because of its origins, or continuing just celebrating the redeemed reason to celebrate?
We now know and say that Jesus is the reason for the season, but do you know that he once wasn’t?
I leave you with a paragraph from gotquestions.org which I think pretty much summarizes my sentiments about Christmas, Yoga, Halloween and Rock Music, and maybe even pork for that matter –
“The question then becomes, “Since Christmas has its origins in pagan traditions, is it acceptable for Christians to celebrate it?” The fact remains that, although Christmas has some associations with a secular holiday, Christians still celebrate it to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It may be a matter of conscience for some, for as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive.” There are many others who believe the holiday has been redeemed due to the deeper meaning it has been given. These individuals continue to celebrate Christmas based on Paul’s words further on in the passage: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (verse 31).