Truth About Yoga
What is Yoga?
Yoga is not “just exercise.” You may even be familiar with so-called “Christian yoga” which is VERY different from WHOLYSPOVES, the Christian ALTERNATIVE to yoga.
Yoga seems to be everywhere these days. In ads for everything from IT to ice cream, meditative supermodels sit cross-legged in the Hindu Lotus position, contemplating “nirvana.”
There are yoga videos for pregnant mothers, senior citizens, toddlers, and babies – even yoga with your dog, goat, or snake! There’s “RAGE Yoga” where people scream obscenities and drink beer while doing yoga exercises. No, I’m not making that up.
People are so hungry for a spiritual experience that there is even Yoga in the GRAVEYARD?!!! Yes, believe-it-or-not, there is a practice called “Yoga Mortis” – yes, like rigor mortis.
YOGA IS “THE MISSIONARY ARM OF HINDUISM AND NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY”
Swami SivaSiva Palani in his “Open Letter to Evangelicals” in Hinduism Today, called yoga instructors “Yoga Missionaries.”
“A small army of yoga missionaries – Hatha yoga (the form of yoga taught in most fitness centres and churches), Raja, Siddha, and Kundalini (other forms of yoga) – beautifully trained in the last 10 years, is about to set upon the western world,” wrote Swami Palani.
They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes,” Palani said.
These concerns have caused many to wonder what they can do as a yoga alternative–perhaps stretching exercises? Are there some kind of “Christian moves” that could serve as an alternative to yoga?
IS there such as thing as YOGA for Christians? No. And here’s why…
YOGIS ARE SURRENDERED “FULLY UNTO ME” (SAID HINDU GOD KRISHNA)
In the West, the term “yogi” is used to refer to anyone who practices yoga. However, in the Bhagavad-Gita, the god Krishna says that the true yogi is one who has surrendered himself “fully unto me.”
According to Swami Vishnudevananda, one of yoga’s most influential leaders, hatha yoga “prescribes physical methods to begin … so that the student can manipulate the mind more easily as he advances, attaining communication with one’s higher self.”
SO HOW IS WHOLYSPOVES DIFFERENT FROM YOGA?
During this posture, we meditate and affirm Jesus’ words, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).
Who is Shiva?
The “Lord of Yoga” is “Shiva, The Destroyer” also known as “The god of Death.”
While Hinduism recognizes millions of gods, the trinity of chief Hindu gods includes Brahma (the so-called creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and rebirth.
Shiva is the “Lord of Yoga” (Yogeshwara), according to the Bhagavad Gita, and the first Hatha Yoga teacher according to Hatha Yoga Pradipika.The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP) is a classic text for Hatha yoga (the type of yoga taught in fitness centre’s and many churches).
Shockingly, according to this text, “The (real) Yogi becomes the creator and destroyer of the universe, like God.” Ch. 4.76, HYP
The Truth About Yoga
Yoga Poses are “Offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods,”
This is one reason I have been quoted as saying, “Yoga is a Discipline of Death.” It prepares the body for death. I know that sounds super creepy, however, when one believes in reincarnation, as Hindus do, the sooner one dies, the sooner one goes into the next life.
That is part of the horrible deception of yoga.
Yoga is motivated by a spirit that inspires self-deification — with a promise of reincarnation.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).
Did you Know?
Whether yoga or so-called “Christian yoga,” do you see a problem with a practice dedicated to “Lord Shiva” in the Church of THE Lord Jesus Christ?
So-called “Christian Yoga” is an Oxymoron.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED, “CAN YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY MIX?”
Again and again, we hear or read, “Yoga is just exercise,” or “Yoga is a science. It is not religion.”
But what do Hindus and true yogis say?
“The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism but originated from it,”
You may say, “Well, I’m not doing any of the meditation stuff. I’m just following the exercises.”
It is impossible, however, to separate the subtleties of yoga the technique from yoga the religion.
“Hinduism is the soul of Yoga,” according to Sannyasin Arumugaswami, Managing Editor of Hinduism Today.
“A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs.”
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha yoga is the most popular yoga style available online and, in most gyms, (and sadly, Christian churches). For an eye-opening account of the background and meaning of “hatha yoga,” please see “The True Meaning of Hatha Yoga” HERE.
Perhaps you have sensed uneasiness while doing yoga (what some call a “check in your spirit”), but you ignored that quiet nudge. I urge you to pay attention to it. Jesus Himself said, “…the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice” (John 10:4).
THE NAMASTE’ GATEWAY
The yoga hand gesture or “gateway” for Namasté (“I bow to the divine in you”), is a Hindu gesture that pre-dates Christianity. The Bible speaks of praying with uplifted hands (“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary And bless the Lord” Psalm 134:2), or “hands spread up toward heaven” (1 Kings 8:22 & 54; and 2 Chronicles 6:13). “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” Psalm 145:1.
Your yoga teacher may bow to her class saying, “Namasté” (“I bow to the divine in you.”).
What is a Mudra?
This gesture done with the palms of the hands together is called a “mudra.”
According to the Yoga Journal:
“Mudra means ‘seal,’ ‘gesture,’ or ‘mark.’ Yoga mudras are symbolic gestures often practiced with the hands and fingers. They facilitate the flow of energy in the subtle body and enhance one’s journey within.”
The gesture done with palms together is known as the Prayer Mudra or Anjali Mudra in Sanskrit. It is known as the heart seal.
I’d rather be sealed by the Holy Spirit of God. “Now he who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
The Gyan Mudra (The Mudra/Hand Signal of Knowledge)
Another common mudra is called the Gyan Mudra — the placement of index fingertips to thumbs — used in many meditation practices. Practitioners teach mudras are a “gateway” to spiritual enlightenment–or demonic influence (which I call “endarkenment “).
Jesus said, “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).
Poses and Chakras and Gods
Yoga poses have names such as Savasana (the Corpse Pose) and Bhujangasana (the Cobra or Snake Pose). The relaxation and visualization session at the end of yoga classes is skillfully designed to “empty the mind” and can open one up to harmful spiritual influences.
As Christians, we are instructed to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), not the emptying of your mind.
Many believe that the transformation process occurs as we meditate and feed on the Word of God – renewing our minds by filling them with God’s thoughts, not emptying them or filling them with the prideful thoughts of man.
Do you see a “twisting” of Romans 12:1 where we are encouraged to “Present your body a living sacrifice…”?
“Abstain from things offered to idols” we’re told in Acts 15:29. Would you say yoga poses are “things”? And are Hindu God’s “idols”?
Even some so-called “Christian yoga” practices keep these poses in their classes (with Christian music in the background, which apparently makes them okay?).
In WHOLYSPOVES, we are very careful to let people know we are not yoga or so-called “Christian yoga”.
(an oxymoron, like a “Christian Buddhist” — no such thing!).
WholySpoves is a Christian Alternative to Yoga
The breathing done in yoga, pranayama, involves what some call the “manipulation of prana (life force energy).” Yoga instructors invite their students to “inhale, drawing in the positive energy of the universe through the top of your head–now exhale and send any negative thoughts and energy out through the soles of your feet…”
This is not an innocent physical practice. It involves dabbling in the spiritual realm — and most practitioners don’t even realize that is what they are doing!
Prana’s counterparts in other mystical and martial arts traditions are “chi” (Tai Chi), “ki” (karate), and “mana” (Hawaiian Huna religion). Could there be other dangers involved in yoga and Tai Chi?
Would you agree that there are spiritual influences we cannot SEE that can still have an effect on us?
These mystical practices are not innocent. They open one up to spiritual influences even if they say they are not doing “all that chanting and meditation stuff.”
Remember Paul the apostle, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, called Satan “the prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2 — and he wasn’t speaking about oxygen or the physical atmosphere.
Know the Truth and Share the truth
We are an example to others. There are young believers and unbelievers watching you.
Keeping in mind that yoga poses are “offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods,” and Acts 15:29 admonishes us to “abstain from things offered to idols,” please consider the following: Be forewarned that this passage from 1 Corinthians 8:1, 9-13 may be difficult to bear:
“Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up (makes arrogant), but love edifies (builds up). But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?
“And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Book of Proverbs 22:6