Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“Should Christians Practice Yoga?”

Last week Yahoo's news division created a brouhaha when it published a blog post by Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “Should Christians Practice Yoga?" Mohler wrote "the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God," dismissing the idea that "the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine."

After the release of his article, Dr. Mohler said: I received hundreds of emails calling me insane, incompetent, stupid, vile, fundamentalist, and perverted—all from individuals claiming to be Christian, but offering no biblical argument for their view point… One comment came from a woman who had opened a Christian Yoga studio, saying: ‘what I found is that it opened my spirit.’ Another said ‘I get much more out of yoga and meditation than I ever get out of a sermon in church.’

These commenters, while sincere in their commitment to this physical and mental discipline practiced by Hindus, Buddhists and Jainists, seem to have no idea how unbiblical it is. Paul could have been speaking of the “discipline” of Yoga when he wrote: “You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world… These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires” (Col. 2:20, 23).


  1. When you practice yoga that means your source for everything is not the true God. You look for something outside God to satisfy you, you don't have an understanding and practical experience of having a personal relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit, immediately should prompt you to not get involved in that kind of practice because it runs counter to Himself. It is like saying: God you are not enough, I need something on the side to help me live my life happy and at peace. And evidently, this source is Satan, the kingdom of darkness. People who practice yoga invoke spirits, -obviously if it is not the Holy Spirit, they must be evil spirits-. All the mantras and different levels of perfection in yoga are nothing less than a deeper communion with the evil spirits. Of course they provide "peace", but it is a peace that draws people away from the living God. They leave the human spirit cold to the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul says; What communion has light with darkness?" No wonder in some churches or when talking to some so-called Christians, you feel a sense of void or spiritual coldness, in many instances, it is because they are having communion with darkness,-Baal and Christ- even though this darkness is disguised as light.

  2. Greg,

    If my information is correct there are at least four different streams of yoga. Some--such as the Kundalini style--leave little doubt as to their intent: to honor the Serpent. Others help you to "greet the Sun." Regardless of their announced purpose or form they are at best a distraction from the Person of Jesus--like so many other things the enemy can use. At worst, they are indeed a form of worship to the enemy of our souls and therefore a means of his deceptive powers to numb our spirit to the things of God.

    Exercise and stretching should be maintained, especially as we grow older and the effects of our current or former habits catch up with us. Although there is a substantial amount of yoga that practices exercise and stretching it is much wiser to ask God Himself how we can honor Him and honor the fact that He has created our bodies to house His presence.

    Paul prays in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that our bodies might be preserved blameless and that God is Faithful to help us do so. Let's give Him something to work with.


  3. Thanks,Stan, for adding to our knowledge of the practice of Yoga. And let's pray for people like Dr. Mohler who are speaking the truth in a very ignorant Christian culture--where the bible is seens as a supplement more than the source of knowledge.