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The fact that Christians are now practicing yoga in increasing numbers is puzzling in view of widely published warnings (many by yogis themselves, as well as by former yoga instructors) concerning its occult roots and attendant dangers, both spiritual and emotional.... Could this be one more sign of the apostasy that Christ (as well as Paul and other apostles) warned would characterize the Last Days just before our Lord’s return to catch up His own out of this world to heaven in an event known as the Rapture? Or is yoga, as even some Christian leaders are now claiming, a biblical approach to God that was actually taught and practiced by Christ and the early church but because of prejudice was not recognized as such for 1,900 years by evangelicals? If so, why doesn’t the word “yoga” appear even once in the Bible, and why are there no references in its pages to anyone engaging in any practice even remotely related?
Even Hindus recognize the error in trying to “Christianize” yoga. In response to the fact that “Christian yoga is a growing fitness craze,” Subhas Tiwari, a professor at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Florida, said, “Hinduism is at yoga’s core.” Noting that yoga was practiced 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, mostly in India, Tiwari comments, “If you give me a recipe and I alter the ingredients...and give it back to you, am I giving you the same thing? Clearly not.”
The total lack of biblical support seems not to trouble Christians practicing yoga—and that is not a good sign. Is this fact related to Paul’s solemn warning that in the last days “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...” (1 Timothy 4:1)? Of course, many Christians are not yet ready to disregard Scripture, but such a willingness seems to be gathering momentum.
“Christian yoga”? How could that be? The falseness of such an idea should be clear from the fact that yoga originated long before Christ was born, and He certainly never practiced, taught, or commended it. Neither the apostles nor the early church engaged in yoga. One cannot just adopt a religious practice and call it Christianity. This faith was “once [for all] delivered to the saints,” and believers everywhere and at all times are exhorted to “earnestly contend” for it (Jude 3). It is therefore dishonest to introduce some new element—particularly something like yoga, which comes from Hinduism—and call it “Christian.”
The truth is that the entire idea of “Christian yoga” has neither biblical nor historical basis but is of very recent origin. Scripture warns: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). If the Word of God is no longer the Christian’s guide, what kind of “Christianity” could the practice of yoga be?
Yoga originated in India as part of the paganism practiced there. How and when could it have become “Christian”?
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Moreover, the biblical God declares, “I...the Lord change not” (Malachi 3:6). Those who teach and practice “Christian yoga” must have therefore departed from Scripture.