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The Truth About Yoga

The Truth About Yoga

Yoga led Laurette Willis into a New Age lifestyle. Now she's warning others of the spiritual pitfalls—and offering an alternative.
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The attractive couple on the television screen gracefully moved their bodies into the next yoga pose: arms extended, head tilted slightly back, a deep breath in. In front of the TV set, a seven-year-old girl and her mother did their best to mimic the posture. The little girl, Laurette, loved this special time with her mom.

It was 1965, and Laurette's mom, Jacquie, didn't think twice about exercising along with this yoga program that came on the TV after Jack La Lanne. She developed a passion for yoga, and began instructing free classes in her home. Laurette served as the demonstration model for her mom. The young girl relished the attention—and her family never suspected this seemingly innocent exercise would open the door to a New Age lifestyle that would affect Laurette for the next 22 years.

Speaking Out

Now 46, Christian speaker/author Laurette Willis tells everyone she meets about the dangers of yoga. The Oklahoma resident addresses groups across the country, speaking from personal experience and her knowledge as a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor. She's developed a prominent presence on the Internet, largely due to her new exercise program, PraiseMoves, which she calls "a Christian alternative to yoga." She shares her testimony on the website (www.PraiseMoves.com) in a pull-no-punches style, and responds to numerous e-mails—some curious, others critical of her stance on yoga. Additionally, she posts comments on the message boards of other fitness and religion websites. She's also self-published a book and video about PraiseMoves.

So what caused Laurette to become vocal about yoga? And is yoga really all that bad? Her testimony is a bold answer to both questions.

Throughout her childhood, Laurette's family regularly attended church. "If someone had asked us, we would have said we were Christians," she says. "But we never heard the message of salvation at our church." Lacking knowledge about the Christian faith, Laurette's mom found herself drawn to New Age practices, and began reading books by Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce (both claimed to have psychic abilities) and taking Laurette to an ashram, a Hindu yoga retreat.

As an adult, Laurette immersed herself in every New Age and metaphysical practice she came across: chanting, crystals, tarot cards, psychics, channeling spirits.

"I tried everything—Kabbalah, Universalism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism —because I was spiritually hungry," Laurette says. "I call the New Age movement 'Burger King' because it's like the fast-food restaurant's motto: 'Have it your way.' That's what the New Age movement tries to do, to achieve God on its terms."

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Holly Vicente Robaina

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April 22, 2014  9:07pm

Doing yoga for the benefit of our physical condition is agreeable for me but beyond that , It is our choice and our consciousness to clarify our doubts. Concentration is involved in here and that is the time when you allow the working of the Holy Spirit to do things that you need to. Beyond that ...then I think it is your prerogative to know if you're in tune with God or not. Let there wisdom as God leads you to do anything that pleases HIM.

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April 21, 2014  5:45pm

Thank you for this article...It has open my eyes and I now share with everyone that mentions yoga...I do know demons can enter our bodies saved or not. We wrestle with sin every day. I need to remain strong in my spirit I don't need anything to compromise my spirit. I love the Concept of Praise moves and I will be looking for something that is similar to that!

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April 21, 2014  3:58pm

@Hindu As a Christian, I must tell you that we do not believe that "good people" go to Heaven. Not at all. You cannot get into Heaven by being "good" or doing "good deeds". No, good people don't go to Heaven. FORGIVEN people go to Heaven. And the only way to be forgiven is by God's own act of kindness and forgiveness, Jesus' death on the cross, which nailed our sins to that same cross so that we could be seen by God as pure and perfect and make us right with Him. And we know that this is the way to be forgiven, because Jesus didn't stay dead; instead, He proved that He is the Way to forgiveness by coming back to life and revealing Himself to over 500 people. As for yoga, you can't separate the religious practices from the religion. It is like going to a mosque, going through all of their rituals in worship, and then saying that you were worshiping Jesus through the whole thing. They don't mix.

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