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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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ratings & comments

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Displaying 1–3 of 146 comments

shannon

April 17, 2014  2:12pm

I am very happy to have found this article. I have done yoga and for me something just didn't "feel" right. I noticed that when I was to breath in on some moves in particular I could actually "feel" it-it kind of startled me. I am athletic so I know what it feels like to get a second wind or to be out of breath and catch it...this was different and it caused me to do some research. I wouldn't advise anyone to quit if you are doing it and loving it but at least do your due diligence and look up what it is all about. If Death and life are in the power of the tongue you owe it to yourself to at least know what you are saying and look into the meaning of the moves. I found all of my answers in a book about Yoga. The moves do mean something. The same way you should listen to a prayer and only say Amen if you agree-You need to know if the message you are delivering through Yoga is one you agree with.

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Caring Sister in Christ

April 13, 2014  12:59am

It's hard to understand why Christians that practice yoga get so defensive, could it be its because they are challenged by truth? We need to read God's Word and remember how He cautions us in Romans 12:2 "Don't copy the behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know God's will for you, which is good pleasing and perfect." Many say they don't follow the practices of yoga but want to use the exercises that help, no matter how you rationalize it or justify it you can't ask God to bless you while you make a choice to practice a pagan religion. Find another form of exercise. Yoga is a practice of Hinduism, you can't separate its origin and make it fit your Christian life. And please don't dishonor Christ and call it Christian yoga!! Sisters don't believe the lues of the enemy.

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Dani

April 11, 2014  12:11pm

The reason why people say that yoga is bad is because some of the yoga positions can be invitations for bad spirits to come inside of you without you even realizing it. So yes, yoga can be dangerous. But does that mean that you should reject yoga completely? No. You just have to be careful about it. Have a close relationship with God and pray to God, asking him to remove any evil spirits that have come into your life. You can still do yoga and be fine as long as you maintain a strong spiritual relationship with God. Practicing yoga and following the New Age movement don't have to go hand in hand. I would actually like to start practicing yoga in the future, and I am a Christian.

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