It seems like everyone has a different opinion about yoga, seeing it as everything from dangerous to life-giving. We connected with Laurette Williams (founder of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry), Brooke Boon (founder of HolyYoga.net), and Jeannie Iseman (certified instructor and Christ-following yoga lover), and asked them to voice their opinion on the popular practice.
Yoga Is Hindu Worship
Having spent 22 years involved in yoga, I discovered, as many have, that yoga is an effective missionary arm of the New Age movement. As a child, yoga led me away from Christ when my mother and I began watching a daily yoga program on television (thinking it was “just exercise”). For the next 22 years I was heavily involved in yoga, metaphysics, and the New Age movement until I became a follower of Jesus Christ in my late twenties.
“Yoga poses are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods,” according to George P. Alexander, PhD. Originally from Sri Lanka, Dr. Alexander grew up in India. “Many Westerners who practice yoga today are unaware that the physical positions assumed in yoga symbolize a spiritual act: worshiping one of the many Hindu gods. To a Hindu, yoga is the outward physical expression of a deep spiritual belief. You cannot separate one from the other.”
If they do yoga at your church, think about this: yoga means “yoke” in Sanskrit. It’s a different yoke from the one Jesus referred to when he said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30, NIV). What is a practice yoked to Shiva the Destroyer, the “Lord of Yoga,” doing in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ?1