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Should Christians Practice Yoga?

Yoga means to Yoke or Unite oneself with the universe or gods of the practice.


This Hindu religious practice serves to worship over 33 million Hindu gods.


Yoga is sacred among Hindus, Buddhists, and other Eastern religions.

Every Yoga pose has a story and a god attached to it. Let's look at one pose and the story behind it.


THE HALF-MOON POSE KNOWN AS ARDHA CHANDRA

“Ardha” means “half,” and “Chandra” is the name of a moon god. It’s the story of Shiva and Parvati’s son, Ganesha, the elephant-headed god.

Ganesha tends to resonate strongly with yoga practitioners. He’s said to be the remover of obstacles, and they call on him whenever they need help clearing their path. While Shiva was away meditating in the Himalayas, Parvati was home alone and wanted a long relaxing bath. She was worried about intruders, so she decided to create a son and bodyguard by taking the turmeric paste she was using on her skin and shaping it like clay into the form of a boy. She named her son Ganesha and asked him to keep watch outside her door, with strict orders not to let anyone enter.


Cue Shiva is returning home from his meditation. Shiva arrived home only to find a strange boy preventing him from entering his home. He declared war. So, Shiva fought the boy Ganesha and chopped off his head.

When Parvati saw the carnage, she was furious and told Shiva that he had just killed his own son. Shiva immediately sets off to make things right by killing an elephant in the woods and giving the head to Ganesha, restoring him with the added powers of a ferocious elephant to destroy any obstacles in the path.


However, there is also a sweet story about Ganesha and his brother, Kartikeya, as children. They were competing to prove which of them loved their parents the most, and to prove their devotion; they decided to race around the world. Whoever won would be crowned the most loving child. Kartikeya was known for riding around on a peacock as his vehicle of choice, whereas Ganesha would balance on a mouse to travel, so it seemed apparent that Kartikeya would win. Kartikeya took off on his peacock at top speed to navigate the world, but Ganesha rode in a small circle on his mouse around where his parents sat. When they asked him why, he responded, “Because you're my whole world.”

Ganesha won the race.

It’s often said about Ganesha that he destroys our obstacles and turns them into sweets. The yoga practitioners lay their burdens and obstacles at his feet in offerings: milk, ghee, candy, and cakes. So, the story has it that one year on his birthday, Ganesha had spent the evening gorging himself on the suffering that night; he was riding home, belly full of dessert while balancing on his mouse (Mooshak). A snake came across their path and scared the mouse. As the mouse ran, Ganesha lost his balance and his belly broke open; the sweets flew everywhere. The moon god, Chandra, saw this happen and began to laugh at the sad state of Ganesha.

Desperate not to release the sweets, Ganesha tied the snake around his waist to hold them in and reached down to pick up any sweets that had fallen. As the moon god continued to laugh, Ganesha became angry, and he broke off his tusk and hurled it up at the moon to punish him for his insolence.


This is the shape of a half-moon pose, one hand reaching to the ground to pick up sweets, the other reaching up to throw a tusk at the moon.



The story continues that the moon was extinguished and forced into hiding, casting the world into dark and dangerous nights. After a few days, Ganesh took pity on Chandra and promised to restore his light to him as a compromise but only to shine at full brightness once a month, on the full moon, and to vary in intensity the rest of the time. In this way, the story is an origin tale of the moon's phases. Hence the name “half-moon pose.”

Adopting the form of Ganesha in this position serves as a reminder of balance, not only between what yoga practitioners view as difficulties and what they see as sweets, as he had to learn to do.

Even the physical stance presents difficulties. Finding balance can be challenging and uncomfortable. It can also make them sweat. But doing so strengthens the legs, core, and capacity for stability and grounding. Therefore, sweetness in their struggles is a lesson that helps them grow. They believe that when they can transform their obstacles into treats, such as sacrifices for Ganesha, they give up the fight in favor of sweet treats.

Some mantras they call on for the power of Ganesha:

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Sharanam Ganesha

Hari Om Ganesha


IT IS NOT ABOUT HEALTH

In Hinduism, this is not about health but rather about yoking up with a deity, paying respect or worship to the deity in the story. The reward is whatever it is you need. So, in Half Moon, you need clearing in your life of obstacles. Yoga was created to evoke demons and worship them.


Christians will think they are the exception because I often hear them say, “Well, I am not doing it to worship another deity; I am doing it for health,” or I do it to Christian music or prayer.

The scriptures warn us in many places about taking pagan demonic practices and worshipping God with them.

Deuteronomy 12:29-32 God warns of worshipping Him as the pagans worship their gods. Isreal often fell into satan’s trap, thinking they could take what they thought was good from pagan practice and “Christianize” it. This was displeasing to God.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 God says do not learn the practices of the pagans and then try and worship Him with them.


Even if a practice works, such as witchcraft, psychics, tarot cards, yoga, astrology, Quija boards, etc., we must come out from among the world and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:17) We are to have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, we are called to expose them. Ephesians 5:11-14


DO NOT PLAY IN THE DEVILS PLAYGROUND

While researching this subject, I came across a testimony of a young woman who started doing “Christian yoga” because she was convinced it was ok. Within six months, she started compromising her walk with God in other areas and eventually was taken over by worldly desires.

People think they are safe from the effects because they are mature in Christ and know the Word. That’s a prideful comment to believe the devil who deceived Adam and Eve in their perfect state walking with God could somehow not deceive you or me when we play in his playground. Proverbs 16:18


What did Satan say to Eve to deceive her? “Did God say”? “Don’t worry; you won’t die, Eve”! This is what he still does today. Does God mind if you do yoga or other new-age practices? I mean, it's in Christ’s name? You won’t die or be harmed; it's no big deal! Paul saw this happening in Corinth and reminded them about Satan’s schemes in the garden in 2 Corinthians 11. Same devil, different decade friends!


Satan doesn't play by the rules. He developed these demonic practices, and if we start playing in his game, no matter what we call it, he is given access to create havoc in our life. Demonic oppression is accurate; the battle we are in is fierce. We are to flee from idolatry and pagan practices. We are told to put the armor of God on for a reason. We are soldiers in a battle and cannot give the enemy a crack.


There is a demon called the Kundalini, the great enlightenment the yoga practitioners are after. It is a shock wave that goes up your spine and gives you a euphoric feeling. It can cause you to shake violently, twitch, and move in quick jerking ways; you see people's heads jerk, shock, and move violently. I will not get into the Kundalini demon here, but I recommend learning more about it. I will attach some videos in the show notes if you want to learn more. LONG FOR TRUTH VIDEO


Yoga may make you feel better, but that doesn’t mean we should participate. You won’t see Hindus practicing our communion cup; if they started taking the bread and wine and just using it any old way in the name of their gods, how upset would that make you? Would you think it strange if they just started dunking people in the water, our baptism practice? This is what we have done, taking sacred religious practices that worship demonic gods and trying to Christianize them. We can’t do that. Would we start using tarot cards or an Ouija board if we put Jesus on them? I know some churches are doing that, but we can all agree that believing we can practice such a deception is wrong.


His Spirit lives inside us, and we are not to yoke Him up with anything unholy. Paul warned of sexual sin for this reason in the Corinth church that when we have sex outside of marriage, we are yoking Christ up with a harlot. I Corinthians 6:16-19


CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

Paul reminds us in Philippians to meditate on pure, holy, and true things. Philippians 4:8-10. Yoga is not pure, holy, or true. In Acts 19, we see a village become born again. They immediately burned all their books of sorcery. This implies they no longer practiced false religions, philosophies, or demonic worship as they used to. They didn’t make an excuse to say, “Oh, but it helps my back or makes us feel better, so let's keep doing it but slap Jesus on it with our music."


No!! They repented and renounced it. We are called out from the darkness and dark practices. We are not to practice the things of the world; we must be discerning in these last days. Remember, Satan, is masquerading as an angel of light. He has sent his agents into the churches acting righteous, teaching some truth mixed with lies, all to deceive and capture the hearts of men. Satan uses truth to hide his lies. Just as he did in the garden. “Oh, Eve, you surely won’t die.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Saints, we cannot drink from the cup of demons and the cup of the Lord. Choose this day whom you will serve. Do not be like the people in Amos, thinking they were worshipping God their way, and He says their worship was a stench to His nostrils. In Jeremiah 6:20, He said their sacrifice was not pleased as it came from a foreign land.

Let us worship God as He commands. He tells us that we are a living sacrifice, to lay our lives at the altar of God, come out from the world, and be separated. We can have sincere hearts, but we must obey God's word. We cannot mix the world with Christ, demonic practices with Christ, and think it will not affect us. Let us worship in spirit and truth in every area of our lives.








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