Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Christian...Yoga?


The Denver Post recently ran a story about a woman who has written a book entitled "Yoga for Christians." Author Susan Bordenkircher is described as a certified fitness instructor and a devout Methodist. She claims that using Yoga as a tool of Christian worship is just fine despite Yoga's Hindu origins.

"The difference," she said, "lies in the intention: shifting the focus from self to God with yogic postures, 'breathing in the Holy Spirit, for instance.'"

First of all, the Holy Spirit indwells a believer at the point of conversion. This is something God does, not man. We can't "breathe in the Holy Spirit" any more than we can order God around. And second, Jesus Christ Himself gave us instructions on how to pray and worship. Our goal should be a biblical worship not a blended Christian-Hindu one.

Bordenkircher also points out the physical benefits of Yoga and says "integrating health" is "critical to our effective godly service."

This is a justification for embracing false teachings?

Look, stretching exercises are good. There's nothing wrong with working out and staying physically fit. But Yoga is more than physical fitness. It is physical fitness with a firm foundation in spiritual teachings. To attempt to incorporate Yoga into Christianity is to deliberately inject certain aspects of a false religion. And, when considering the numerous and stern warnings against false teachings contained in Scripture, it is a wonder that any Bible-believing Christian would even consider Yoga as part of their faith.

And yet this subject has been a point of contention among those professing to be believers for a few years now. The magazine Christianity Today even published a couple of articles (one for Yoga and one against Yoga) on this matter.

I guess I just don't understand why a believer in Jesus Christ would feel the need to go outside the authority of Scripture to find methods or techniques to aid their worship. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ not sufficient?

1 Comments:

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati (Swamiji, Swami J) said...

Would one say that people drinking wine are necessarily practicing the Christian rite of communion? Would one say that people eating bread with a meal are practicing the Christian rite of communion? Of course not.

If one does physical postures outside of its context as a 100% spiritual practice, you cannot call it Yoga, any more than you can call merely drinking wine and eating bread Christian communion.

Here is a brief video entitled
"Can a Christian Practice Yoga?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXAYioSQ9I

 

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