“You shall have no other gods before me.” ~Exodus 20:3
When I was in 7th grade I wrote in my diary that I wanted to try yoga. It looked peaceful and the poses were beautiful. As a ballerina it also appealed to me because it could increase my flexibility. As an adult, it became the exercise to do. Yoga pants were all the rage and worn freely by those who didn’t even practice the art form. Studios popped up everywhere. Celebrities stood on their flimsy platforms and promoted its validity which increased it’s “hip” factor a thousand times over.
When Nike came out with the Studio Wrap Pack, it was a wrap (as we used to say back in the day) and I was sold for a cheap price, LOL.
I knew Yoga and I were meant to be when I found a Groupon for ten classes for a mere $20. And the best part was that the studio was less than five minutes from my house.
I purchased a pass and proceeded to take lessons. I liked it! The instructor praised my form and poses. I immediately bought a mat and clothes.
But after the first class I had an uneasy feeling. The fact that yoga was affiliated with Hinduism surfaced in my mind. However, I brushed it off feeling that I was being too dramatic and paranoid.
During this time, a pregnant friend of mine was also taking prenatal yoga which she enjoyed. As my sister in faith, I shared my concerns about us engaging in yoga. She thought it was okay as we were only participating for health purposes-not spiritual. This made me feel a bit better but my spirit still felt vexed and decided I would finish the pass and then quit since I didn’t want to waste money.
I researched a bit and concluded that practicing yoga was a form of idolatry. I learned that the poses pay homage to Hindu gods. Even the way classes end with the word “Namaste,” I bow to the god within you, is a clear red flag that it is not in alignment with Christian beliefs. According to Laurette Willis, the founder of PraiseMoves, the process of enlightenment is to become one with Brahman, Hinduism’s highest god.
I now believe that the uneasiness I initially felt but couldn’t quite finger, was the Holy Spirit’s way of letting me know that yoga was not for me. I had only completed 7 out of the 10 classes, but at this point I was more concerned about pleasing God than I was about squandering money. I did not want to be one of those people who went against God. It reminded of the Israelites in the Old Testament who chose Baal over Jehovah. It was a sobering thought and a group that I did not want to be a member of.
I talked to my friend once again and convinced her to discontinue classes. I pointed out that we could do Zumba or Pilates and achieve the same effect. Thankfully she agreed.
Many Christians have started participating in “holy” yoga but I won’t be doing that either. There is nothing holy about it and the whole concept is an oxymoron. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and therefore can’t be separated from it. That’s like having game night with a Christian Ouija board. Creepy.
Some people reading this might think I’m going too far. It’s just exercise so they think. Make no mistake people. The devil is here to kill and destroy. And he’s going to use anything he can to achieve his desired outcome. I think “innocence” is one of the wiliest tricks that Satan employs. See how easy it was for him to get Eve to bite, literally and figuratively speaking? He skillfully convinces us that whatever sin we are engaging in is harmless. The practice of yoga is nothing more than a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. Remember, he will use ANYTHING to separate us from God. His desire is to sift us like wheat. Practicing “minor” sins only opens us up to commit major sins later.
A few months after I quit, my pastor spoke about this very thing and warned us if we were taking lessons to stop. I took this as confirmation that I was correct about my feeling. And even IF I turn out to be wrong, I haven’t lost anything, but have gained everything. Thus I will continue exercise my right to say no to yoga.