Bible Study About Yoga
Is Yoga as Great as They Say it is?
This article started out of a warning to a family member about yoga. After doing some research to defend my position, I became even more concerned! And I also was informed of how popular it has become, so now I want to share it with everyone.
At first, I was mocked when I shared links to videos about how yoga is connected to demonic possession, and in the reply email was a video of some of the great benefits of yoga. Part of the following article is my response, with some of the words changed, names left out, and additional info, links, scripture references, etc., added in. I won't link to the yoga websites, as I don't want to promote them. However, I'm not exactly endorsing the websites that I do link to either, as I am not entirely familiar with their content and/or beliefs). You can just do a quick search the yoga, Hindu or terms to see the accurracy of the info.
Part of my response concerning yoga:
Yes, I believe there could be some short-term "benefits" from yoga, and healing too, but at what cost? Is it worth it to have a demon come in to control you? Even if demonic possession doesn't happen, you're inviting demonic attacks or harassment, which could come in many forms.
Let's think it through. The power, or energy, (for the healing) has to come from somewhere. Demons and his minions have a lot of power too. Remember how some of the miracles Moses performed through the power of God, were replicated through the sorcerers and Egyptian magicians using their magic arts as told in Exodus 7:8-12 and 19-22 and Exodus 8:5-6? If the power is not from God (I can guarantee you, in yoga, its NOT), then its from Satan, evil spirits or demons. Yoga is based on the Hindu religion. See more below.
"They" (those promoting or defending it) always make it sound good and promote all of the "benefits", and use attractive people in their videos to lure unsuspecting people in. But let's look into the some of the deceptions of Yoga.
Yoga and New Age beliefs have been popular in the Christian churches and books. I was reading some “Christian" books years ago that were trying to introduce people to Eastern meditation, or "centering prayer" which has similar aspects to yoga. Some churches have yoga classes for people. That doesn't make me a believer in it. I stay away from those churches.
I'll try to connect some dots for you re: what I see as the red flags:
1. The Yoga Websites Talk About the "Third Eye".
On one website that serves as a guide to Hinduism and talks about yoga's drishtis that instruct the yoga student where to direct his gaze as he does a particular pose. One of them is the the Broomadhya: to the third eye, (which is between your eyebrows).
Why is that a red flag to me? I've only heard a little about it, but this website explains a lot. Though I can't vouch for the accurracy, it doesn't even matter for the point I'm trying to make: which is just that Attempts to open the Third Eye is connected to the occult:
“The spot between your two eyes is known by occultists as the Third Eye...It is a conduit for unlawful premeditated astral projection, is a spiritual door into - and out of - the soul....It's opening and unlawful use opens a Pandora's Box of trouble, creates links to the second heaven presently controlled by demons, and possesses a lure that leads a soul away from Christ and from salvation, making its user a puppet on Satan's string. That is why Satan is so anxious to open it, for it is not only the doorway to a psychic larder for him and his demons but also a convenient portal to corruption... the spiritual domain of Yahweh or the third heaven (2 Cor.12:2) which demons cannot enter. THE THIRD EYE CONNECTS US TO THE SECOND HEAVEN which is currently under demonic "occupation". We are not to enter there!
There is much much more on the website where I found the info about the dangers of trying to open what is called your Third Eye.
Upon looking up Astanga yoga I see there are two kinds. Either way, its pretty common knowledge that all types of yoga originated in the Hindu religion, and is promoted by other religions (including Christianity, sadly). If you focus your research on the more advanced stages, you'll get to the root of it and see what its all about. Of course they focus on the positive aspects and candy-coat it to sound like something harmless and innocent. But here are some negative aspects, which sound a lot like demon possession to me.
(Disclaimer: I'm not at all promoting psychology, and actually speak out about the dangers of Big Pharma), it seems the psychologists have come up with a name to describe what can happen while practicing yoga. I'll just highlight a few words or phrases from an extensive webpage about the Kundalini Syndrome:
“The Kundalini Syndrome - It is believed to occur with prolonged and intensive spiritual or contemplative practices (such as meditation or yoga). The Kundalini-syndrome might manifest over months or years. The most prominent occurrence is a feeling of energy moving along the spine, or upwards in the body. Symptoms can include: tremors, shaking, spontaneous or involuntary body-movements; changes in respiration; feelings of heat or cold; feelings like electricity in the body; headache or pressure inside the head; tingling or vibrations; psychological upheaval, stress, depression; depersonalization or derealization; intense mood-swings; altered states of consciousness (ie., something like a trance), visual or auditory hallucinations, and also feelings of deep happiness or deep peace; magical ideation or mystical experiences; hyperaesthesia; manic experiences; proneness to fantasies; dream interpretations.”
Of course interpretation and visons can also be from God. But we are told to test the spirits to see if they are from God in 1 John 4:1-3.
Here's a similar webpage with lots more symptoms about Kundalini Syndrome.
Of course most of the promoters of yoga will tell you that you have to go through some of the negatives to reach "enlightenment". More lies of the evil one. This will lead you no where good. It can't. It's not based on God's truth - the one and only true God of the Bible.
2.Yoga Isn't Just Exercise. Its a spiritual practice.
Almost everyone knows yoga is not just exercise, its a spiritual exercise also.
What they say: “Yoga is a spiritual path that leads to the center of yourself”.
There is meditation involved in more advanced forms of Astanga yoga, according to this website:
“Ashtanga literally means eight limbs and is defined by the sacred yogic text, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as Yama (moral codes), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (total peace). Ideally teachers are well-versed in all eight limbs before they begin teaching so that they may truly guide the student through the entire journey of yoga”.
3. Yoga Came From the Hindu Religion. You can Answer for Yourself the question: Is it o.k. for Christians to do yoga?
Associated with the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy, an instructor named Danda was quoted on this webpage:
"From an email we received from the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy: "Is Yoga a religion that denies Jesus Christ? Yes. Just as Christianity denies the Hindu MahaDevas such as Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Krishna, to name a few, Hinduism and its many Yogas have nothing to do with God and Jesus (though we do respect that others believe in this way). As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called 'yoga' is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians."
The same webpage goes on to describe the spiritual dangers of practicing yoga (see the link to the webpage for the full text):
'Hinduism is the soul of yoga 'based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. . . . A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs'.' East is east, and west is west, and if Christianity is to remain Christian, 'the twain' should never be married. Can Yogic Practices Be Integrated With The Christian Faith? Pastor Larry De Bruyn
One more tidbit from that webpage that tells us how the practice of yoga does influence us away from Christianity.
"You cannot separate the exercises from the philosophy. ... 'The movements themselves become a form of meditation.' The continued practice of the exercises will, whether you ... intend it or not, eventually influence you toward an Eastern/mystical perspective. That is what it is meant to do! ... There is, by definition, no such thing as 'neutral' Yoga" —Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter, pp. 93-95).
4. Demons are involved in Yoga, especially advanced forms.
The words in their lingo tell you demons are involved. They're not shy about it. The poses themselves are actually said to be bowing to the Hindu gods.
"Although the Sanskrit word asura is usually translated as “demon,”...."
This video is a testimony of a woman named Purvi who shares her testimony had been, involved in yoga and New Age practices in the past, and had an experience of demonic possession. She was saved at a time in her life when she was suicidal, and is now an on-fire Christian. Having been a part of that world, she emphatically states that yoga opens us up to demonic activity and invites demonic oppression and possession into our lives. She describes that time of her life as a "spirialing downward". She assures us that the God of the Bible is the true God and he will be there in our times of need when we turn to him. The interviewer also talks about people involved in this type of thing would talk to "spirit guides" and they would be "nice" but then turn on him.
5. Who are the gods of Yoga?
The following quotes are from a webpage that shows how yoga postures lead to apostasy.
"What could be more befitting than to start the Intermediate Series with an homage to the moon-crested Lord who is held to be the author of yoga?"
The "Yoga Posture..." article states it succinctly (Bold added for emphasis):
"The soul that is engaged to Jesus Christ cannot commit spiritual harlotry by flirting with the yogic practices intended to introduce them to Hindu gods".
See more about how the yoga postures lead to apostasy.
6. What other practices are similar to Yoga?
On this webpage it states that yoga is satanic worship:
The author states "If you have ever exercised, especially stretching exercises, or involved in any kind of relaxation, meditational, memory improvement, laughter therapy, stress reduction, Pilates or breathing techniques, you have most likely participated in yoga".
I would add "Centering Prayer" to that list.
He goes on to state it much better than I could. Visit the website to find out about the dangers of doing yoga. He has lots of scriptures to tell us what God thinks of all of this some passages about Jesus healing those possessed of demons.
Recommended websites about Yoga, Demonic Possession and The Hindu Religion:
Apprising Ministries - several articles re: Yoga and the Christian
Christian Research Network - several articles about Yoga from a Christian perspective
Sola Sisters - article about Yoga and Hinduism
Verses about the Yoga, the Occult and Pagan Religions (to come)
Deuteronomy 4:19 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. NIV
Zephaniah 1:4-6 4"I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests—
5those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,b
6those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him." NIV
Verses About the Deception of Demonic Signs and Wonders in the Bible.
How does God feel about Yoga and other occult practices?
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. NIV
2 Chronicles 33:6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. NIV
1 Samuel 15:22-23 22 But Samuel replied "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king." NIV
What could happen to those who are involved in the things of the flesh?:
Isaiah 44:24-25 24 "This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, NIV
Galatians 5:19-21 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. NIV
Revelation 21:6-8 6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." NIV
Revelation 22:14-15 14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. NIV
Jeremiah 27:9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon.' NIV
Acts 19:18-20 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.c 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. NIV
John 16:13 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. NIV
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. NIV
Come out of Babylon and don't partake of her sins.
Bible verses of Jesus' power to deliver people from demonic possession:
Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out NIV
Acts 8:9-25 The bible story of Simon the socerer.
Acts 16:16-18 16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. NIV
Warnings to stay away from occultic practices:
Is There hope for Those Who are Involved in the Occult?
Psalm 103:1-12 (About the Lord's love and compassion, slowness to anger, forgiveness, grace).
Revelation 22:14 14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. NIV
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