There are many in the so-called Christian world adopting the use of yoga as a form of exercise and meditation. Churches and schools alike, including YMCA’s, gyms and hospitals, offer classes or sessions to help people young and old calm their spirits and twist and turn their bodies into poses prescribed by the Hindu religion. Is the practice of yoga Christian?
The word “yoga” means “to yoke” and in Hinduism it means to yoke up with their false gods. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:29 we are to take HIS yoke upon us and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly in heart and we shall find rest for our souls in Him. We are also told in Scripture to meditate on His Word day and night, that we may observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then would our way be made prosperous and we would have good success (Joshua 1:8).
Jesus told of the unclean spirit that had gone out of a man. Seeking rest but finding none, the unclean spirit returned to the man and found the man had emptied, swept and put in order his mind but had not filled it with the things of God. The unclean spirit went and found seven other unclean spirits more wicked than himself and invited them to enter in and dwell with him in the man (Matthew 12:45).
Emptying one’s mind is a dangerous thing to do in an attempt to find peace and comfort. Only the Spirit of God filling the mind with the things of God will bring calmness to the mind and rest to the soul. Relying upon a Hindu practice to do so is contrary to all that God instructs us to do in His Word to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, which is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).