Helpful Warning about Yoga

“Currently, an estimated 24 million people (as of 2022, that number has increased to nearly 40 million) in the United States are regularly involved with some form of Yoga. In the town where I live, the high majority of health clubs, including the YMCA, YWCA, and the local community college, offer Yoga classes. Most of these adults may be vaguely aware of the Hindu component of Yoga but see that as being irrelevant to taking Yoga classes. The word ‘yoga’ actually means to be yoked to or united in body, mind, and spirit with Brahman (the Hindu concept of God). It doesn’t get more spiritually obvious than that. Yoga adherents cannot divorce the religious or spiritual aspects of Yoga from the physical because the physical postures were, from their inception, specifically designed to serve as conduits to yogic religious experience. Yoga instructor and author Stephen Cope says, ‘We are all born divine. This is the classic statement of the perennial philosophy of yoga.’ Occultist and ‘prophetess’ Alice Bailey said, ‘The Yogi, or the one who has achieved union (for Yoga is the science of union) knows himself as he is in reality. He knows himself to be, past all controversy, God.’ As believers, we are told in Romans 12:2, ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ We are to ‘learn not the way of the heathen’ (Jeremiah 10:2). When Yoga is viewed through the lens of the Cross of Christ, it is clear that the two are incompatible. When a person becomes involved with Yoga, he enters a realm of often subtle but powerful spiritual deception. The Russel Simmons story is of special interest. Simmons was a young, street-wise black youth who later did quite well for himself as a hip-hop (rap) music producer. Ironically, Simmons did not fit any New Age stereotype, but a friend, as he put it, ‘dragged him into a yoga class,’ and he ‘realized he had stumbled onto something incredible.’ As a result, Simmons acquired the spiritual perspective that always accompanies the practice of Yoga. Simmons relates: ‘A lot of the time it seems like people are more comfortable listening to the God that is outside them, but I believe that God is already inside of you. The God that’s in all of our hearts.’ Yoga produces a certain perception. That perception is identical with what is commonly called New Age spirituality. Incidentally, Simmons has become a major Yoga ‘evangelist’ and has written three books (one a best seller), which specifically target the young hip-hop audience. Christine Aguilera, popular singer in the vein of Brittney Spears, fits right into this pattern. In a 2015 ABC News article titled ‘Yoga Serving as Inspiration for Aguilera’s New Music,’ Aguilera states that yoga practice results in ‘feeling more in one with the Earth and everyone being connected.’ Aguilera is an influence to millions of young girls, who see her as a role model and emulate her.”

“YOGA: Exercise or Religion–Does It Matter?” by Ray Yungen