Yoga and Christianity 2

Posted by admin on 04 Feb 09

Continued from Part 1

The goal of the Christian life is one of character development, to become more Christ-like, and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit (which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control).

Character Development & Suffering
Christians know God and develop character through trials and sufferings. So the bible actually says to rejoice in sufferings, eg.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

See also Romans 5:3
“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”

And Philippians 3:10
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”

This is very different to the spiritual principles taught in yoga which is to try to find the god inside you. Yoga does not teach about finding God through life experiences, suffering and so on, but in Christianity spiritual growth means trial and suffering.

The key objective in Yoga is to achieve the union of the body, mind and soul. Bhagavad Gita is a Hinduism book and also a key source of yoga principles. The Hindu faith is based on a rejection of the material world. Because of our worldly desire it is believed that we live in misery and frustration. So the effort is to eliminate such desires. Indeed this is the way of Orthodox Hindu and Theravada Buddhism. The practice of authentic yoga entails a life of exile in caves and isolated places. It is the emptying of your mind from all worldly desires.

If yoga is to be pursued in its full form, it involves spiritual practices which are clearly in conflict with the teachings found in the Christian bible.

Yoga Poses
You’ve probably heard some Christian people say that yoga poses resemble the serpent but this is shallow at best. True Christians worship God in spirit and in truth, meaning worship comes from the heart and not from assuming a body position in itself.

Just think about it… when you wake up in the morning and start to roll around and stretch a bit, it may even resemble a yoga pose (let’s say the cobra pose). Does that mean that you have sinned against God?

Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga focuses on psychic centres or chakras in the body in order to generate a spiritual power known as kundalini energy. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent lying at the base of our spine, which can spring awake when activated by spiritual discipline. Spiritual awakening through the arousal of kundalini force coiled at the base of the spine is the essence of this practice.

This is in conflict with the Bible teaching that spiritual awakening means to walk in God’s truth and wisdom, relying on the word of God and the Holy Spirit for power.

There are spiritual elements in the practice of Kundalini Yoga and followers of Yogi Bhajan (who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the US) even lay claim that “it has saved mankind before, is saving it now, and shall save it in the future.” This is in conflict with the Bible position that Jesus Christ is the only saviour and is “the way the truth and the life”. (John 14:6)

What about Hatha Yoga?
It is not purely physical either. Each asana is designed to create a certain state of mind and bring the seeker into contact with the “higher self”. The very essence of yoga is “to yoke” or “bind” the body, mind and spirit. As such it involves spiritual elements if practised in the way it was intended. However as a form of stretching and exercise, it can be purely physical and offers many health benefits.

To be continued in Part 3

Archived in the category: Yoga & Spirituality

6 comments for “Yoga and Christianity 2”


KL Yoga » Blog Archive » Yoga and Christianity 2…

The goal of the Christian life is one of character development, to become more Christ-like, and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The key objective in Yoga is to achieve the union of the body, mind and soul….

February 4th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Would you mind to add this extra website ( under Jiva Yoga cos it’s a new website for Vincent Tam the founder of Jiva Yoga.

February 9th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

sorry I forgot to add the details for that site.

* Name of Yoga School: Vincent Tam Yoga
* Contact Person: Vincent
* Tel: 012-268 3691
* Address: 70 Lorong Buluh Perindu 4, Taman SA (off Jln Damansara)
* Email:
* Website (if any):
* Type of Yoga Classes: Vinyasa Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Yoga Workshops and Teacher Training

February 10th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

yes! yoga is better way of to refresh your body & daily yoga exercise is good for human being……

April 6th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

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