• We will be performing necessary maintenance on the forum and related hardware from Satuday 25th of September onward. Users might experience some downtime, which we will ensure that it is limited - if at all noticeable.

The Truth About Yoga

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
The Bible says that people perish because of a lack of knowledge. Here is some knowledge for ya. I read a book a few years ago that mentioned yoga as being related to the occult, but the book didn't explain why. The following article does a great job of it though.



from Today's Christian Woman Magazine

The Truth About Yoga
Yoga led Laurette Willis into a New Age lifestyle. Now she's warning others of the spiritual pitfalls—and offering an alternative.
by Holly Vicente Robaina


The attractive couple on the television screen gracefully moved their bodies into the next yoga pose: arms extended, head tilted slightly back, a deep breath in. In front of the TV set, a seven-year-old girl and her mother did their best to mimic the posture. The little girl, Laurette, loved this special time with her mom.

It was 1965, and Laurette's mom, Jacquie, didn't think twice about exercising along with this yoga program that came on the TV after Jack La Lanne. She developed a passion for yoga, and began instructing free classes in her home. Laurette served as the demonstration model for her mom. The young girl relished the attention—and her family never suspected this seemingly innocent exercise would open the door to a New Age lifestyle that would affect Laurette for the next 22 years.

Speaking Out
Now 46, Christian speaker/author Laurette Willis tells everyone she meets about the dangers of yoga. The Oklahoma resident addresses groups across the country, speaking from personal experience and her knowledge as a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor. She's developed a prominent presence on the Internet, largely due to her new exercise program, PraiseMoves, which she calls "a Christian alternative to yoga." She shares her testimony on the website (www.PraiseMoves.com) in a pull-no-punches style, and responds to numerous e-mails—some curious, others critical of her stance on yoga. Additionally, she posts comments on the message boards of other fitness and religion websites. She's also self-published a book and video about PraiseMoves.

So what caused Laurette to become vocal about yoga? And is yoga really all that bad? Her testimony is a bold answer to both questions.

Throughout her childhood, Laurette's family regularly attended church. "If someone had asked us, we would have said we were Christians," she says. "But we never heard the message of salvation at our church." Lacking knowledge about the Christian faith, Laurette's mom found herself drawn to New Age practices, and began reading books by Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce (both claimed to have psychic abilities) and taking Laurette to an ashram, a Hindu yoga retreat.

As an adult, Laurette immersed herself in every New Age and metaphysical practice she came across: chanting, crystals, tarot cards, psychics, channeling spirits.

"I tried everything—Kabbalah, Universalism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism —because I was spiritually hungry," Laurette says. "I call the New Age movement 'Burger King' because it's like the fast-food restaurant's motto: 'Have it your way.' That's what the New Age movement tries to do, to achieve God on its terms."

There was one thing Laurette wasn't remotely interested in pursuing: Christianity. "I thought Christians just wanted to give me a bunch of rules and dogma," she says. "I didn't know they were speaking about a relationship with Jesus."

But in Laurette's quest to find herself, she only found a deepening sense of loneliness. "God will use whatever it takes to bring you to your knees," she says. "I'd made a mess of my life. I was an alcoholic. I'd been promiscuous. I tried every form of religion, never coming to any knowledge of the truth."

One day in 1987, a thought popped into Laurette's head: What if everything I thought about God was completely wrong? Two days later, she fell to her knees. "I didn't know anything about the Bible or Jesus. I just cried out to God from the depths of my soul, 'I give up! You win! If you can do something with my life, you can have it.' "As Laurette asked God to take control of her life, she felt a physical weight lift from her body.

"I learned much later that the weight was sin," she says. "I hadn't realized sin was real. New Agers think the word 'sin' is an acronym for 'self-inflicted nonsense.' That's the deception of the Enemy, because if there's no sin, then you don't need a Savior."

She remembers the change at the moment she accepted Christ: "I felt peace descend upon me for the first time in my life."

Exercise Plus Praise
After giving her life to God, Laurette began devouring the Bible. She burned her New Age books and disengaged from everything associated with her turbulent past—including yoga.

For years, Laurette never gave yoga a second thought. But in 2001, an idea popped into her head: What if there was an alternative to yoga that provided exercise while spiritually moving Christians to praise the Lord? She spent a good deal of time in prayer, wanting to be certain this idea was God's will.

After two years of planning, Laurette self-published a PraiseMoves book and video in 2003. She began certifying PraiseMoves instructors across the country last fall.

The PraiseMoves program utilizes gentle stretches that correlate with Scripture verses. There's "The Eagle" stretch, where the arms are pulled back to resemble a bird in flight. While students hold this stretch, Laurette reads Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles" (NKJV). Other stretches include "The Angel" (Psalm 91:11), "The Rainbow" (Genesis 9:16), and "The Altar" (Romans 12:1). At each session's end, students are asked to prayerfully consider a verse from the Bible, or to spend some quiet time expressing gratitude to God.

The Problem with Yoga
Laurette wanted PraiseMoves to provide all the physical benefits for which yoga is often touted: improved flexibility, weight loss, reduced stress, and improved circulation, to name a few. But she wanted the similarities to end there.

The goal of all yoga, Laurette explains, is to obtain oneness with the universe. That's also known as the process of enlightenment, or union with Brahman (Hinduism's highest god). The word "yoga" means "union" or "to yoke."

"Yoga wants to get students to the point of complete numbness in their minds. God, on the other hand, wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through his Word," Laurette says.

Before she became a Christian, Laurette used subliminal tapes to train her mind to empty itself. These tapes are often used in yoga classes, she says. She also taught yoga classes and instructed her students in astral projection, or "stepping outside" of the body, which Laurette says poses a serious spiritual danger.

"If there's nothing in your mind, you're open to all kinds of deception. After coming to Christ, I wondered who—or what—came into my body when I 'stepped out.' While I don't believe Christians can become possessed, I do believe we can become oppressed by demonic spirits of fear, depression, lust, false religion, etc. These are all things designed to draw us away from Jesus Christ."

But what about hatha yoga, the less overtly spiritual form of yoga taught at most gyms? Even in this format, Laurette says there are commonly used words and poses antithetical to God's Word. For example, the word "namaste," often said at the close of yoga classes, means, "I bow to the god within you." The sound "om," chanted in many yoga classes, is meant to bring students into a trance so they can join with the universal mind. And the "salute to the sun" posture, used at the beginning of most classes, pays homage to the Hindu sun god. Laurette believes it's impossible to extract Hindu spiritualism from yoga—and she's gotten a bit of confirmation on this from an unlikely source:

"I received an e-mail from a staff member of the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy in New Jersey. The staff member wrote, 'Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone should be aware of this fact.' This staff member included that she didn't appreciate my 'running down the great Hindu/Yogic religion,'" Laurette says.

Her statements about yoga have also drawn criticism from some Christians. Some accuse Laurette of being judgmental. Others say her fears about yoga are irrational. She's quick to tell critics PraiseMoves isn't for everybody, but she doesn't back down from her stance on yoga. When she speaks with Christians who practice yoga, she encourages them to pay close attention to any hesitation they feel—and then to check out the facts for themselves.

Numerous Christian women have told Laurette they decided to quit yoga after learning about its Hindu roots. It's a hard decision for those who've invested many years and many dollars into the practice.

Laurette says, "I tell people that if their reasoning is, 'But I've already paid for these yoga classes,' or 'But I just bought these cool yoga pants and a yoga DVD,' to ask themselves: Am I willing to give these things up to know the truth?"

Holly Vicente Robaina, a TCW regular contributor, lives in California. Laurette's new book, BASIC Steps to Godly Fitness, will be published by Harvest House this April.
 
Last edited:

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
Proceed with Caution

There's a new practice popping up at churches and fitness clubs around the country. Dubbed "Christian yoga" or "yoga for Christians," these programs supposedly offer the physical benefits of yoga along with Christian spirituality. But is it really possible for yoga to be transformed into a practice for Christians?

Doug Groothuis, author of Confronting the New Age and a professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary, says proponents of "Christian yoga" are misled—and are misleading others.

"'Christian yoga' is an oxymoron. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and cannot be separated from it," he says. "There's nothing wrong with stretching and calming down one's breathing. But yoga isn't really about that; it's aimed at transforming human consciousness to experience the Hindu god, which is a false god."

TCW found several "Christian yoga" instructors who are affiliated with secular yoga organizations that have a Hindu or New Age bent.

When investigating a Christian yoga class, be on the lookout for:

Sanskrit language. Many words commonly used in yoga pay homage to Hindu deities.

Metaphysical jargon. Phrases such as "breathing in positive energy and breathing out negative energy," "focusing on the third eye," and "getting in touch with the divinity within you" have New Age implications.

Projection. Beware being told to empty your mind or to step outside your body.

Feelings of discomfort. Pay attention to those feelings. Even if you can't pinpoint why you're uncomfortable, this may be the Holy Spirit's way of letting you know the class isn't for you.
—H.V.R.
 

ThursdayGirl

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this. My Mom and Grandfather always were wary of Yoga and my Mom flat out warned me against getting into it (I never did) and said it opened people's spirits up to eastern religion. I guess they knew what they were talking about. This is a confirmation.
 

star

Well-Known Member
I do for the stretching purposes only and my body really feels good afterwards. I do not get into all the ritual just the moves and stretching of my body. :)
 

Poohbear

Fearfully Wonderfully Made
Oh so that's what's wrong with Yoga.

After hearing about Yoga on here, the LHCF, as a good way for exercise and toning up your body, I went out and bought a book of yoga moves.

I remember I told my dad that I was doing yoga and he said "Oooo, evil stuff." I didn't get that so now I know what he was talking about...
 

BLESSED1

New Member
star said:
I do for the stretching purposes only and my body really feels good afterwards. I do not get into all the ritual just the moves and stretching of my body. :)

same here, it really helped my lordosis (excessive low back sway) and scoliosis. I'm going to have to pray on this, if this is something that I really need to give up. I've never done any classes that require chanting, they just say "breathe deeply and relax" I'm not sure if that's demonic or not :confused: Like I said I'll need to pray on this one, but it's not that serious I can just go back to regular stretching.

Oh I just remembered it's funny you just posted this SG. Just the other day I was teaching a staff member some yoga poses, as she just started teaching fitness classes. I had just finished demonstrating the sun salutation w/ my eyes closed. I opened my eyes and she was looking scared so I'm like what's wrong. She goes, I don't know what happened but I just got this weird energy and the lights in the gym looked like they got really bright and then just dimmed. I jokingly said well maybe because I'm saluting the sun and thought nothing more of this, but this post makes me think. Oh and that staff member is an atheist, btw, don't know if that adds more into what possibly happened that day :ohwell:
 

vevster

Well-Known Member
This post is pure garbage. I'm sorry the woman in the article is just using FEAR to push her PRAISE MOVES fitness movement and make her MONEY.

I love yoga and even though I haven't practiced in a while it was always a positive force in my life.
 

toinette

Tricking the president
vevster said:
This post is pure garbage. I'm sorry the woman in the article is just using FEAR to push her PRAISE MOVES fitness movement and make her MONEY.

I love yoga and even though I haven't practiced in a while it was always a positive force in my life.

i'm with you vev. yoga is not the portal to alternative lifestyles and religions. drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism, eating could lead to obesity: should we stop eating and completely refrain from drinking? all of these things are a result of choice. if this person was interested in other lifestyles it was due to her choice to do so, not through yoga.
 

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
vevster said:
This post is pure garbage. I'm sorry the woman in the article is just using FEAR to push her PRAISE MOVES fitness movement and make her MONEY.

I love yoga and even though I haven't practiced in a while it was always a positive force in my life.

Just FYI, yes this lady happens to offer an alternative to yoga, but there are many others that came way before her offering nothing who would tell you the same thing about yoga.

And please forgive me if I'm mistaken, but you aren't a Christian, right?
 

oglorious1

Mixologist
Great info Supergirl, very enlightening and informative at the same time, I think I'll end up buying her book sooner or later..more sooner...
 

Skydancer

Member
vevster said:
This post is pure garbage. I'm sorry the woman in the article is just using FEAR to push her PRAISE MOVES fitness movement and make her MONEY.

I love yoga and even though I haven't practiced in a while it was always a positive force in my life.
Haha:D I hear you. When I saw the title of this post I thought, "Here we go again... people have found even more of nothing to cry about." First off, there are so many different types of yoga that it is impossible to clump them all together and start making assumptions. The most popular in the US is hatha, which is purely physical (i.e.-exercise, relaxation, breathing, etc) and is practiced mainly for health purposes (asanas). Secondly, like Buddhism, yoga is not a religion. As far as the enlightenment bit, no truly enlightened yogi would tell anyone that they need to worship any specific deity while they meditate. Many people don't worship any deity at all; they meditate simply to clear their minds. And people across a broad spectrum of religions (including the Pope) appreciate the fact that many of the techniques practiced in yoga better their health and/or help them feel closer to their own specific deity, thus reaching their own personal enlightenment. True, there are many Hindu and Sanskrit terms used in yoga... but I did not know it was so scary to some people. And I seriously doubt that God is mad that people have found ways to be healthier or to become closer to Him, simply because the tradition comes from the East... I think that it is we, God's people, who need to become less anal and more open-minded :ohwell:

Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." As with all such things, it has had many translations and interpretations. This lady needs some more knowledge if she is going to be preaching to others about it.
 
Last edited:

vevster

Well-Known Member
Supergirl said:
Just FYI, yes this lady happens to offer an alternative to yoga, but there are many others that came way before her offering nothing who would tell you the same thing about yoga.

And please forgive me if I'm mistaken, but you aren't a Christian, right?

Who told you I was not a Christian? Plus, if I am NOT a Christian, what in your mind do you think I am??

I'm not not your type of Christian, Supergirl but I grew up in the church. Not your kind of church though.
 

BlkHoneyLuv2U

Well-Known Member
vevster said:
This post is pure garbage.
Vevster, that comment was so uncalled for and you as a moderator should know better. We can all disagree without being down right nasty. There is a way to say anything without being offensive. Shame on you. Now go and play nice.
 

EssentialGrowth

New Member
vevster said:
Who told you I was not a Christian? Plus, if I am NOT a Christian, what in your mind do you think I am??

I'm not not your type of Christian, Supergirl but I grew up in the church. Not your kind of church though.

:huh:
There are different types of Christianity? I thought there were different types of denominations within Christianity.


I wonder what kind of "church" you went to. :look:


And FYI, as a moderator you should know better than to share negative opinions of a post you happen to disagree with. We agree to disagree on this forum and we try to show respect for the post and the poster, no matter how contrasting our personal point of view on the subject.
 

DeeMelita

New Member
She was just sharing information. Just like all information it could be useful to some, and disregarded by others. We don't all have the same convictions. Thanks for the information.
 

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
vevster said:
Who told you I was not a Christian? Plus, if I am NOT a Christian, what in your mind do you think I am??

I'm not not your type of Christian, Supergirl but I grew up in the church. Not your kind of church though.

Growing up in church does not make one a Christian. A Christian is someone that believes with their heart and confesses with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and risen Saviour. That's the only "type" of Christian there is and that's what I am! And if someone is truly a Christian, then that's what they are too. No different "types" about it.

There are differences in churches, so I understand your statement there.

I asked you to excuse me in advance if I was incorrect in my thoughts that you weren't a Christian. It was something you posted a while back on the Off Topic board that lead me to think that. My mistake for drawing an incorrect conclusion. I too am surprised that you as a moderator cannot use a more gentle and conservative approach in some of your posts. There's a way to treat people even when you disagree with them.
 
Last edited:

vevster

Well-Known Member
>>It was something you posted a while back on the Off Topic board that lead me to think that.<<

Something I posted made you think I wasn't your definition of Christian, apparently. That is why I didn't specify my answer, cause I see the posts about is Catholic Christianity is this Christianity is that Christianity blah, blah, blah... Yes, I'm a Christian, the umbrella is big enough for ALL of us! :) Yes, in deed! Yes, in deed!
 

Sweet_Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Skydancer said:
Haha:D I hear you. When I saw the title of this post I thought, "Here we go again... people have found even more of nothing to cry about." First off, there are so many different types of yoga that it is impossible to clump them all together and start making assumptions. The most popular in the US is hatha, which is purely physical (i.e.-exercise, relaxation, breathing, etc) and is practiced mainly for health purposes (asanas). Secondly, like Buddhism, yoga is not a religion. As far as the enlightenment bit, no truly enlightened yogi would tell anyone that they need to worship any specific deity while they meditate. Many people don't worship any deity at all; they meditate simply to clear their minds. And people across a broad spectrum of religions (including the Pope) appreciate the fact that many of the techniques practiced in yoga better their health and/or help them feel closer to their own specific deity, thus reaching their own personal enlightenment. True, there are many Hindu and Sanskrit terms used in yoga... but I did not know it was so scary to some people. And I seriously doubt that God is mad that people have found ways to be healthier or to become closer to Him, simply because the tradition comes from the East... I think that it is we, God's people, who need to become less anal and more open-minded :ohwell:

Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." As with all such things, it has had many translations and interpretations. This lady needs some more knowledge if she is going to be preaching to others about it.


Well said. :)

I dont necessarily agree with the authors therory, but its interesting to say the least.
 

NewlyNature12

New Member
I think yoga is a great form of exercise. I can't believe people would think that the breathing aspect of yoga is part of the occult. If people chose to take it to this level, then clearly there is a problem.
 

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
Just curious, you ladies that do not believe that yoga conflicts with Christianity, do you also believe that things like horoscopes and zodiac signs are harmless?
 

NewlyNature12

New Member
Supergirl said:
Just curious, you ladies that do not believe that yoga conflicts with Christianity, do you also believe that things like horoscopes and zodiac signs are harmless?

Supergirl, if people use horoscopes as their guide through life, then certainly they are not inaccordance with Christianity. To me, using yoga simply as a form of exercise is not comparable to this.
 

landakaye

New Member
Oh my goodness. I dont think there is anything wrong with yoga and I agree with Skydancer BUT I do not believe in horoscopes and all that jazz.
 

iwantlongerhair

New Member
Camille429 said:
Supergirl, if people use horoscopes as their guide through life, then certainly they are not inaccordance with Christianity. To me, using yoga simply as a form of exercise is not comparable to this.

I agree.:yep:
 

vevster

Well-Known Member
Supergirl said:
Just curious, you ladies that do not believe that yoga conflicts with Christianity, do you also believe that things like horoscopes and zodiac signs are harmless?


I'm not going to mix apples and oranges in this thread.... :D
 

Koffie

New Member
I do Yoga, BUT when I am doing it, no joke, I am mentally praising GOD and I am blocking out any of the external forces (yoga instructor, music, etc...)

I didn't even know the roots of this.:ohwell:

just my .02
 

zora

Well-Known Member
Koffie said:
I do Yoga, BUT when I am doing it, no joke, I am mentally praising GOD and I am blocking out any of the external forces (yoga instructor, music, etc...)

I didn't even know the roots of this.:ohwell:

just my .02

Me too!!! I do kind of believe it could possibly take you to an evil place if you're not careful, so like Koffie, I'm trying to contantly praise God. And sometimes I just do pilates
 

Supergirl

With Love & Silk
blaxalrose said:
What does astrology have to do with the topic of discussion...two different things....Yoga (exercise for most folks).....astrology, entertainment for some folks, something else for others....

First of all, let me say that I appreciate the respectful way that you approached this question. I never want to take that for granted. But to answer your question, yoga along with astrology and many other seemingly innocent things all have their roots in the occult. The devil would have us to be deceived and to not understand why certain things are such a "big deal." he would love it for us to continue to think that certain things are harmless.

It's not my place to force my beliefs on anyone, but since this is a Christian forum then I don't feel like I am doing so. At the beginning of this thread, I paraphrased the portion of the Word of God that says that people perish due to a lack of knowledge.

There was a time in my life, as a Christian too, that I thought things like horoscopes, psychics, zodiac, etc. were perfectly fine. No one had ever even tried to tell me different. But as I chose to grow in my walk with the Lord, I was enlightened about some of these things. As Christians, we should always remain teachable and open or we will cease to grow in Christ. So what I am saying is that everyone is at a different spot in their walk with Christ. There are things that I have yet to know and understand, but as I continue to grow, more enlightenment will come. So I am by no means saying that I know all there is to know about being a Christian, but swallowing my pride and having the humility to learn new things in my walk with God is what my life is all about! I started not to respond to those who disagree with what I posted about yoga in order to avoid any conflicts or making anyone feel like I'm stepping on their toes. But there may be someone out there reading this that is truly seeking to learn more truths about victorious Christian living and so I responded. There were many times that Jesus said things that people did not agree with, so I am not the least bit bothered, nor surprised that there are people that do not agree. And for those who have chosen to disagree in a manner that shows that you have the love of Christ in your heart, may God continue to bless you and may you always grow in Him.

Standing Bold in Him,
Supergirl
 
Top