This is the age old question. Could your favorite early morning exercise be against your faith? Yoga is relaxing. It mildly stretches your muscles. It will promote flexibility. So, how could something that seems so good for you, be in a sense against your life long held faith?
According to Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr who examined the practice of yoga is quoted as saying, “Yoga begins and ends with an understanding of the body that is, to say the very least, at odds with the Christian understanding,” He claimed that Christianity and yoga principles are at odds and are not compatible.
One of the main reasons he felt it was against the Christian religion is because when practicing yoga, you are told to think before stretching. You are told to breathe in and out, breathing and clearing your mind. He felt this was against Christianity because the Bible tell us to lean on God not a ritual like yoga. He claimed that if you truly believe in God, there is no need to mediate.
These claims are nothing new to yoga. In 1980, the Catholic Church claimed the same thing. They tried to tell their member that to practice yoga was against God. There, however, is very little evidence to back up the claims. Mohler even further states, that yoga has all the characteristics of an occult religion.
The fact is, those who practice yoga, do not consider yoga a religion. Many are Christians themselves. They do not feel that they are at odds with God, over their exercise. It is about become one with yourself. It promotes you feel become centered in yourself and carry that centered feeling to all areas of your life. Yoga is about connecting to yourself, a true connection, and carrying that connection to your whole life, not just in the exercise. For this reason, many believe it and categorize it as a religion.
Yoga is about loving yourself, not about being not against Christianity. Yoga is the basis for most all exercise programs, from P90x to Tapout XT Extreme. It can help you free your mind, body, and aid in releasing tension in your body. It can help relieve headaches and other physical ailments. Yoga for many people is as important as taking their medication.