Should Christians practice yoga or other things associated with Eastern religions? I believe that the answer to this question is in understanding that the roots of something are extremely important to knowing the goal of that practice. In regards to yoga, something I practiced for four years before becoming a Christian, the emphasis is on being united to the gods of Hinduism or Buddhism.

Some will argue that they are only doing exercises, however, many yoga asanas (positions) have nothing to do with exercise at all, such as the lotus position which has a very long and terrible history. The lotus position is solely for forms of meditation, it has little or no physical benefits.

Firstly: The word yoga has two meanings which are very similar. To unite to something, or to be in a yoke. The word asana means to sit or welcome. Together these words, yoga asana, mean 'I sit to unite', or 'I welcome the yoke'. A yoke is what oxen (cows) are put into to pull a plow or cart, it is a form of slavery.

Knowing the meanings of either of these translations should sound a warning to Christians, as they both describe the goal of yoga. That goal, as I have already stated, is to be united to a spiritual being, a being that is not the Lord.

But firstly, what about the roots of yoga? Some people believe that the roots of yoga are in Hinduism and Buddhism, but the truth is that the most common asanas, the lotus and snake, go back to before the Flood of Noah. At that time people were involved in the worship of Molech and Mithra. God destroyed the world, but after the flood Noah's son Ham again introduced the worship of Molech and Mithra.

Ham's descendents dwelt in Iran, which was called the Land of the Aryans. One of the most disgusting demands they had was child sacrifice to their god Molech, a huge statue with a bull's head and human body, sitting cross-legged or in the lotus position. Inside the crossed legs was a bowl and under the bowl a fire. Into this bowl people threw their live children in order to gain the blessings of Molech. This religion was established and spread by the Aryan people, who invaded and conquered the Indu Valley, what is now known as India.

The picture below is an ancient seal dating back to the beginnings of the Aryan occupation of India, about 1800 BC. This ancient seal shows Molech sitting in the lotus position surrounded by the signs of the zodiac, the origins of modern astrology and horoscopes.

The symbol of the bull's head is associated with the god Mithra, or Mitras in the Vedas. Animal sacrifice was also demanded as part of a fertility offering, the bull being a symbol of great strength and fertility. Mithra is also connected to astrology and the changing of one phase of spiritual power to another.

The picture below is the god Mithra depicted as an angel (the wings) with a staff which brings light (Satan is called the 'light-bearer') and surrounded by a serpent. The animals and other figures around him are representative of the zodiac in astrology.

The lotus and snake asanas are both specifically connected to the worship of Molech and Mithra. You can find both mentioned frequently in the Vedas. It should be obvious to all Christians that this angel Mithra is just another name for Satan.

After the fighting was over, and life settled down, religion in India it took a different road, away from blood sacrifice to the the road of self-development through asceticism. The Indian sages developed a system of religion, using sacrifice and asceticism in order to be united with the gods. It is at this time that the practice of yoga became essential as part of the uniting process. The key words in this religion are "self-development", the rising of the self to the status of god, and this is achieved through union with the god.

As Christians, we know that these are not true gods, but rather demons, fallen angels. In India there are 333 million of them, the exact same number of fallen angels who were cast out of heaven. The root of Satanism is in the elevation of the ego, the self. Self worship is the root of sin, it is self-centered, or self in the center. The sin in the Garden of Eden wasn't about an apple, but about Satan telling Eve that she would be like God. This is the goal of Indian gurus and the religion of Buddhism, both which use yoga to unite them to these spiritual helpers. Yoga is a vehicle to union with a god, but this god is simply a fallen angel, a demon.

Some people go along to a yoga class and learn what they think are just exercises. However, before long the teacher introduces some basic meditation techniques to help the person relax. Now the student of yoga is sitting in the lotus position with their eyes closed. The teacher introduces the idea of finding peace and happiness within, of opening the mind to release stress and allow positive energy to flow, etc.

In the beginning it all seems rather innocent and beneficial, however, the important point to understand is this.

Yoga, and most forms of Eastern religions, turn a person's focus away from Jesus Christ and onto self. Self development easily matures into self-worship and if a mystical element appears, then this ego-centric pattern of thought can lead to the very root of Satanism. There are many efficient forms of exercise which have nothing to do with Eastern religions, so why would a Christian want to associate themselves with yoga?

In my opinion, the questions every Christian who is practicing yoga must ask themselves are these:

1. Is this practice starting to introduce thoughts about having self in the center, rather than Jesus Christ in the center? If it is, then this practice is demonic and dangerous.

2. Jesus often went away from people to be alone. The bible sometimes says He went to pray, and in His times of prayer He would be kneeling, or standing, or just relaxing, and talking to His Father. Can you ever imagine Jesus practicing yoga, sitting in the lotus and opening His mind to whatever? I can't, and if He wouldn't do it, then neither should we.

3. Is Jesus Christ welcome in your yoga class? Do you think you would feel comfortable speaking about being born again to those who are sitting next to you in the lotus asana, or do you know instinctively that they are on a goal which excludes Christ entirely. If you can't take Christ into your yoga class, then do not bring your yoga class into His Church!

4. Do you trust God to guide you in the areas of physical health and relaxation? If so, then why would you turn to a system which has its roots in self-elevation, rather than in Christianity which is about dying daily to self? Eastern religious practices are exactly opposite to Christian practices in regards to development. Jesus command to us is to "deny self", everyday, and never to elevate it.

There is a great deal more I could write on this topic. If anyone still has doubts about why a Christian should not practice yoga, I would be happy to speak with them.

Author: Steve Copland