There is a lot of controversy about Christian yoga theses days and Christians are truly divided. Some believe that Christian yoga invites in evil spirits and demonic influence, while others see it as a means of physical activity that promote and even encourages a deeper relationship with God. I would agree that if a Christian practices yoga with all of it’s tenets it would be a sin. For in that respect they would be practicing an ancient religion and not a form of exercise. Yet for the majority of Christians who participate in Christian yoga, it is a way to strengthen their bodies as unto the Lord. I think it is wonderful that Christian Yoga training programs are springing up all over the country giving believer the opportunity to get the benefits of yoga while being submerged in the gospel and scriptures. If you have never practiced Christ-centered yoga, you are in for a real treat. It is like doing a sacred dance before the Lord.
Many Christians practice Christian yoga not only for its physical benefits but as a way to connect with God on a deeper level. The slow movements and deep breathing associated with Christian yoga allows believers to calm down, release stress and other pent up negative emotions as well as meditate on scripture and worship God. Just as David danced with all his heart before the Lord, Christian Yoga, allows us to worship God with a flow of gentle and strength-building exercise or movement. These movements can also promotes qualities such as patience, sensitivity, gentleness and gratefulness, etc. Being able to quiet our minds and subdue our negative thoughts, allows us to remain in positive state of mind for longer periods and reduces incidents of being overly judgmental, living in the present moment, and improves mental well being. As we become quiet before the Lord, we create an environment within our hearts to hear the yearnings of the Spirit and God’s still, small, voice.
Christian yoga is also known for its improvement to physical health. Practicing Christian yoga regularly allows an individual to benefit from a variety of physical fitness routines. Different positions used during yoga increases strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, deep breathing and balance. All these add to the overall well being of the body.
A combination of Christian yoga and meditation can then be seen as beneficial to a Christian when the meditation technique is taken to improve the body, mind and spirit. Meditative prayer can then be seen to focus attention on God and improve the spiritual relationship.
There is another benefit associated with yoga and Christianity. The technique is known to be therapeutic in a sense that it is a science of self awareness that allows an individual to realize the unity of humans and divinity. Jesus said that we are all of one body and that He and the Father were one. It is God desire for us to see Jesus in all people and all of creation. When we judge our brother, we are passing judgement upon ourselves. Focusing deeply on this fact can bring about health and wholeness.
Yoga has been used to alleviate pain, reduce symptoms of menopause, reduce stress, and soothe aching muscles. It is also beneficial in stimulating vitality, relieving stress and reducing the effect of aging properties on the body.
Christian yoga can give us he best of both worlds, an opportunity to strengthen and improve our bodies while at the same time transforming our hearts and minds towards God.