by Bryan Elliott
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1
The world, the flesh, and the devil try to work against our relationship with God and our sanctification process. As the Holy Spirit teaches us to become more like Jesus, He helps us recognize areas of our lives that are sinful, idolatrous, and contrary to His truth and His Word. As you begin to read through this section, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a soft heart to His voice and God’s perfect ways so that you will be quick to repent of anything that He reveals to you or anything that you need to remove from your home or life.
Today, things like lying, cheating, and stealing are commonly accepted as sins or bad behavior, even by non-believers. But the world doesn’t use the Bible and God’s standards as a plumbline. So at the same time, the world claims there’s nothing really wrong with sin, all of which God hates and wants us to hate, too. Sadly, many of the world’s whitewashed sins have crept into the general milieu of not just society, but church culture as well (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Everyday New Age?
One such example is when elements from ancient idolatrous religions and the new age movement get integrated into everyday life like diets or decorating. You’ll see this often as statues of Buddha or Hindu gods which are now commonplace in home decor shops or crystals promising health and peace at every corner health food store. Though a taboo topic, Yoga also falls into this category.
Let me explain why.
Jesus died so we would not be yoked to sin. Interestingly, the word yoga literally means “yoke,” to become yoked or in union with brahman. The Bhagavad Gita, part of the Hindu scriptures, teaches yoga as the yoking or union of your soul to this impersonal cosmic force or universal consciousness (brahman) that flows through the universe.
Yoga is completely anti-biblical and part of the new age. Some might say, Yoga is just exercise. They are wrong. Yoga is a spiritual exercise and you can’t separate the spiritual from the physical (we are body, we are a soul, and we are a spirit).The poses literally yoke you to a Hindu god. The ultimate goal of the yogi is to become like god and many say, in union they actually become god.
Even chanting “om” consists of three letters “aum.” Each of these consonants represents a deity: Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva. It is an invitation for these three gods or spirits to come into your soul and get in touch with the divine within as the highest state of consciousness. The demonic needs permission to enter and this chant provides an entry point. In other words, chanting this throws open the door of your spirit to demonic oppression or possession.
Any chant or chakra worships and welcomes demonic idols into your life, and therefore insults the one true God. The enemy works through deception, manipulation, and counterfeit. There is nothing harmless or safe about yoga. Any spirit that is not of God’s Kingdom is demonic in nature. Satan’s kingdom is counterfeit.
I didn’t always feel this way. In fact I was dedicated to it.
My Yoga Journey
I practiced yoga for years because it is so commonplace in western culture even in the church. I compromised because yoga has been normalized and so was I. Of course, I told myself I don’t use the poses to worship idols, and I didn’t even do the chants or even say “namaste.” Namaste is more than a greeting. It means something to the extent of, “the light or the divine in me bows to the light or divine in you.” Now imagine, the light in you, Jesus, bowing to a false god? He cannot. And neither should we. The light in a Christian is Jesus. Jesus doesn’t bow to false light.
It took a dream from the Lord to help me understand that what I had been doing was abhorrent to God. In this dream, I saw a black snake representing the kundalini spirit in my bed (a private place of rest and intimacy). I was surprised to see it, and it was surprised to see me. I awoke with a start. This snake was in a place of intimacy in my life! This warning dream triggered an alarm in my spirit, prompting me to dig deeper into who kundalini is. This is what I found:
Many swamis, yogis, and gurus strangely refer to this dormant energy as the “serpent power.” They also claim this coiled energy is a manifestation of the goddess Sakti (also spelled Shakti). Theoretically, when this ‘awakening’ of the kundalini takes place, it travels up the spinal column through five chakras (spiritual energy centers), then through the sixth chakra (the third eye), finally reaching the seventh chakra at the top of the head (called the crown chakra). At that point, within a person’s inner being, the goddess Sakti comes into union with the god Shiva.
The kundalini spirit is demonic to its core. Each movement within yoga was designed not only for worship but to “cleanse the body’s energetic channels.” The goal is that it will bring one to the place of supreme enlightenment/samadhi, or “union.” As such, yoga poses are inherently a tool for idolatry (worship) and a tool for “self purification.” Even if those practicing try to insinuate they are not using yoga as worship and only for “stretching,” they are still taking part in this energetic process that it was designed specifically for, whether they like it or not. Your “energy” now becomes the sacrifice to the serpent spirit. The kundalini can’t rise if there are no yogic practices to aid it. But it can if you “purify” through poses, breath work, etc.
These are non-Christian religious beliefs.
If you are curious, go ahead and look up the kundalini spirit and see if you want anything to do with it. So, moving forward, I told myself, as long as I don’t do kundalini yoga, I would be fine. But the Kundalini spirit is in all yoga.
For a Christian to practice yoga is for a Christian to deeply compromise. I know that this point of view may ruffle a few feathers, but before you write me off as a fanatic, consider the following: Many poses in yoga are designed to worship specific Hindu deities. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are made in His image to host the presence of God. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
After God gave me this dream about Yoga, I struggled greatly with the idea of walking away from Yoga as I wanted to support my wife’s career at the time as she was a yoga instructor and owned a yoga studio. But now that I knew the truth, I couldn’t suppress my conscience. For me to compromise in this area would be to go against my covenant with God. Today, I cannot imagine performing a pose designed to worship a false god and grieve the Holy Spirit.
The point here is that you understand that yoga is not a harmless form of exercise. It is dangerous. Yoga is worship to false gods and was intentionally brought to the West under the innocuous disguise of exercise, breath control, and inner peace inviting compromise to the Body of Christ and deceiving many. I can go anywhere as I know greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. But that does not mean I should go or will go.
Submit to His Authority
When we submit to God, we submit in humility to His authority. This means obeying His Word and submitting to those in authority over us, whether work, church, or earthly governmental structures. That means I won’t participate in activities that are accepted culturally, but not accepted according to God’s standard. It doesn’t mean I won’t go into dark places if He has asked me to. It means I will not go into dark places out of curiosity, for “fun,” or because everyone else says it’s good for me. Practicing yoga for the sake of exercise is a far cry from being on assignment by God. God would never send you on a mission that is dishonoring to Him… He may send you on an assignment into a yoga studio, but He won’t send you on assignment to become a yogi or take a yoga class or become a yoga practitioner..
When the Lord sends us into a situation or on a mission, we have the power and favor of God for success. If we move on our own accord, we are opening issues and fights that are not ours to bear. Discernment is critical. We need to know God’s will and what we are facing, confident we will have the forces of heaven behind us. David was able to defeat Goliath with a pebble because of God’s anointing.
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