Should Christians do yoga? There is a growing consensus today that it is alright for Christians to engage in the practice of yoga, even if it is just for exercise.  There is even a movement going around named “Christian Yoga” or “Yoga for Christians”.  There are churches that embrace it and even provide yoga classes for their congregation.  Many feel its ok because they play gospel music or scriptures with their exercise so it takes away from any other notions that come with yoga.  But is it really okay for Christians to be doing yoga?

Like with many traditions that we practice today, the answer becomes much clearer and simple if we just educate ourselves on the background and history of things. So we should obviously take a look at what yoga is.

First thing to know about yoga is that it comes from Hinduism.  Hinduism is an eastern religion rooted in the occult, centered on themes of Self-Realization and Actualization.  There is a saying:

‘There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga.’

Yoga is an eastern occult practice rooted in paganism.  Hindu’s believe in many gods (little g) like Krishna, Kali, & Shiva to name a few. There are 6 major schools of thought or darshanas in Hinduism:  Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. Yoga is used as a practice to control the senses and ultimately, the mind. Hindus believe that there is a coiled serpent asleep in each person, awaiting to be awaken. This serpent (Kundalini) is called wisdom, knowledge, or power.

The belief in many different gods is polytheism and/or paganism. It all works its way back to Satan.  Please read the article on Paganism Defined.  Anything that has its roots stem back to the devil is obviously something that a Christian should avoid.  All eastern religions point back to Satan.  All of them.  That should be enough for anyone to know that they should stay away from it, especially one who says they are a believer in salvation only through Jesus Christ.

Today most American’s largely misunderstand yoga.  The main form that is done and practiced is known as asana, or physical posture.  Asana practice alone is known to have many health benefits from lowering blood pressure, relief of back pain & arthritis, and boosting the immune system. It is very good for flexibility and many have loss a lot of weight doing yoga.  Though these are the positives, they are not the actual goals of yoga.

Well known Yoga Teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar is quoted as saying this about asanas:

“Asanas are not meant for physical fitness, but for conquering the elements, energy, and so on. So, how to balance the energy in the body, how to control the five elements, how to balance the various aspect of the mind without mixing them all together, and how to be able to perceive the difference between the gunas, and to experience that there is something behind them, operating in the world of man – that is what asanas are for. The process is slow and painstaking, but a steady inquiry facilitates a growing awareness.”

And Sri K Patthabi Jois, another well-known yoga teacher from the 20th Century, said this about yoga:

“But using it [yoga] for physical practice is no good, of no use – just a lot of sweating, pushing, and heavy breathing for nothing. The spiritual aspect, which is beyond the physical is the purpose of yoga. When the nervous system is purified, when your mind rests in the atman [the Self], then you can experience the true greatness of yoga.”

This also states that yoga is not only intended for exercise use.  It is used for spirituality. Bringing the mind in togetherness with the universe.  Becoming self-aware.  This is what yoga really is.  Even if you are just doing it with a sincere hope for physical exercise, it will not be the only thing you get from it.  Even if you are unaware of it.

According to, modern yoga practice often includes traditional elements inherited from Hinduism, such as moral and ethical principles, postures designed to keep the body fit, spiritual philosophy, instruction by a guru, chanting of mantras (sacred syllables), quieting the breath, and stilling the mind through meditation. In Hinduism, there is an underlying belief that the true nature of self, revealed through the practice of yoga, is of the same nature as god.

Yoga postures are offerings to the gods. It’s believed that if you do these postures and do the breathing techniques along with the meditation, then you will be accepted by a god.  There are many different gods in Hinduism.  But these are not the same gods as our One True God, the God of Israel.  It is important to note that all the postures and poses are all in reference to a false deity.  They all have meanings in reference to occultism. They all are rooted in the culture of Satan.

One of the biggest poses they have is a “Sun Salutation”.  If you understand anything about paganism, you will know that in Ancient Days, the pagans worshipped the sun.  There was the Sun God and Moon Goddess.  The “Sun Salutation” pays homage and worship to the sun, even if the one doing the pose is unaware of it.

There is no Christian way of doing yoga.  It should also be known that in this highly spiritually wicked world, when we do things that have roots in the occult, we give demons and spirits access points and open doorways for them to enter.  When we engage in occult practices we allow demons and spirits to enter into doorways that we should not have opened.  You allow the power of the Holy Spirit to be blocked.

Yoga is not a harmless activity. And a book can be written in-depth on all the reasons why a Christian should stop immediately from practicing yoga. We just need to know the truth about these traditions and practices we were encouraged to blindly accept.

If you are a Christian and you have engaged in yoga, please stop and pray about it. Ask the Lord for more discernment on the matter and like always, repent and ask God for forgiveness.  Ask Him to close the doorway that you may have opened through yoga.  He will fix it.  Teach others from your experience what the Lord shows you and help break bondage for others.

Let others know your testimony below!



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Should Christians Do Yoga?

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  • Breaking from Bondage

    This world is so wicked. We do so many things without knowing what these things mean and come from. Thank you for this information. It blessed me! I have a friend that needs to read this!

  • Angela

    What kind of stretches are ok? We can fight evil with good it would seem to me that having Gods scripture pour into your spirit as you are stretching would be ok. I’ve used the praise moves videos before they are great. God knows my inmost being He knows my heart. Just curious the article tells believers what not to do but doesn’t offer an alternative.

    • James Charles

      There is nothing wrong with exercise as long as the exercises don’t stem from other religions like yoga does, or karate, or Tai Chi for example. I’ve recently just heard about praise moves. I don’t know much about it, but if the moves don’t come from yoga poses or are not inspired from them, then I’d assume it would be fine. But once again I’m speaking from a level of ignorance because I don’t know too much about it. Great question though. I hope I answered it

  • Dave

    I used to think like you James but then I actually went to yoga, and read shone books written by people who researched and practiced yoga. I think your article comes from a place of fear. We tend to fear what we do not understand and fight against that which we fear. I would challenge your to attend some classes and see for yourself. There is a book called Yoga Body that might be a good read, it talks about how yoga is rooted in gymnastics instead of Hinduism.

      • Dave

        Hi Emmanuel,
        Your question fascinates me for a number of reasons. First – how do we know if anything we hear, read, or see is ‘not a lie’? And second, what is the root of distrust that would make you fear the author lying to you?
        Often I talk with people who live their lives afraid of everything except what is in their church’s walls. My hope for all humans is to experience the best life they can with the least amount of fear – a life lived forward instead of running away from things that they are constantly told are ‘evil.’ May we all find peace, and learn to trust one another.

        • Billy

          I wanted to chime in with some thoughts that I feel Dave might be trying to say in different words. Firstly, I am a follower of Christ and have asked him into my heart, just to be clear about my intentions in commenting 🙂 I also don’t really do yoga so I’m not trying to defend it.
          But I think that the logic of this article might be a little misleading and God warns us in the Bible from judging others too harshly, lest we be judged. We are told to render under Caesar what is Caesars and render unto God what is Gods. This is the true meaning of discernment not looking for ways to prove the world is completely ruled by Satan (regardless if it is or not). But if we are to look for Satan, to what end? Would it not also follow along the lines of this article to say that running is in the culture of satan, because organized races like Marathons take their name from pagan Greek society? Also, long distance running in social cultures pre-dated the first Marathon where certain tribes in African would run for hours at a steady pace to chase down animals like antelope until they were too tired and the hunters could kill them easily. These cultures also practiced animal sacrifices which Christ told us not to do anymore. So, one could easily make the argument that running is rooted in Satanism and that participating in organized Marathons opens doors to evil, when in fact many of these events promote healthy lifestyles for all and some donate money to charities and lots of Churches are involved. Do you see my point?

          In Christ’s teaching to render unto Caesar what is Caesar he does not tell us to destroy or even shun what is Caesars, he tells us to turn to God instead. And how do we turn to God? In our hearts. God knows our hearts, so I must respectfully say that I do not think Christ would fully agree with this article nor would he care about if you did asanas as a Christian or not. He sees your heart first and foremost. The world is infinitely sinful if you obsessionally look for it, but I do not think this is what Christ wants for our lives or for how he wants us to spend our time on this earth.

          • James Charles

            The point about running doesn’t make sense. Running is nothing that was invented. We were created with two legs that move. I do not see your point. I think you are making these views and opinions without research. The point is that yoga is from eastern religions. It has always been a way of meditating and channeling spirits. In this most recent century there has been a push to make things which were once looked upon as wicked and evil, to seem harmless and not a big deal. I have not judged anyone but I do know that myself at not willing to stand before judgement and try to justify doing yoga. If that’s the risk you all deem acceptable for you, then that of course is your choice. It always brings me back to the point of the path being narrow and few find it. That verse always makes sense when people justify mixing the wicked in with the Holy. It’s also something I don’t think people do a great deal of research on but still trust their opinion either way. All these actions are dangerous and are not recommended.

          • Pamela

            You have taken a few Scriptures out of context. Nonetheless, see Romans 13:22-23 where the Bible says “Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats (in your example, run), because his eating/running is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (KJV).

  • Wayland

    The scriptures clearly teach us to flee from sin. Any advice otherwise is not good advice. The devil wants us to question God’s word. If the world is doing it enmasse, you probably shouldn’t. Be careful of what you watch and read. Ride a bike and go talk to the downtrodden if you’re looking for something to replace your yoga time:)

  • hard-coconut

    We see with our eyes and perceive with our minds… influence has a great effect on personal preference, and most of our choices are based on preference. From my personal research, almost everything out there has roots in paganism, sports, attire, signs, symbols, sigils, seals, etc. And many we have interacted with from our youth and have grown with them. There are dictionaries on paganism that show how old these practices are…
    The reality is, we have been duped many times in our lives, what makes it different now is we have the knowledge of what these things are accessible to us. Be wise, be safe, be aware…

  • Zee

    Are you saying that even though God the Creator created the body to be able to relieve stress by elevating the legs in a position on the wall, and just because those who don’t know God have perverted the position to worship a false deity; then I cannot relieve stress by using the position for 5-10 minutes a day? Paul the apostle spoke of food being offered to idols “had no meaning to him”. It was only wrong to do if others being weak had regard for the idol. I Corinthians 14. I do not regard Sunday as a day to worship the Creator, I am a Sabbath keeper, and I don’t eat meat with blood in it (Acts 15:20). So taking a physical position while having no regard to the false god is rather extreme. I would think. By the way, foods were declared clean and unclean before the flood, if the Genesis account is truth-unedited?

  • Brendan

    Brother thank you for your work. I agree with what you have said with the exception being that Yahshua removes the wickedness of such practices for those that believe in him. If satan has put his evil on a simple stretch, Yahshua makes it clean again. Of course I think we should avoid Yoga classes for reasons you have mentioned and to keep our modesty. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1 COR 10.23

    • Pamela

      Brenden, an individual who has problems with cholesterol should not eat food known to elevate cholesterol levels should not expect God to remove the cholesterol from the food. God has given us wisdom and alternatives. The same applies to an individual who believes yoga is a pagan practice that Christians should avoid.

  • Melanie

    Hi. As a believer I did a little yoga (at home, by myself) during one of my pregnancies, – not a lot mostly stretching etc, and not very diligently! However, the Lord being very gracious some years after this, and showing me its error through testimonies of others on youtube (who make the point you CANNOT separate the poses from the worship), I took the step of spending some time in prayer repenting of the yoga poses, and all false religion and idolatry that I had unwittingly participated in through that and anything else. I do not say that I understood everything bad there is about yoga. I don’t believe you need to know the details of its falseness. When you repent, the Lord truly meets you. (Even though you may not feel anything at the time. You take Him at His word to repent. He takes you at your word that you are.) Believe it happens, whether you feel anything in the moment or not. You will notice the fruit as you go on. Interesting thing is, He has done quite a work of refreshing/revival in my heart since then, and I now see religion in a lot of other places too (including the church gathering I meet with, sigh!) and the meaningless traditions from our fathers, including christmas and easter (I already knew those, but finally finding strength not to participate in them!) so my testimony is – don’t try to hold onto anything to do with yoga. BE a little child and ask your heavenly Father about it all, and what you can do instead of yoga poses to help your eg back problems. And He loves to heal us too, so ask Him about that too. God usually has an unexpected answer for us that we will never see or think of until we ask little children. And just obey like little children. And the fruit is JOY. Obedience brings JOY. That is why there is so little of it in the visible church! But real deep lasting JOY is a good indicator of if you are obeying God or not. Not the temporary peace of a yoga pose.


    Hi! I normally don’t comment in forums like this, and just go on about my merry business, but in light of the times, this topic is just toooooooo important for me to pass by without chiming in.

    The first sentence of your sixth paragraph reads, “Today most American’s largely misunderstand yoga” and I (respectfully) think you should consider including yourself in that group.

    Asana is NOT a “form” of Yoga; asana is but 1 of the 8 limbs or parts of “whole” Yoga practice, and to do only asana would be to have a grossly incomplete Yoga practice, which most so-called “practitioners” have, making one susceptible to the things you’ve indicated. YOGA IS A MEDITATION PRACTICE (even though most Westerners incorrectly assume yoga is “asana” and project/promote the popular mistake that Yoga is such. To call asana yoga is like calling someone who ONLY shoots free throws a basketball player. Free throws are important to the game (just think about how games are won in the clutch with a few seconds left at the free throw line, but there is much more to basketball than just shooting free throws — such a person would more accurately be described as a “free throw shooter” and not a basketball player. To emphasize the point, shooting free throws is not a “form” of basketball, it’s an important “part” or aspect of the entire game of basketball. Another way to think of it is that “chewing” is not a form of eating, chewing is a part of the eating practice. Hopefully that makes sense.

    You’ve obviously done some reading, and have formulated an opinion, but your lack of comprehension regarding Yoga (and its relationship to The Bible, in fact) is clear. Yoga is NOT a “religion” in the institutionalized sense. The word RELIGION literally means to “again unite” (or “re-unite”) with God. If “Christianity” is a religion, its aim is the same, to “link again” with source/God. The word YOGA means the same, and we “re-connect” with God by meditating upon God continually (the ability which is gradually developed through the “proper practice” of Yoga with a capital Y).

    A deep and thorough study (and practice) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras will reveal to you through your own experience, or should I say “IN-SPIRIENCE” (revelation), whereby you don’t have to rely on someone else’s word/info for understanding (bc God, whose Kingdom is IN you, will provide IN-SIGHT “sight within”), that Yoga actually moves you closer to God (as you are a life-long work-in-progress, and becoming more and more perfect – ie “repenting” – is the point of Life). An authentic Yoga practice teaches you to treat your body like the Temple it is (not a trash can), to Love your neighbor (not be divided politically, racially, or otherwise), and how to live in peace/tranquility, so that you may do the will of God without distraction (“a scattered mind”). I appreciate your attempt to share good information with your readers, but you may be unintentionally misleading your readers.

    This conversation goes much, much deeper, but I’ll part with this…
    2 JOHN 1:7 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
    Most have NO CLUE what is meant by “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (even though it’s utterly straight forward), and as a result many people today, who share content on the world wide web, unwittingly (and sincerely) “deceive” their followers without meaning to deceive them. The word REPENT means “to feel such regret for sins or crimes as produces amendment of life,” and Yoga (when properly practiced) helps us develop an attentive mind so that we may identify and admit what we are doing incorrectly, remain steadily focused on “Right change” (amendment/atonement), and NOT SIN. HEBREWS 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

    Peace and blessing to you and anyone who may read this…

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