Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Do you do yoga?
The word "yoga" itself means "union", and the goal is to unite our temporary self with the infinite Brahman, which is the Hindu concept of "God". This god is not a literal being, but is an impersonal spiritual substance that is one with nature and the cosmos. This is what is known as "pantheism". It is a belief that everything is God, it is a doctrine that views the universe as a reflection of God. Since everything is God, the yoga philosophy does not distinguish between man and God.
There are different aspects of yoga, one of them is Hatha yoga. Its main focus is on the physical body through special postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It is believed that Hatha yoga prepares the body for the spiritual exercises in order to achieve enlightenment. The practice of yoga is based on the belief that man and God are one, which is not true - at least for me, as this way of looking at things is a kind of self-worship under the cover of a high level of spirituality.
Now, there is a question arising that a Christian should ask himself, is it possible for a Christian to isolate the physical aspects of yoga (and consider it just a method of exercise) without incorporating the spirituality or philosophy behind it? In fact, yoga originated with a blatantly anti-Christian philosophy, and that philosophy has not changed and it still teaches one to focus on oneself instead of on the one true God. Thus, yoga practitioners are encouraged to look for the answers to life's difficult questions within their own conscience while Christians are obliged to look for answers to existential questions in the Bible. In this way, yoga makes people vulnerable to deception from God's enemy, who searches for victims that he can turn away from God.
Besides we are to adhere to one of the Ten Commandments, i.e. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. In Corinthians we also learn that whatever we do, should be done for God's glory. The apostle Paul in his letter to Philippians also tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true and honorable and right, to think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable, and to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise as.