WholyFit is not Christian Yoga
- What makes an exercise a yoga exercise anyway?
- What criteria should we set on exercise so that we remain true to God’s Word?
WholyFit is not Christian yoga, but rather, an alternative to yoga. Alternatives promote freedom and opportunity by offering choices. The more options, the more people will come out of yoga. Laura’s vision is that all Christians will come out of yoga, taking with them all of their time, energy and resources. The vacuum created will severely curtail yoga’s philosophical influence over the WORLD. The resources christians will be dedicated fully to building the Kingdom of God. Before tackling the “Christian Yoga” debate, first there are some foundations to put in place…
The Bible is Our Standard
Throughout this doc, click on the colored words to read the Biblical foundation for the statement (& please wait for the Bible Gateway to load up.) Read the verse yourself. Don’t believe what’s taught in movies or even by experts. Be sure to read the context of the verse to get the true meaning, take it to God and pray about it. Those verses given are samples. There are many others that support each topic. Search them out for yourself.
God’s Word will always be right. Why believe the Bible? Because God is perfectly holy and loves you. He wants what’s best for you is always faithful. Each of our hearts are corrupted in some way. None of us is perfect. (If you think you are perfect, you are deceived already.)
Should We Judge Christians Who Do Yoga
Our stance in WholyFit is that yoga and Christianity does not mix…at all. Before we continue it’s good to clarify that the bible teaches not to judge others because we cannot often see the sin in our own lives, This ministry does not accuse anyone. Everyone has sins we are unaware of and the Lord knows if they are of larger consequence than those we call someone else out on.
This does not mean, however, that we check our brains at the door. On the contrary, we need to speak out about what is good and what is not, to seek God, read and think about His Word to see what HE says is right, holy and good. We cannot discern truth on our own, independent of God, either for good or for evil.
Evil is born out of judgement that does not conform to God’s Word. Legalism also is born out of judgment that does not conform to God’s Word. God’s Word is the absolute authority.
Idol Worship is Wrong
Yoga teaches the worship of idols (other gods with a small “g”)
There is much research on this, but it is not my focus at this time to elaborate, (this is Laura writing) but rather to share my eyewitness experience. I used to take yoga classes and teach yoga until I realized that yoga promotes the worship of idols and opens practitioners up to demonic spirits.
At yoga certification, we were directed to give our souls “completely to Shiva.” I renounced yoga and repented. I advise any sister or brother in Christ to avoid yoga at all cost. Since there are no other “gods” except for God, Shiva and all other sources of supernatural power come from demons. There are hidden agendas of the enemy working through yoga whether people are intentional about it or not. Of course Yogis (people who do yoga) don’t understand this. All the Yogis I’ve met are really nice people and we can befriend them in other ways besides participating in their classes. Participating in yoga contributes to the downfall of yogis. For spiritual safety I recommend that:
Perhaps you don’t believe that yoga teaches the worship of other gods. There is still reason to avoid yoga because those who participate in yoga:
- condone yoga’s philosophies
- lend credibility to yoga claims
- legitimize yoga, causing others to follow their example
- transfer resources into the hands of those who work against the cause of Christ (intentionally or not)
What Is Participation In Yoga?
Calling it”yoga” makes it yoga.
I applaud the generous heart of my fellow exercise instructors and personal trainers who have a great love for people. However becoming a part of the yoga culture (by giving any of your time, energy or resources to those who promote it) will not be profitable for your soul. Identifying with yoga promotes all of yoga, including all it’s innate anti-biblical philosophies like reincarnation, Samahdi and Kundalini.
Yoga teaches moral relativism and that all paths lead to God. Even if your class does not promote yoga philosophies outwardly, if you call it “yoga” then you are promoting yoga, contributing to yoga’s fame, to its appeal and condoning its claims. Do you really want people to follow your example? What if your participation in yoga causes someone to believe yoga philosophies over the Bible’s teachings?
I am speaking as an insider, from experience. I used to teach a yoga class that did not contain any yoga philosophies, but because I called it “yoga” I caused others to fall. One participant said, “I never tried yoga before, but I love your class and now I’m into yoga all the way. I’m even attending the yoga class down the street.” That yoga class “down the street” is the same one that urged me to give my soul to “Shiva.” On their website it clearly said that they teach their students to dedicate every exercise to “the goddess.” I repented, quit yoga and resolved never to be part of the yoga culture ever again. Now I reach out to people who, like me, want to stretch, but don’t want to have anything to do with yoga. I started WholyFit – a great REPLACEMENT for yoga. (Even better than the word, “alternative!”)
Exercises That Look Like “Yoga?”
Critics of WholyFit are usually those who don’t exercise at all.
On the one hand, I believe Christians should stay out of classical yoga. On the other hand, we can stretch without having anything to do with yoga. It’s a healthy balance, but some people disagree. There are critics on the left who say Christians can by yogis, and critics on the right who say we can’t stretch at all because it looks like yoga. Those two extremes are examples of LIBERALISM on the left and LEGALISM on the right.
Legalists say that it is idolatry to do exercises that even look like yoga and that all those exercises should be avoided. Easy to say, hard to do! Which exercises look like yoga? What does yoga look like? Pushups? Lunges? Situps? Ballet? None of these exercises would be possible if you are determined to avoid all yoga-ish exercises. After alot of prayer and wise counsel, here is what I’ve come up with: any yoga-like move that does not have fitness purposes in unnecessary. Obviously the “Om” gesture movement is not something I would ever fell comfortable doing. It is a symbol for Brahman to unite with the soul!
CHALLENGE: WORK OUT 3 DAYS A WEEK FOR A YEAR WITHOUT DOING ANY EXERCISE THAT LOOKS LIKE YOGA AND THEN TELL ME HOW YOU DID IT.
Replacement Versus Avoidance
Avoidance of yoga-like exercises.
Instead of eliminating all yoga-ish exercise, choose a Biblical alternative. We don’t stop singing to the Lord simply because some people sing music for profane purposes. We don’t stop dancing before the Lord simply because others use dancing as an excuse for lewd conduct.
WholyFit exercises may or may not look like yoga. A viable alternative to yoga must give the same benefits as yoga and be enough like yoga to be aptly offered as an alternative. We hope it draws people to Jesus.
WholyFit is not for everyone. For example, some who have been traumatized by past participation in yoga may never be able to do exercises that look like yoga again. Here’s an analogy: A woman has been raped at a fair. She can never go to any fair ever again without feeling emotional torment. This does not mean that going to a fair is a sin for everyone. Similarly, doing exercises that look like yoga are not a sin. I pray for the Lord to free those people who have been traumatized by yoga and for restoration of their ability to participate in all the good things God has freely given for our enjoyment and health. After all, God is the Redeemer and His work is restoration.
OK, now we tackle the issue:
WholyFit is NOT Christian yoga.
Once again, forgive my prefacing: If a Christian does yoga, convinced it is not wrong, then that person lives in her faith. However, calling something “Christian” does not necessarily legitimize it. I understand the good intentions behind wanting to redeem yoga. At this point in time, however, calling a class “yoga” communicates the commonly understood definition of yoga as a lifestyle and philosophy to the general public. Calling a class Christian yoga is as confusing as it is unnecessary. In my opinion, identifying with the yoga culture reflects the desire to hold onto something that yoga promotes, like monetary or popularity gains, but I could be wrong. All I know is that God has definitely directed ME not to be a part of Christian yoga.
I DO know and am convinced of the following: No one is legally bound to call exercise ‘yoga’ – even if it looks like yoga. Be freed. You owe nothing to yoga. The precedent was set in the famous Pilates court battle: yoga exercises are legally public domain. There is no trademark on individual yoga exercises. Movement was given to us at creation by God and therefore pre-exists yoga. All movement offered to the Lord belongs to us and can be participated in with thankfulness to God.