WholyFit is not Christian Yoga

This article will demonstrate why WholyFit is not Christian yoga, but rather, an alternative to yoga. The benefit of alternatives is the promotion of personal freedom and more opportunity of choices. The more options to yoga people are given, the more people will come out of yoga because they will find something better for them. Laura’s (my) 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. My vision is unity in the church, where christians unite to wholly dedicate their time, energy and resources to building the Church.

Before tackling the questions above, here is the worldview we (in WholyFit) are coming from:

The Bible is Our Standard

Throughout this doc, click 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, by so-called 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 decisions that do 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 the proven idolatry in yoga, but it is not my focus at this time to elaborate, 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 promoting them or not. Of course Yogis (people who do yoga) may not understand this. Most of the Yogis I’ve met are really nice people and we can befriend them in other ways besides participating in their classes. For example, my former participating in yoga may have contributed to the downfall of the precious people in yoga because my presence there with them in a room with idols present  was like saying, “Worship those idols more.” For spiritual safety I recommend that:

1. Christians have nothing to do with the worship of idols.

2. Christians have nothing to do with those who worship idols. 

Perhaps your yoga class does not teach the worship of other gods. There is still reason to avoid yoga because in actual outcome, those who contribute to the spread of yoga may find that they have inadvertently:

  • lent credibility to yoga claims
  • legitimized yoga by their participation, causing others to follow their example
  • transferred resources into the hands of those who teach doctrine contrary to 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. If however a Christian becomes a part of the yoga culture (by giving any of your time, energy or resources to those who promote it) any opening for deception will not be profitable for your soul or those you train. Consider training the WHOLE person, not just the body. I believe soul and body are very connected. Teaching a class called ‘yoga,’ regardless of content, 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, by contributing to yoga’s fame, to its appeal and giving legitimacy to its claims by your participation.  Do you really want people to follow your example? What if your participation in your yoga class 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 exercise, but don’t want to have anything to do with yoga. I started WholyFit – a great REPLACEMENT for yoga. Replacement is an even better than the word than alternative because “replacement” implies something BETTER. WholyFit is better than yoga in many ways, the most obvious being WholyFit’s spiritual safety.

Exercises That Look Like “Yoga?”

  • What makes an exercise a yoga exercise?
  • What criteria should we set on exercise so that we remain true to God’s Word?

Once a Christian decides not to do yoga, they usually ask me the two questions above.

Christians can stay out of classical yoga and still stretch and exercise in any way they want to. That is a healthy, balanced perspective, but some people disagree. The liberal position is that Christians can be yogis and even mix yoga philosophies with christianity; the legalistic position is that we can’t stretch at all because it looks like yoga. Those two extremes are examples of LIBERALISM on the left, LEGALISM on the right; and both positions are unbiblical. Search the Bible yourself and see. Below I offer my bible study on exercise.

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. Is there an absolute line to be drawn on exercise? Where is that line? 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 but permissible. For example, it is obvious that the “Om” gesture movement is not something I would ever do or teach in a fitness class. (Bringing the middle finger together with the thumb is a symbol for Brahman to unite with the soul!) The reason I wouldn’t teach it is that it has no fitness purpose, so why would I use it? In yoga classes the Om mudra is used during meditation, and performance of the “om” chant. This has absolutely no fitness benefit at all. No let’s consider this: Pianists often must put their middle finger and thumb together during finger limbering exercises. Therefore even this exercise is biblically permissible in the right context.

PRACTICAL CHALLENGE TO THE LEGALIST POSITION:  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.

There is no way to exercise without stretches and strengthening exercises that look like yoga. The key? It’s not the exercise that is important, but rather the heart of the person exercising. Avoiding exercise is legalism. Legalism is saying something is wrong when there is absolutely no Biblical evidence to back up the claim. Legalism is missing the heart of Jesus’ Gospel. Jesus opposed legalism. Let’s just say someone could exercise for their whole life without doing any movement that looks like yoga… let’s say they swim. Swimming is not a good alternative to yoga because it does not provide the same benefits that slow stretching provides. So suggesting that someone swim instead of doing yoga, is not going to be effective. Swimming is not a good alternative to yoga because swimming provides no incentive to quit yoga at all. Only stretching and strengthening in an isometric, static way, using eccentric contraction is going to give the same benefits that people go to yoga to get. Therefore only a good alternative is going to give incentive to people to get out of yoga.
WholyFit is an excellent alternative to yoga and has the added benefit of being a great devotional tool. Part of the reason people go to yoga is to get peace and stress relief. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and therefore WholyFit is better than yoga (a good replacement of yoga) because it helps people to memorize Scripture, pray and worship the one true and living God of the Bible. Since God is real, and yoga gods like Shiva are not gods, Biblical stress management works better than yoga stress management. All exercise in itself is the gift of God for healing and stress management. Yoga does not have the corner on the market on God’s gift of exercise! It is not yoga exercise in itself that gives stress management, it is the physiology of exercise that God has created that relieves stress! It is Exercise that is medicine, causing circulation of lymph fluid, strengthening the heart, producing endorphins, regulating blood sugar… the list goes on and on. The credit for stress management through exercise goes to the Creator of the physiology of exercise, not to yoga. We are wonderfully made. All glory to our Creator God!

Replacement Versus Avoidance

Avoidance of yoga-like exercises.

Instead of eliminating all yoga-ish exercise, choose a Biblical alternative. We don’t stop singing 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 The same keys on the piano can be used for good or evil. Movement of the human body can be used for good or evil. WholyFit exercises may or may not look like yoga, some do, some don’t.  A viable alternative to yoga must give the same benefits as yoga and be enough like yoga to be aptly offered as an alternative. WholyFit offers an alternative to yoga draws people to Jesus by being a good alternative to yoga.

WholyFit is not for everyone. Some people, who have been traumatized by past participation in yoga, may have a hard time emotionally when performing exercises that look like yoga. Here’s an analogy: Let’s say a woman has been raped at a state fair. She can never go to any state fair ever again without feeling emotional torment. This does not mean that going to a state fair is a sin for everyone. Similarly, performance of exercises that look like yoga is not a sin but may be difficult for people who have been traumatized by movements that look similar and remind them of the hurt or betrayal they experienced in yoga. So some Christians who have stopped doing yoga and don’t exercise any more may appear legalistic on the outside, but really they are hurt and in bondage. They cannot experience the joy of exercise any more. It took me a long time to get free of this very same emotional baggage, but I can tell you, God can free you because He freed me.  I pray for the Lord to free those people who have been traumatized by yoga and for restoration of a good, regular exercise program, and for renewal 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. A very important part of Gold Certification Training is to offer healing prayer to every instructor.

Conclusion: WholyFit is NOT Christian yoga.

Once again, forgive my recap: 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. ESPECIALLY at this time in history that is true because the religion of the antichrist will be all-inclusive of every religion and I personally believe that yoga is one cultural fad that is setting our culture up to receive him and his worldwide religion. Whether or not you believe that, the simple truth is that 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. I cannot be sure of the motivations of others, but I do know God has definitely directed ME not to be a part of Christian yoga and I believe the thought process behind that decision is logical.

WholyFit Instead

I DO know and am convinced of the following: No one is legally bound to call any 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. These exercises were ruled by a court of law as being “universal,” in other words, yoga exercises are nothing special in themselves.  All movement was given to us at creation by God and therefore all movement pre-exists yoga. All movement offered to the Lord belongs to us and can be participated in with thankfulness to God.