There are many people doing yoga these days. But is yoga for Bible-believing followers of Christ?
We live in a world where two dimensions intersect: physical and spiritual. From the beginning, Satan wanted to be like God. Isaiah 14:12-14 describes Lucifer's five "I will" statements. The last one says, "I will make myself like God." Satan wants our worship, and he will do anything it takes to make that happen.
I went to a women's event at a small fitness studio owned by a sweet new believer. There were Bible verses on the walls and Christian music playing as we followed her exercise routine. She encouraged us and even stopped to pray for us. I wondered if we were doing yoga. The thought came and went many times throughout the routines. She didn't call it yoga, nor did she use any familiar yoga terms, so I continued going along with her positional stretches.
A few days later, I woke with terrible pain in my abdomen. The pain went through to my back and made any position uncomfortable. Trying everything to rid my body of the pain, I changed my diet, thinking I was reacting to dairy products. I ate little food, even fasting, hoping it would help, but still, the pain continued.
After two weeks, I believed I had cancer growing inside my gut. Overwhelming fear overtook my rational thinking and told me I was dying.
I intended to go to church on Sunday morning and ask our prayer warriors to pray over me. But that morning, the pain was worse, so I decided to stay home. The Holy Spirit reminded me no one would pray for me unless I went to church. I asked the Lord to help me feel good enough to go.
During prayer, a friend said she felt impressed by the Spirit that my illness came from something I had done at the women's event. She told me it was not physical, but a spiritual issue and to ask the Lord to show me what it was. When I did, God revealed it was the "yoga" I had done.
My friend rebuked the pain and the spirit associated with it. God healed me at that moment. I also asked the Lord to forgive me for taking part in the yoga routine.
He taught me a valuable lesson about the power of yoga. It is far from innocent.
An elder at our church, born and raised in India, taught a class on Eastern religion. After receiving permission from the Lord and knowing God would protect him, Doug's former Indian pastor released him to join the yoga school so he could learn and then teach others the dangers of this practice.
Doug explained what I had experienced was the Kundalini spirit. It is a snake-like demonic spirit associated with yoga that sits at the base of the spine and causes tremendous pain.
Christian music and prayer do not make this ancient practice a Christian exercise. Dismissing its foundations by turning yoga into a sanguine practice is impossible. An evil spirit doesn't leave because you call something godly.
Cutting down a tree does not kill its roots. They are still in place. My husband had to chop down many live trees on our property. Getting rid of roots is difficult; they go deep, traveling far and deep to find water and nourishment for the tree. You can only kill roots by pulling them out of the ground.
Yoga has spiritual roots in an ungodly religion. Created as part of a ritual to serve and worship false gods, it opens our mind to other spirits as we practice it, even if we are meditating on God. You cannot remove the roots from yoga.
We must seek God and His wisdom regarding yoga. What is the worst thing He can say? "No"?
God wants what is best for us. He wants to protect us. The Holy Spirit tried to protect me, but I did not listen. And in my case, I suffered the consequences.
Stephanie Pavlantos is passionate about getting people into God's Word. She has taught Bible studies for 15 years and has spoken at ladies' retreats. She wants to get people into the Word where they can discover God's love for them, their identity in Christ, and find healing for the wounds of this life while forgiving those who caused their pain. Visit her blog at stephaniepavlantos.com.
This article originally appeared at stephaniepavlantos.com.
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