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Everything You Need to Know About Christian Yoga

The popularity of Christian yoga continues to increase, especially in western countries. While yoga is being frowned upon by many Christians, it’s important for us to know what yoga really is for a Christian. How is it different from the traditional yoga that originated from the east?

Many westerners have attempted to separate several Yoga exercises from the practice of classical Hinduism. They believe that they can neatly separate it from its eastern spiritual aspects, either by ignoring or redefining them. Some Christian leaders have come forward to support the idea that yoga can be Christianized, contrary to what other Christians believe. Many of these churches have merged yoga postures and breathing techniques with Christian music and contemplative prayer.


What is Christian Yoga?

Christian yoga continues to spread throughout the North American churches. This has created a ruckus among Christians because of its connection to Eastern mysticism. Christianized yoga is basically just like the traditional yoga practiced within a Christian context.

Hindu Yoga vs Christian Yoga

For Hindus, the key disciplines of Yoga help uniting the mind and the body – the human being and the divine, the inner self and the outer world. These disciplines involve different goals and practices, which include knowledge (Jnana Yoga), devotion (Bhakti Yoga), inner concentration, action (Karma Yoga), and royal way (Raja Yoga). Health and Holiness have the same roots, and the doctrine of Incarnation means the unity of spiritual holiness and physical health in the human body.

Meanwhile, Christian yoga serves as a prayer of the body. The practice of Christianized yoga enables Christians to pursue the union of their minds and bodies with God’s holy spirit who dwells inside them. Christianized yoga has three main components, which include physical postures, breathing, and meditation. Humans are integrated beings in their feelings, thoughts, spiritual longings, and bodily experiences. Thus, it’s important to have a balance in their minds, bodies, and spirits. We can achieve this by practicing Christian yoga to serve Jesus Christ with our entire beings.

It’s the derivative of Bhakti Yoga, which is the yoga of devotion. Bhakti Yoga allows us to bond with the Supreme Being through acts of devotion. It’s an excellent method of getting in touch with, and being immersed in the holy spirit.

Christian Yoga is biblical

Contrary to what others claim, the practice of Christian yoga holds a solid biblical foundation. In the book of John 17:14-20, Jesus prayed for his disciples and all believers to be unified in each other and in him. Even the Apostle Paul repeatedly urged the members to be unified in the body of Christ. He knew that love is the virtue that bound everyone together in perfect unity, as stated in the book of Colossians 3:14. He also said that Christians must make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace, because there is one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, as stated in the book of Ephesians 4:3-6.

The idea of unity in Christ is beautiful, and it’s a biblical design for His people. This is what makes it entirely compatible with Christian yoga. The physical aspects of this yoga are something that many Christians know. Like most yoga, Christianized yoga incorporates breathing, meditation, and relaxation.

There’s a parallelism between yesterday’s rock music and today’s yoga. Most churches rejected rock music and called it evil, but contemporary Christian music has been influenced by rock music styles, which has always been effective in helping church members spiritually and emotionally. What matters is the intent of the user. As long as Christians practice yoga to glorify God, sharing the love of God, and becoming more intimate with the Lord Jesus Christ, then we shouldn’t be against it.


How does Christian Yoga Work?

Christianized yoga has three components, and these include breathing, posture, and meditation.

The Importance of Breathing

Proper breathing techniques are important when it comes to practicing Christian yoga because God’s presence is in our breaths. According to the book of Acts 27:25, God gives life and breath to everything. Deep breathing always translates into deeper meditation and union with God.  The physical act of breathing leads to several spiritual realities. For example, the process of inhaling and exhaling, which keeps us alive, symbolizes the pattern of the Christian life of giving and receiving, emptying and filling, and death and resurrection.

Without breathing, we will have no energy, vitality, or earthly life. But with breathing, we experience renewed health, heightened awareness, freedom from stressful life, and a sense of calm. Through proper breathing, we will have an intimate experience with God.

When we breathe, we inhale the holy spirit and exhale everything that isn’t of God. We inhale the power that comes from God and exhale everything that saps our strength. We inhale the freedom that comes through Christ and exhale all negativity.

How posture affects breathing

To focus on your breathing, you need to sit comfortably, place your hands on your knees, and then close your eyes. Most importantly, you must breathe through your nose.

And then, slowly begin to take deep breaths, each one a little deeper and longer. The purpose is to achieve the maximum volume of air to inhale and exhale.

While breathing, make sure to sit comfortably, and say “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” in your mind. You won’t be able to focus on your breathing if you don’t sit comfortably.

The methods of meditation

Meditation is an ancient spiritual discipline that the people of God have practiced throughout history. The best way to meditate includes the following:

  • Yoga breathing – the recitation of short faith words or scriptures
  • Positive contemplation – a breath prayer (but isn’t spoken aloud). This is spoken with the heart while the mind focuses on the Lord.

The act of meditation is the most basic and practical spiritual act. Choose a word or a phrase from the Bible, and repeat it silently with every breath. The word or the phrase should include Jesus Christ, God, or holy spirit, to make this effective.

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