Practicing yoga has grown in popularity among many believers of varying religious traditions or organizations who does not follow a particular religion. Yoga is a compendium of physical and spiritual workouts which originally came from Eastern religious traditions. Some people directly equate yoga with some of the other forms of exercise and seem ignorant of all its link to non-Christian practices of meditation. Claimed to have emanated mainly from Hinduism and Buddhism, the Eastern practitioners view yoga as something of a way to spiritual enlightenment, union with a greater being and internal peace. Yoga is a word which means “yoke”. It is an entire idea of unification or being one with the Divine. Nowadays, it is more perceived as the alignment of the body and mind.
Yoga has been practiced as somewhat of an exercise for over 5,000 years. It is another way of strengthening the connection between body and mind, thereby maintaining a physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. In actuality, throughout the last twenty years, the practice of yoga has been on a rapid rise. One of today’s most prevalent form of fitness exercise is yoga which also has different types – which includes Christian Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, etc. – and it continues to attract people of any age and different walks of life. This topic will put more emphasis on the highly controversial Christian Yoga.
What is Christian Yoga?
Throughout the years, many Christian believers have been using the term Christian yoga as more of a religious act of praise and worship to uphold what Jesus Christ regards as His temple – the body. In today’s society, the practice of Christian yoga has continued to develop into such a holistic and spiritual form of worship that disciplines the mind, body, spirit, and soul through religious biblical teachings which includes those poses in which specific biblical figures were doing while praying. It claims in religious books that someone’s devotion or exaltation may well be strengthened during prayer time by following certain different postures. Therefore, Christian yoga is a physical exercise of interacting deeply and personally with our Maker and living God, Jesus Christ. It is being one with Him with our whole being; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It seems there is a lot of controversy regarding Christian yoga and there is a significant conflict among Christians about this issue. Others argue that Christian yoga draws bad spirits and demonic influence, while some others embrace it as they see it as something of a form of physical fitness activity that encourages a greater depth of a spiritual relationship with God. For some Christian believers who is practicing Christian yoga, it is an ideal way to strengthen and maintain a healthy body for the Lord. Christian Yoga practice surfaces up all over the world offering Christian believers the opportunity to get the most benefits of yoga while also immersing themselves in the gospel or the Sacred Scriptures. For Christian yoga practitioners, they believe that doing yoga is like a holy dance before Christ.
The Benefits You Can Get with Christian Yoga
A modification of Christian yoga and meditation is most often considered as beneficial for a Christian whenever meditation techniques are practiced to bolster the body, mind and spirit.
Greatly improve physical health and fitness.
Christian yoga has often been fully recognized for positively impacting health and wellbeing. Practicing Christian yoga enables a person to take advantage of such a range of physical fitness routines. Dynamic poses used in yoga promote endurance, flexibility, coordination, concentration, controlled breathing and focus. All of these make a significant contribution to a healthy body.
• Helps maintain correct posture, body balance and muscle strength.
• Improve ventilation by facilitating full and steady breathing.
• Reduce the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline all through the body.
• Promote cardiovascular health which aids in minimizing risks of hypertension and heart disease.
• Improve the sleeping pattern and increase alertness.
• Alleviate pain and discomforts which are commonly seen in pregnant women, during menstruation and those who are in the menopause stage.
Many Christians support Christian yoga not only because of the benefits of the physical body but also as a way to connect more closely with God. The calming poses and breathing exercises used in Christian yoga help them to calm it down, unleash anxiety and all those other cooped-up negative energies, as well as ponder on religious scriptures and, and at the same time, worship God. Just as David danced with all his mind and soul before the all-powerful God, Christian Yoga allows believers to worship God by doing a rhythm of light exercise or movement which reinforces energy. These movements can further propagate values such as compassion, tolerance, moral kindness and modesty, and so on. The ability to silence the mind and quell negative thoughts and feelings leads one to remain in a positive state of mind and a happy mood for extended periods of time, reducing situations of being unnecessarily rude, taking part in the moment, and improve the mental well-being. Christian yogis personally think that, as they become calm, relaxed and still before God, they are setting up an atmosphere within their mind and heart to ascertain the Spirit’s messages and God’s small voice.
It can nurture spirituality.
After a Christian yoga class, it can typically leave a spiritually rejuvenated yogi which would be essential in developing one’s inner man.
• Promote the revitalization of the mind and spirit by meditating on different scriptures.
• Foster inner peacefulness.
• Create a closer relationship with God by developing a deep sense of connection with Him.
• Develop a positive approach and compassion.
For Christian believers, doing Yoga strengthens their divine and spiritual relationship with God, since it is an intentional and artful effort to make time to pause, reflect, meditate and to be in synchrony with one’s spirit. In nurturing the mind’s revitalization through the Word of God, there is indeed a significant positive impact in a Christian’s view on life and their way of thinking to emulate everything which pleases God.