One of my Facebook friends posted a link to an article entitled “The Yoga Deception” from Spirit Life Magazine. It was a fascinating article about the danger of Christians becoming unintentionally entrenched in Hindu practices without realizing it, the conclusions of which I don’t necessarily completely agree. But one particular line caught my attention:
I have heard of one Christian who is so entrenched in yoga that they have vowed to never give up yoga even if God himself told them to stop.
It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it? As Christians, we should be so focused on God that it is His will we seek and His will alone. Anything that shifts that focus is an idol.
I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t practice yoga. I’m a sometimes-practitioner of it myself. I’ve modified my practice for some of the reasons stated in the article because I was uncomfortable with the mantras and will not do transcendental meditation. Most “real” yoga practitioners will say what I do isn’t yoga at all without the spiritual aspects, and that’s fine. I don’t believe there’s any Biblical basis for the idea that putting your body into a particular position can open the floodgates of “bad things” that the writer and Carl Jung seem to hint could happen.
The real danger is more insidious. Anything we make first priority in our lives, whatever we put into that highest place of honor, regardless of how good they may be for us, has the potential to become an idol. Anything we pursue to the exclusion of all else has the potential to divert us from the will of God, whether it be work, family, hobbies…or yoga.
So this is my challenge for myself, and I hope you’ll join me: Where are your priorities today? On what are you focused? Is it time for some change, some realignment in your life towards the things of God and away from things that are merely distractions? If you’re like me, the answer is probably yes.