1. What physical condition is necessary for the Scripture Yoga™class?
The classes on the DVD’s are beginner to intermediate level and recommended for almost anyone. Stretching of the entire body is completed before any yoga posturing. Senior citizens and individuals with chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, and arthritis have attended and done well. Of course, if you have a physical ailment you should consult your physician before performing a ChristianYoga class.
2. What are the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga?
Scripture Yoga can benefit you physically through stretching and positioning, and spiritually, through the transforming power of God’s gracious Word.
Physical Benefits of Yoga:
• improved flexibility and posture
• reduced stress
• strengthened and toned muscles
• enhanced physical fitness
• improved concentration
• better coordination and balance
• increased range of motion in joints
• improved circulation.
Benefits of Scripture Yoga
• experiencing God’s peace (Isaiah 26:3)
• drawing closer to God (James 4:8)
• giving God your worries and cares (1 Peter 5:7)
• invoking Godly wisdom (Proverbs 2:6)
• resisting sin and temptation (Psalms 119:11)
• becoming what God wants you to be and allowing God to give you everything you need (Acts 20:32)
• worshiping God and spending time in His presence.
3. How is Scripture Yoga™(Bible verses recited during the class) different from secular yoga?
Scripture Yoga is different from secular yoga because God’s Word is recited during the yoga class. This allows participants to be still and quiet while meditating on Scripture verses. In the Bible, God instructs us to meditate on His Word (Joshua 1:8). The Scripture Yoga class provides a worship experience, while exercising the body, and being still and quiet while meditating on God’s Word. The yoga postures are the same as those used for Hatha Yoga. The difference primarily lies in the purpose and focus of the meditative session. Some Christians believe that if secular yoga is not completely separated from its eastern religion and philosophy, it could expose participants to spiritual forces that are not of God. Scripture Yoga is a Christ-centered approach that allows for the physical benefits of yoga and the experience of communion with the Spirit of the One True Living God.
4. What is the history of modern day secular yoga? Is there any history of yoga related to Judaism or Christianity?
The earliest archaeological evidence of yoga dates back to about 3000 BC before the beginning of Hinduism and Buddhism. Biblically, this would be sometime after the flood and before the birth of Abraham. The term “yoga” was introduced around 1500 BC through the Hindu religion. Buddhism began its association with the use of physical postures and meditation around 600 BC.
Interestingly, physical posturing such as bowing and laying face down and meditation have also been associated with the Jewish and Christian faiths (Exodus 4:31, Psalms 1:2, and Psalms143:5). Yoga posturing was not associated with Christianity until our era. Christian meditation is foundational focused on God and His Word and this is the focus of Christian Yoga.
The most popular type of yoga in the United States is Hatha yoga in which the Eastern religion and philosophical portion of yoga is completely separated from the yoga class. In Hatha yoga, the class is about performing the physical yoga postures and deep breathing. However, some secular yoga classes could still include portions of the eastern religion. Therefore, if you are a Christian and want to practice yoga, I highly recommend Christian yoga but also suggest caution and discernment when choosing yoga classes in a secular environment.
5. If I like yoga but I don’t want to put myself in the environment of secular yoga, what alternatives are available?
Scripture Yoga allows the practice of posturing and meditation in a Christian context devoid of eastern religious influence. In addition, to Scripture Yoga, there are numerous other types of yoga practice that incorporate Christian beliefs like Outstretched in Worship, Yahweh Yoga, Holy Yoga, and Yoga Faith.
6. Don’t Hindu’s worship other gods while in these yoga postures? Am I worshiping a pagan god(s) if I put my body into these poses?
God knows our hearts. He knows who we are worshiping when practicing Scripture Yoga and listening to His Word and thinking about Him. God judges our hearts. Just as Jesus said in Mark 7:14–15, 20-23 (NLT)ﾠ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.ﾠ All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
This principal can be applied to overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol or being tattooed. These things don’t necessarily defile someone. Exercising a certain way, including yoga posturing, is not wrong or sinful because it is what is in a person’s heart that God evaluates. Conversely, practicing Scripture Yoga outwardly alone doesn’t make one right with God, although, it does provide an avenue for God to impart His Word to us.
7. My friends tell me that yoga is dangerous and I shouldn’t be participating in it. To me it just seems like exercise. Why are they concerned?
Yoga is defined as “yoking” together. The exercises and stretches in yoga are designed to bring one to a place of meditation so that you can yoke, or join together with the spiritual realm. In Scripture Yoga, the goal is to prepare our bodies and minds to listen for the still, small voice of God. The danger of participating in non-Christian yoga is that one may unwittingly be led to yoke, or join to the spiritual realm in an undesirable way and be exposed to dark spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12).
8. Doesn’t the practice of yoga within an eastern religious context train your consciousness for a higher state of spirituality? Should I be afraid of that spiritual influence?
Any practice, behavior, or form of worship that adversely affects your commitment or devotion to Christ should be avoided. We are called to be discerning and to test the spirits to determine if they are from the one true living God (1 John 4:1). The Bible says the body of a believer is the temple for the Holy Spirit who lives within you (1 Corinthians 6:19). The focus of Scripture Yoga is to lead the participant to the highest level of true spirituality, a relationship with Jesus.ﾠ It should deepen the believer’s walk with God by facilitating focus and concentration on His Word as it is recited during the class. It provides an alternative method of exercise in a spiritually desirable and safe environment. Even so, Scripture Yoga may not be for everyone. As with all decisions, each person must choose for themselves as led by the Holy Spirit and conscience.