In a country where yoga is very popular, yoga continues to grow, even though a lot of Christians frown upon it. However, yoga in the west is so much different from traditional yoga, which originated in the east. That’s because it is a product of the west’s efforts in separating many yoga exercises from Hinduism’s beliefs and practices. And since most of the people who are in the west are Christians, the only way to make it more personalized is to incorporate the practice with Christian music, so it was called Cristian yoga.
Cristian yoga vs Hindu yoga
Basically, one can say that Cristian yoga is just traditional yoga, but mixed with an adopted context of Christianity. It has been dominating the churches in North America. But then, its link to the eastern mysticism has triggered a lot of commotions among Christians.
Cristian yoga focuses on connecting one’s body spiritually through prayer. It allows them to unite their minds and bodies with the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of them. It works on three components below with the belief that a balance in one’s body, mind, and spirit is important:
The balance in a human’s body is natural in humans to be attached to their spiritual thoughts, feelings, longings, and body experiences. Thus, Cristian yoga is derived as the Christians’ way of serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hindu yoga, on the other hand, focuses on uniting the mind and the body, the outer world and the inner self, and the divine and the human being. This practice involves different goals and practices. For example, action or karma yoga, devotion or Bhakti yoga, knowledge or Jnana yoga, royal way or Raja yoga, and the inner concentration.
For Hindu yoga, health and holiness should come from the same source. It also follows the doctrine of the incarnation, where the physical health and spiritual holiness have to be united.
Cristian yoga takes inspiration from Bhakti yoga, which is equivalent to Hinduism’s yoga of devotion. This type of yoga aims to facilitate a bond between the practitioners of Christian yoga and the supreme being through the devotion routines. It’s a great method to connect and be immersed in the Holy Spirit.
Does the bible allow Cristian yoga?
While many Christians do not agree with the principles and practices of Christian yoga, it still holds a strong biblical foundation in terms of unification through the following verses in the bible:
- John 17:14-20 – In these verses, the Lord Jesus prayed for his followers and believers to be unified in him and in each other. Saint Paul, who was one of the apostles, supported this by pushing the unification of the members in Christ’s body.
- Colossians 3:14 – In this verse, love was identified as the main virtue that can unify everyone together perfectly.
- Ephesians 4:3-6 – In these verses, it’s said that there’s only Lord, one body, one spirit, one baptism, and one faith. Christians have the responsibility to make all the efforts in unifying and keeping the unity of the spirit via the bond of peace.
Unity is among the core priorities of Christianity, and this is why Cristian yoga is perfect for everyone who belongs in this religious group. A lot of Christians follow its physical aspects. Just like other types of yoga, Cristian yoga also incorporates breathing, relaxation, and meditation.
Using rock music for Cristian yoga
Before, Christians used to be judgmental by using rock music for Cristian yoga. According to them, the acts of playing rock music are all evil. But then, over time, it has been revealed that even rock music can help members effectively connect spiritually and emotionally.
So, as long as the intention of the yoga practitioner is good, and as long as the people continue to glorify God, then there shouldn’t be a problem.
Discussing the key components of Cristian yoga
Breathing is a common component in almost all types of yoga. However, in Cristian yoga, it’s required under the belief that the presence of God is in our breaths. This takes inspiration in the bible, in the book of Acts 27:25. This verse states that God provides breath and life to all things.
Deep breathing in yoga facilitates deeper union and meditation with the Lord. It can lead to many spiritual realities. For example, whenever we inhale and exhale, it’s an indication that we are alive, healthy, free from stress, and calm. It creates an intimate experience with the Lord. With that said, if someone doesn’t breathe, then they don’t have life, energy, or vitality.
In short, Christian yoga practitioners see this component as an important routine for inhaling God and his gift of freedom, the Holy Spirit, and exhaling whatever hinders strength, positivity, and everything that isn’t of the Lord.
Another component of Christian yoga is posture, under the belief that for a practitioner to perform breathing properly, then he needs to follow the correct posture, too. For example, sitting comfortably, with his hands on the knees with his eyes closed. Also, the breathing has to be done through the nose and not through the mouth.
Once the proper posture is followed, deep and long breathing can follow, with the goal to get the most volume of air.
The main component is a classic spiritual discipline that’s been present in Christianity and other religions throughout the history of religion. It is, nonetheless, the most basic but the most practical act of connecting with our God. In Christian yoga, it is executed best in two different ways:
- Positive contemplation – this is where a prayer is uttered with proper breathing from the heart, while the mind thinks of the Lord
- Yoga breathing – this refers to breathing along with uttering short words and scriptures from the bible.
One of the teachings in Cristian yoga is to recite a phrase, asking the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, while trying to inhale and exhale deeply. For a better connection, the words Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus Christ may be used.