Is yoga just a fun exercise, or does it have much deeper roots?
Let’s delve into the truth behind yoga and as scripture says “study to show ourselves approved”, and “my people perish for lack of knowledge”.
There is so much controversy in the “Church” regarding yoga that a serious education of its roots and concepts must be understood. Following you will find not only a brief but concise history of the roots of yoga but a question and answer section from a former yogi master now on fire for Jesus.
HISTORY OF YOGA
Pre-Classical Yoga – The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas were a collection of texts containing songs, mantras and rituals to be used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests. Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis (mystic seers) who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over 200 scriptures. The most renowned of the Yogic scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and internalized it, teaching the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action (karma yoga) and wisdom (jnana yoga). http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/history-of-yoga/
Asanas are not meant for physical fitness, but for conquering the elements, energy, and so on. So, how to balance the energy in the body, how to control the five elements, how to balance the various aspect of the mind without mixing them all together, and how to be able to perceive the difference between the gunas, and to experience that there is something behind them, operating in the world of man – that is what asanas are for. The process is slow and painstaking, but a steady inquiry facilitates a growing awareness.” – Iyengar
“Yoga [is] a systematic discipline which includes a technique for the mastery of the bodily organism and for rendering it healthy….and various methods or techniques of mind training for the sake of gaining the final knowledge and liberation. According to the Hindu religious tradition it was revealed to [humanity] by [The Lord] and even gods gained immortality and their supreme powers by its practice.” Werner, Karel. A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, p. 182 https://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/yoga.asp
The following is from a Q&A session in the Apostolic and Prophetic Training Group with guest Sumi Jayaraman
1. I am from India from where yoga originated.
2. I was born into a family of ancestoral Hindu priests.
3. I got deep into meditation and did astral travel before I learned to spell “Thesaurus”
4. Got my 500 hour yoga instructor license and was a practicing yoga and meditation teacher for a few years.
Now that is out of the way let’s discuss Yoga:
1. Yoga means Union with God in Sanskrit (which God? Let’s move to 2.)
2. To bring about this union, one needs to raise the “serpent power ” also known as Kundalini which is a dormant energy held at the bottom of the spine in the form of a snake coiled up 2.5 times. (serpent power….ring any bells?)
(Note* the door/portal opens to this snake through the act of yoga)
3. To raise this serpent power, one twists the body in certain ways and does several breath control exercises which open “chakras” in the body.
4. Chakras are points where major nerves criss-cross thereby becoming a center for concentrated energy. Every pose is an attempt to open a chakra.
So, aside from the term sepent power, this seems harmless enough, right? WRONG!
1. If we do it wrong by focusing too much on certain poses and certain breathing exercises, it blows the lid off the serpent energy, concentrating energy in certain parts of the body and depleting it in others.
2. The whole premise of Yoga is to attain God-like powers (siddhis in Sanskrit) along the way to attaining God status (Brahman). No one in the West understands or even knows the spiritual side of Yoga.
3. Even so-called spiritual masters aka Gurus do not know how to control the serpent power once it leaves the base of the spine and travels upward. The person is then at the mercy of the power that they have awoken.
Anything sound familiar?
In Hinduism, the notion is that we all have an energy source within us that lies dormant until awoken. This energy source supposedly longs for connection with “God” and the human has to do certain practices through any form of Yoga they choose or all (by forms of yoga I don’t mean just hot yoga or bikram yoga or iyengar yoga etc). By all forms of Yoga I mean Hatha Yoga (Stretches), Bhakti Yoga (devotion and prayer), gnana Yoga (gain knowledge through studying religious books) and Raja yoga (meditation, breath exercises).
In India, you don’t do one without the other. They have been designed to follow the 7 pillars that support what yogis consider the foundations to enlightenment.
Getting back to serpent power:
The hindu texts teach that immense powet and energy is contained within every person but remains asleep at the bottom of the spine. It is called Kundalini Shakti The Mother Energy that one needs to supplicate to through a chosen path above. This energy is described as a coiled serpent in the texts. The body of the snake is wrapped around 2.5 times. Once a person does these practices on a regular basis, the serpent wakes up. In other words it gets tapped out of its dormant position and starts going towards the head along the path of the spine (the texts also mention that if a person does the practices wrongly the serpent rises up through parts other than the spine and wrecks havoc in the body and mind)
Shiva, the dark Lord, the consort of Shakti the serpent power, has a snake as his adornment coiled around his neck.
The whole point of Yoga is to try and unite the couple and when done a person becomes like God.
Questions from the group.
1. Is there a snake within us?
Answer: There is no “snake” within us. What happens is that by subjecting the body to unnatural contortions coupled with breath control (called bhandas or knots in the supply of air/energy) one open portals in one’s body. Who is the snake as we know it – it is the devil of course.
2. Are certain body postures of the devil?
Answer: Body postures are not of the devil.
Stretching your limbs is not of the devil.
Contorting your body in unusual ways as if possessed by the devil while cutting-off/controlling life-breath is. Add to this, if one decides to focus on a certain “chakra” or portal of the body or chant specific mantras to open that portal or listen to mantra chants by way of music or engage any/all senses actively in a “science” which purports to make you God, how much more obvious should it be to a Christian that such a practice is of the devil?
3. Did the enemy create something or just stole something by stretching?
Answer: Stretching is good and of God. But contorting it in specific ways is not.
4. I was once sent to a yoga class for a season, so that two people were able to receive Christ as their saviour. The leader of the class kept also commenting that Love entered the room.
Answer: Here is the BIG shocker a lot of you may not know but having been in circles before Christ, I am all too aware of: There is a Yoga Movement that has been operating where those teaching yoga suppress and leave out the spiritual side of yoga until people start accepting it as just a physical form of exercise. The idea then is to introduce the spiritual side slowly so that the person starts the process of conversion into Hinduism unknowingly. Hinduism considers itself exclusive but this movement is gaining ground fast as so many people around the world think it benefits them. But the introduction will be subtle. Breath will come in, guided meditation classes will be offered coupled with yoga or on its own, one will be doing sun salutation and moon salutation, cobra pose, lion pose etc. without realizing what they represent and what they are doing and what they have come into agreement with.
After knowing what I know, I wouldn’t enter a Christian yoga center or anything that says yoga. Even if I left Christ out of the equation, why would I yoke myself to something that I try to explain in terms I understand but realize it has a dark side that even purported masters fear? Why would I do the practices that were created under the feet of the “dark lord” who is not my LORD and is the “lord of demons” and is the “lord of death” – yes, those are all the other names of the Eternal Yogi “Lord” Shiva.
We can find the same Love as the leader expressed, sitting on our couches, as you are well aware. That is the power of the Holy Spirit. He meets us where we are – figuratively and literally.