Yoga Is It A Religion Or Not?


This seems like a simple question, but the answer will vary depending on who you ask.  Everything to do with religion is complicated. Let me show you some of the answers that I found. states:  While Yoga may be found in many religions, the numerous yoga practices involving body, breath and mind, along with their transcendent goal of direct experience, are generally neither characteristic of any particular religion nor typically practiced by the adherents of any religion.  To say the word yoga itself is a religion makes about as much sense as saying that the words “union” or “holistic” constitute a religion.  What’s in religion that’s missing with Yoga?  Yoga has no deity to worship.  Yoga has no worship services to attend.  Yoga has no rituals to perform.  Yoga has no sacred icons.  Yoga has no creed or formal statement of religious belief.  Yoga has no requirement for a confession of faith.  Yoga has no ordained clergy or priests to lead religious services.  Yoga has no institutional structure, leader or group of overseers.  Yoga has no membership procedure,  Yoga has no congregation of members or followers,  Yoga has no system of temples or churches.  Anyone can practice yoga, and do so either with or without religion being involved.   At, here is the answer from Laurette who had been involved in yoga for 22 years before coming to Christ.  She believes that the yoga postures are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods.  And she believes that you could be accepted by one of these gods while doing the postures.  She states the bible tell us to abstain from things offered to idols.  Another area of her concern is the concept of emptying the mind, which is contradictory to what Christianity teaches.  She wonders what got in her mind while she emptied it.  Her advice is to think twice before heading out to take a yoga class.  She feels you could fall completely off track in your walk with God.

Here’s what Shay Johnson had to say:  As a Christian, who is very dedicated to my spiritual beliefs, I find it interesting that so many Christians are offended by Yoga.  Yet-they have no problem engaging in Western Medicine?  Western Medicine is not Christian either.  Many of its core values are based on evolutionary science.  In some ways, science has set out to replace God and to disapprove the existence of God.  But that does not seem to alarm us.  Many of the medications are dangerous, even life threatening.  And many, many, many of them are “mind altering.”  We wont let our kids do yoga but we’ll give them ADD meds and antidepressants?  We take medications that  alter our brain chemistry, we take medications that poison our bodies, and we take medications that cause addictions……but we can’t get past the roots of yoga?

If you are searching for information to decide whether or not yoga is detrimental to your faith.  My suggestion for you is to put aside all that you have read and try it out for yourself.



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