Why It Is Okay to Engage in Christian Yoga
Yoga has risen in popularity between many followers of many religious traditions or affiliates with no religion of any kind. Yoga is a series of physical and spiritual exercises that originated in the religious traditions of the East. Some directly correlate yoga with some other types of exercise and seem to be unaware of its link to non-Christian meditation practices. Believed to have originated primarily from Hinduism and Buddhism, its Eastern practitioners perceive yoga as a road to a spiritual enlightenment and union. Yoga, word that means "yoke", is the concept of unification with that of the divine — or more commonly known today as the union and alignment of body, mind.
For more than 5,000 years, Yoga has already been performed as that of an exercise. This promotes the link between the body and mind, thus maintaining an overall physical and spiritual health. In fact, involvement with the practice of yoga has been on a rapid rise during the last twenty years. One of the most common forms of exercise today is yoga and it also has various types – Hatha Yoga, Christian Yoga or Holy Yoga, etc. – and it is attracting people of all ages and walks of life. This article will be focusing more on the controversial Christian Yoga.
What is “Christian Yoga”?
Over the years, countless Christian followers have been using the word Christian yoga as something of a form of worship and praise when upholding what Christ considers to be His temple - our body. In the modern world of today, the practicing of Christian yoga has continued to evolve into a holistic form of worship, which exercises the mind, body, spirit, and soul by biblical teachings that contains certain poses wherein which biblical figures were in when praying particular prayers. It appears in religious texts that in observing these specific postures, which the prayers combined with a particular posture, can elevate one's worship or veneration. Christian yoga is, therefore, a physical practice of profoundly intimately communicating with our Creator and living God, Jesus Christ, with our whole being; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
There seems to be a lot of skepticism about Christian yoga, and Christians are really divided on this matter. Some claim that Christian yoga attracts evil spirits and supernatural manipulation, whereas others encourage it as they see it as a form of physical exercise that facilitates a deeper spiritual relationship with God. For some Christians who are engaged in Christian yoga, it is a way to for them to strengthen their bodies for the Lord. Christian Yoga training courses are springing up all over the world giving Christian believers the chance to get all the benefits of yoga while immersing themselves with the gospel and Holy Scriptures. For them, it is as if they doing a sacred dance before God.
Benefits of Christian Yoga
A variation of Christian yoga and meditation is often seen as advantageous for a Christian whenever the technique of meditation is practiced to boost the body, mind and spirit.
Enhance Health and Physical Fitness
Christian yoga is often recognized because of its help towards physical health improvement. Christian yoga practice allows a person to benefit from such a variety of physical exercise routines. Various positions used during yoga improve strength, endurance, agility, awareness, deep breathing and focus. These all contribute to the overall body well-being.
- Helps to improve proper posture, body coordination and muscle tone
- Enhance respiration by promoting complete and slower breathing
- Tend to decrease levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline throughout the body
- Promote cardiovascular health beneficial in reducing symptoms of hypertension and heart disease
- Improve sleep and boosts alertness
- Alleviate discomforts which are commonly associated with pregnancy, menstruation and menopause
Most Christians embrace Christian yoga not just for the physical therapeutic benefits, but also as a way of connecting more deeply with God. The relaxed movements and breathing techniques involved with Christian yoga help them to calm down, unleash stress and all other pent-up negative energies as well as ruminate on scriptures and worship God. Just the same as David, with all his heart, danced before the God almighty, Christian Yoga encourages believer to worship God through a rhythm of gentle exercise or movement that strengthens energy. Such movements can also foster such qualities as tolerance, empathy, generosity of spirit and humility, and so on. Being able to silence the minds and pacify negative thoughts helps one to stay in a positive state of mind throughout longer periods of time, minimizing instances of becoming unnecessarily rude, engaging in the present time, and enhances mental well-being. Christian yogis believe that as they become quiet and still before the Lord, they establish an environment within their hearts to discern the messages of the Spirit and the small voice of God.
Typically, a Christian yoga session should leave a yogi spiritually refreshed which is vital in building up one's inner man. Such benefits include the following:
- Facilitate the revival of the mind by meditating on various scriptures
- Foster internal calmness
- Leads to a stronger relationship with God by establishing a deep sense of intimacy with him
- Helps in developing the sense of fulfillment
- Nurture a positive attitude and humility
For the believers, Christian Yoga strengthens their spiritual relationship with God as it is a conscious and deliberate move to meditate and to be in harmony with one's spirit. Through fostering the revival of the mind through God's Word, there is significant positive change in the perspective of life of the Christian and their way of thinking to embody that which pleases God.
A Better Mental Wellness
It not only enhances mental soundness, but it also stimulates emotional stability through the following:
- Improve clarity of mind Ameliorates cognitive capacity
- Nourish positive emotions while suppressing negative emotions
- Helps to improve the unpleasant symptoms of certain neuropsychiatric disorders
- Promote a state of well-being and develops greater inner resilience and self-control
Christian yoga could really give all of us the best of all worlds, a chance to strengthen and keep improving our bodies whilst also connecting our minds and hearts to God.