Yoga may be identified as a form of worship in modern Hinduism, but that does not mean it should be off limits to followers of Christ.
Although yoga can be considered a religion to some, I see it more as a form of worship. Practicing yoga will not dictate where you end up at the end of this life, but it can, however, be a way of becoming closer to God.
The beautiful thing about yoga is that it can be made your own. If you want it to be your religion, fine, but we as Christians can use that time of strengthening our bodies to focus on God.
What really drew me to practicing yoga was the amount of attention dedicated to breath. Breathing in and out, instructors helped me fully relax and unwind. Instead of taking that time to thank the universe, like many yogis do, I used that time to reflect on my relationship with Jesus. When I did this, I realized how many forms of worship there are, and even though it can be derived from another religion, that does not mean it cannot be applied to others.
Within Scripture it says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, therefore, we must take care of them and not take advantage of what God has given us within our bodies. Yoga is a practice where it forces you to challenge your body and see firsthand the amazing things it is capable of doing. This is when Christianity and yoga flow beautifully together.
Yoga helps to separate yourself from everyday stress and gives you a time of concentration and reflection. Everyone needs this time for himself or herself, and Christians should take that time to experience it and mold it into something that can glorify God.
Hindus are definitely not the only ones that can benefit from yoga, but people from all beliefs can gain something from its teachings. If taken from a more spiritual level, yoga’s teachings can actually mirror God’s moral standards. Along with recentering your mind and spirit, yoga promotes contentment, truthfulness and discipline.
Yoga is not a bad thing. It can be used as a tool to meet my fitness goals while drawing nearer to God. When you roll out your mat, you are the dictator of what you want your practice to be.
Christians shouldn’t be afraid of opening up to something new, especially if it can be used as worship. Do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. I have noticed that when I stretch my limits, I end up reaching closer to God.