I know a number of genuine Christians who practice yoga. They see no problem with it, and in fact, some think I’m weird for making a big deal about it. Believe me. The last thing I want to do is be like the legalistic Pharisees in the Church who burden Christians with manmade commandments, like “Thou shall not drink, dance or go to the movies.” Jesus hates manmade rules. I always want to chose grace over sinful legalism. Christians are free in Christ. And, in fact, an idol is nothing. But even in the context of those often quoted words of Paul, he writes: "Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons." (1 Cor. 10:18-20)
I sincerely believe that those who practice yoga are “participating” with demons.
Why would I make such an outlandish claim? Living more than eleven years in Nepal among demon worshippers (i.e. Hindus) has caused me to make this claim. Think what happens in yoga. I would wager that everyone who regularly participates in yoga, have heard the “Om” chant. It is a regular part of yoga. Am I right? Would anyone disagree with such an obviously true statement? I doubt it.
Om is by far the most “holy” word\sound in Hinduism. It always accompanies their worship practices. “Om is the most important symbol in Hinduism, it occurs in every prayer and invocation to most deities begins with it. As the symbol of piety, Om is often found at the head of letters, pendants, enshrined in every Hindu temple and family shrines. This symbol is actually a sacred syllable representing the Brahman or the Absolute -the source of all existence.” (1)
I can testify to the above claim, that it is true here in Nepal: There is nothing more sacred to Hindus than Om. Now, you should realize that the devil rarely hides his face in Hinduism. And so on the most “holy” days in Hindu religion is when the most demonic things take places—things I have witnessed personally, such as: Animal sacrifices made, where people wear masks and dance for hours barefoot in the blood of the sacrifices in a trance or possession by demons. Also on these most sacred occasions is when the Hindu priests drink the blood of the animals sacrificed and then chant Om afterwards, asking their demons for peace. These are the type of thing that happen at the MOST HOLY events in Hinduism. What then of their most holy word: Om? I believe it to be Satan’s highest praise. When the Hindu priests drink the warm blood of their sacrifices, they commune with their demons and praise their demon-gods with the Om chant. OM is the equivalent of the devil’s praise—it is Satan’s I AM.
So what about the Christian sitting in a yoga room as people chant Om, asking for peace (which is exactly what they do here in Nepal; they chant Om asking their gods for peace.)? Often those involved in yoga speak of the great peace and tranquility they receive through yoga. But no wonder. Demons perform miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13-15; 16:13-14; 19:20). Why wouldn't demons give a sense of peace to a room full of people asking them for peace, using the “holiest” word for exclaiming Satan’s praise? Om is not only the most important word in Hinduism. “Om is an integral part of the philosophies, rituals, meditations and chants in Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. It has the same meaning and ramifications as in Yoga.” (2)
For instance, “Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. All the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum.” (3)
The point is that this very chant—OM—is universally recognized, in several world religions (demonic religions!) as having great significance. For some reason, the devil loves this word; he loves the sound of it. Hindus believe that the sound “Om” is what created the world. This is very interesting. We Christians know that God ‘spoke’ and created everything by the Word. It is as if Satan is taking credit for all creation through the Om chant—as if he were the creator of the world. So any of you Christians out there who wish to dabble with yoga, realize what spirits are giving you the tranquility you feel. Realize you are sitting there and hearing Satan’s highest praise sung. Realize that the whole room is asking him and his demon cohorts for peace, and the whole room, in one voice and in one word—Om—are giving Satan the praise for all creation.
In fact, since you desire to delve into Hinduism (since yoga is completely Hindu, even a dictionary will tell you that!) then why not, while you meditate, think of the words of one of Hinduism’s most important deities, Krishna:
Those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me….If you are not able to fix your mind steadily on Me, then do seek to reach Me by the Yoga of constant practice. (4)
Reflect on this Wikipedia article about Om, and as you do, replace the Hindu’s chief word for God (Brahma) with who Brahma actually represents: Satan: "The goal, which all Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which humans desire when they live a life of continence, I will tell you briefly it is OM". "The one syllable [OM] is indeed Brahman. This one syllable is the highest. Whosoever knows this one syllable obtains all that he desires. "This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma…. Chanting, that is, the syllable Om, is the best of all essences, the highest, deserving the highest place….God’s voice is OM.” (5)
All Christians reading this, do as you like. In fact, do all things to the glory of God. If you can do yoga for God’s glory, go for it. I cannot, so perhaps my faith is weak, or, what seems much more likely in the case of yoga, you are exercising a lack of discernment.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)