This blog post seeks to answer the question, “is yoga a sin?”
You’ve probably asked or heard these questions in passing, “can Christians do yoga?” or “is yoga a sin?”
Well, I’m writing this blog post to answer these questions.
Before I begin, this post is not a condemnation, but rather information from my research.
I hope this post will help you make an informed decision regarding partaking in this practice.❤️
Here are some pointers:
- It’s a known fact that Yoga is a popular form of physical and spiritual exercise.
- Yoga has been gaining traction in recent years.
- It has been marketed as being able to help to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and overall well-being.
This post will discuss 17 reasons why you probably need to rethink yoga. By understanding these points, we can better understand why practicing yoga may be considered a sin by some Christians.
Ready? Let’s go!
What is yoga…
Yoga is an ancient practice that is said to have originated in Northern India over 5,000 years ago.
It is touted to be a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices to bring about unity and balance in the body, mind, and soul.
Merriam-Webster literally defines yoga as “to yoke,” meaning to bring together, join, or unite.
The physical practice of yoga involves several postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama).
These postures are said to help improve strength, flexibility, and balance in the body.
The breathing exercises are reported to help:
- Regulate the breath
- Bring focus and awareness to the present moment
- Calm the mind.
Yoga also involves breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness exercises, which are used to focus the mind and cultivate inner peace.
Yoga aims to teach participants how to live in harmony with themselves, each other, and the world around them.
The rise of yoga for Christians
The rise of yoga in the Christian community has sparked debate and caused a divide among believers.
While some see it as an opportunity for deeper spiritual practice, others view it as a watered-down form of Christianity that undermines its theological roots.
Mixing yoga and Christianity can lead to a dangerous blurring of the lines between faith and culture.
Yoga is rooted in Eastern religious traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. Even if Christian yogis don’t believe in these religions, they still engage in practices that originated outside of Christianity.
Anyways, let me not jump ahead of myself…
For now, let me state that mixing yoga and Christianity can lead to a dangerous blurring of the lines between faith and culture.
My analysis of numerous Christian yoga websites
I went through almost 12 websites that provide Christian yoga.
I will not mention these websites…but here is what I found to be the general gist of Christian yoga:
- Christian Yoga is believed to be a unique form of yoga that claims to equip people to live out the gospel and become who they are in Christ. It utilizes traditional yoga poses but with a Christian twist.
- This form of yoga seeks to create an atmosphere of holiness where individuals can feel affirmed in their faith while drawing closer to God.
- Ultimately, this practice is seen as an opportunity for believers to experience inner peace and greater alignment between their beliefs and actions as they deepen their relationship with God.
17 most shocking details: is yoga a sin?
As you’ll see shortly… The Bible plainly states that we should not be partaking in activities or practices that are focused on spiritual worship or understanding other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Christians, it is our duty to live a life of obedience to God’s will and His commands.
So while yoga may seem like an innocent physical activity, it is essential to consider whether or not its spiritual aspects could potentially be a sin.
Please review the details/reasons below. Ask yourself if they provide enough evidence as to why Christians shouldn’t do yoga…
1. Yoga is in honor and worship of Lord Shiva
Hindus believe Lord Shiva to be a Supreme Being and source of power, especially in yoga.
Shiva is also known as “the destroyer” and is part of the Hindu Trinity. The Hindu trinity also includes Vishnu and Brahma.
The Bible tells us that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) and calls us not to engage in idolatry by worshipping false gods or idols (Exodus 20:3-5).
Therefore, we are commanded against honoring and revering any being other than the Lord God Almighty, including the worship of Lord Shiva through yoga.
P.S. Remember when I told you that yoga means “to yoke?”… so ask yourself- what or who exactly are you yoking yourself to?
Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
Exodus 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…”
Leviticus 19:26, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-14, “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices divination, or a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or a medium, or a necromancer…For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.”
Galatians 5:20, “Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy…I warn you…that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
2. Yoga ignores good and evil
The practice of yoga does not reflect a dualistic view of good and evil.
The Hinduism yogic philosophy holds that the concept of good and evil is an illusion or “maya,” or at least that they are one and the same.
Please check out this quote that one Yoga religious teacher states:
“There is no good; there is no evil, all is one. The different aspects of the same thing we consider to be good and evil” (Swami Vivekananda).
This teaching goes against the teachings of the Bible, which tells us that God created everything good (Genesis 1:1-2, 31), and sin (evil) entered in the garden of Eden. Clearly, there is a difference between good and evil .
3. Yoga is not compatible with Christianity
Christianity and yoga are two very different religions and philosophies that cannot coexist harmoniously.
This can be seen in Matthew 6:33-34 where Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Practicing yoga creates a disconnect between an individual’s spiritual life with God since it often opposes the teachings of Jesus.
I believe that when this is done, we aren’t seeking the kingdom first but instead our own selfish ambition, as you will see when you read more of this post.
4. Yoga requires Eastern mysticism
Many types of yoga involve Eastern mysticism and spiritual practices that are incompatible with Christianity.
These include meditation, chanting mantras, and rituals such as lighting incense and offerings, which are all part of Hindu worship.
As Christians, we should avoid any activities involving foreign gods and idols as this would be contrary to our faith.
“You shall have no other gods before me” (see Deuteronomy 5:7-8).
This passage shows that God wants us to worship Him alone and participate in activities consistent with His will.
Therefore, engaging in any spiritual practice that involves Eastern mysticism leads the yoga participant away from Christianity and can be seen as an act of idolatry.
P.S. The website “Marketfaith” beautifully explains what Eastern mysticism is!
5. Yoga can lead to New Age beliefs
Many yogis subscribe to the idea of “universal energy, ” a concept found in many New Age philosophies.
This belief states that all living things have an inherent connection or unity with one another due to the invisible energy force that binds them together.
This type of thinking is completely contrary to Christian teachings, as God specifically tells us to stay away from such practices.
(Deuteronomy 18:9-12), “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft” (NIV).
This passage shows that God wants us to avoid any type of spiritual practice or belief system that could lead us astray. Why? practicing yoga can lead one to New Age beliefs.
6. Yoga promotes pantheism
Many types of yoga involve teachings from pantheism which is the belief that everything in creation is divine or godlike, including animals, plants, and even rocks.
As Christians, we know that this type of thinking goes against our beliefs as there is only one true God who is the Creator of all things.
7. Yoga encourages syncretism
Syncretism is when various practices or beliefs are combined into one.
This is precisely what happens in yoga. Many types of yoga involve teachings from various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and even New Age Spirituality.
As Christians, we are called to be faithful to our own beliefs and not mix them with other faiths.
(Deuteronomy 12:30-31), “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow after them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way.”
This passage tells us that we should be faithful to our beliefs and not mix them with other faiths, so practicing yoga that encourages syncretism.
8. Yoga can defile you!
As Christians, we must remember that our bodies are the temples of the Lord, and while it is essential to keep them healthy, we must also be cautious not to defile ourselves.
Here are two verses:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (NIV).
The book of Leviticus (Chapters 18-20) also contains a lot of warnings against defiling oneself.
9. Yoga involves chanting of ungodly mantras
Many types of yoga involve chants or mantras, which are often in Hindi or Sanskrit.
These chants are not in the worship of God (Elohim).
I wanted to put a few of the chants here and explain them…but I decided against this.
Just know that they are very catchy chants that do not glorify God in any way but focus on self and one’s own illumination and consciousness.
Other forms of yoga chants, i.e., “Kirtan,” chant mantras of specific gods and goddesses. Again, this isn’t in the worship of the one true God!
As Christians, we must remember that worshipping any other god besides our own is a sin.
(Exodus 20:3-5), “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”
This passage tells us that we should only be worshipping our own God, so practicing yoga, which involves chanting mantras, can be seen as a sin, according to scripture.
10. Yoga is ritualized worship via sacred poses
Many types of yoga involve ritualized movements such as stretching and breathing exercises which can be seen as forms of worship.
While this may seem harmless, please note that these sacred poses imitate deities in Hindu culture.
If you do a quick google search, you will find the poses in both Hindu and English. For example, “Hanumanasana” is a pose that is known as “the splits” and it is done in honor of Hanuman- the monkey god.
I’m opting not to put the pictures up on my blog post.
As Christians, we are called to worship God and Him alone.
Exodus 20:3 states, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (NIV).
This passage tells us that worshipping anything or anyone else apart from the one true God is considered idolatry and should be avoided.
Therefore, engaging in activities such as yoga which involve ritualized forms of worship, can be seen as a sin since it takes away from our relationship with Christ.
11. Yoga focuses too much on the self
Many types of yoga emphasize achieving inner peace, enlightenment, and spiritual growth through self-focused activities.
This thinking is incompatible with Christian beliefs since the Bible teaches us that our purpose in life should be to glorify God and serve Him.
1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
This passage shows that we should focus on serving others rather than ourselves and that any activity which takes away from this mission should be avoided.
Therefore, practicing yoga can be considered a sin since it puts too much emphasis on individual growth instead of spiritual growth through Christ.
12. Yoga promotes false religious ideas
Many types of yoga involve teachings that are contrary to the Word of God. These teachings include reincarnation, karma, and the belief in many gods.
These ideas are completely false and should be avoided at all costs as they go against Christian teachings.
1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (NIV).
This passage tells us that we must be discerning regarding spiritual activities and practices, as some can lead us astray.
13. Yoga is a spiritual or religious lifestyle
In Hinduism and Buddhism, yoga has come to represent an entire way of life or philosophy, not just a physical exercise or stretch.
Participants in these practices are expected to live according to the principles set forth within the teachings of yoga.
This includes living with peace and harmony and avoiding activities such as gambling, drinking alcohol, and eating meat (in some cases).
While it’s true that many yogis do not follow all these strict rules about how to live their lives, the fact remains that yoga is still a spiritual practice, and participating in it would essentially mean subscribing to the laws of another religion or faith.
14. Yoga promotes worldly meditation
Many types of yoga emphasize meditation, which involves emptying one’s mind of all thoughts and focusing on breathing exercises.
While this may seem harmless, Christian teachings warn us against this type of activity.
- First of all, in Christianity we are to be filled only with the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit). I’m confused as to whether emptying one’s mind and thoughts would involve emptying the Holy Spirit and opening oneself up to other entities. (I’ve watched many YouTube testimonies online that talk of this).
- Secondly, when we pray and meditate in Christianity- we are still to be open to hearing the voice of God. I believe that we should listen for God’s still, small voice rather than trying to empty our minds of all thoughts.
Therefore, practicing yoga, which involves meditation, is problematic since it can lead us away from hearing God’s voice.
15. Yoga teaches false doctrines, i.e., reincarnation
Many types of yoga involve teachings about reincarnation, karma, and other non-biblical concepts which go against God’s instructions.
As Christians, we must remember that there is only one soul per person and one life, and then judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 states, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” .
This passage tells us that there is only one life, and therefore practicing yoga, which teaches false doctrines, clashes with Biblical doctrines.
16. Yoga emphasizes flesh or glorifying bodily postures
While exercise is vital for physical health, many types of yoga excessively emphasize bodily postures and movements that are not part of Christian worship.
In Galatians 5:16-26, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
This passage tells us that we should not hyper-focus or glorify fleshly activities that can take away from our relationship with God.
Excessively focusing on physical postures in yoga can be act of vanity and idolatry. Why? because it is a form of self-worship that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
17. Yoga is also a gateway to dangerous realms
A few years ago, I watched a testimony by a lovely lady that had garnered millions of views.
As of today, it appears the YouTuber took the video down. It was such a powerful testimony.
In a nutshell, she started practicing yoga then became a master teacher. She then moved to a certain country where this practice is prevalent.
After numerous years of torment…she sought deliverance. Through her deliverance, she had to get “unyoked” to demonic entities she was yoked to.
8 alternatives to yoga
If you’re looking for alternative forms of exercise or relaxation techniques to yoga, plenty of options are available.
Here are some alternatives that you can try:
- Hiking: Get out into nature while engaging your body in physical activity.
- Cycling: A great way to exercise without putting too much strain on the body.
- Swimming: A low-impact exercise that provides an aerobic workout and builds strength and endurance.
- Strength training: Working with weights or your own body’s resistance can help build muscle, improve coordination and balance, and provide cardiovascular benefits.
- Dance classes: Whether it be hip hop, salsa, contemporary or ballroom dancing – this fun exercise helps burn calories whilst improving flexibility and toning muscles from head to toe.
- Rock climbing: An exhilarating adventure sport that requires skill and strength to climb walls and cliffs.
- Stretching: Regular stretching helps improve flexibility, posture, and circulation – this can be done without being rooted in yoga, as it merely involves lengthening your muscles and joints by performing certain poses.
- Quiet Time: Take some time out of each day to sit quietly and reflect on what’s important in life, or just simply relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life.
And that’s it, folks, my post on is yoga a sin…
I’m so enthusiastic about my research blog posts.
Through my research, I found out so much more about the practice of yoga. My research affirmed my hesitancy to engage in it! (My guess- it was discernment.)
I really tried to be objective, but halfway through the post, I was like, “Gosh! I can’t even be objective anymore.”😭
In my opinion, the practice of yoga is clearly not in alignment with Biblical teachings. Additionally, even if yoga doesn’t lead to sin, I believe yoga provides a slippery slope to other harmful beliefs!
Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this practice!
As I’ve reiterated throughout the post- any practice which goes against God’s teaching is a red flag! Moreso, it must be avoided.
We must remember that only God is divine, and we are mere mortals who cannot become gods.
Let us stay faithful to our own Christian beliefs. May we refrain from mixing them with other faiths.
I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you into all truth.
Other relevant blog posts that I’ve written:
What Does The Bible Say About Crystals?
7 Reasons Why the Enneagram is Deceptive and Unbiblical (Christian Perspective)
7 Dangers of Unknowingly Taking Ungodly Oaths in Sororities and Traditional Societies
4 thoughts on “17 Most Shocking Details: Is Yoga a Sin?”
I could not do yoga anyway because I am clumsy and would get stuck 🙂
Good info little sister
heheh! I totally understand! I just found it a tad bit weird for me so I never tried it. God bless you!
Heather, thank you for sharing this. Many years back I considered yoga when it was gaining quite a bit of traction. But as I thought about it, there was something that always made me hesitant. I did not reflect on all the details like you did in this post. But the origin in Hinduism, the chanting of ‘om’ was a big no for me. And with the origin being in a certain religion, I thought that the poses would mean something which I am not aware of and I would be accidentally partaking in something that goes against my faith.
Hello Manu! Thanks for sharing your insight; I really appreciate it. I once took a wellness class with a yoga class as part of the curriculum. I skipped the classes. Why? Because I had watched a lady’s deliverance testimony. She had her own yoga studio… so she believed in, practiced, and taught yoga. This lady was under severe torment, and she broke down numerous reasons why we shouldn’t practice yoga. We are spirit beings, and I’m glad I opted out of it. I’m also super happy to hear you had the insight to opt out as well!