Page updated 27 Oct 2015
What does the BIBLE say about Yoga (and the kundalini spirit)
There is NO SUCH THING as 'Christian' yoga!
pages to read
- Is Yoga or Meditation Harmful
- What does the Bible say about Martial Arts
- Renouncing Hinduism and yoga
- Yoga in the Christian Churches
Writer: Michael Sherif
Yoga is pervasive. Yoga is in the east and the west. Yoga classes are offered in Central Africa, in Russia, in Australia. Flyers for yoga are on university bulletin boards, in health food stores, in the elevators of high rise apartment buildings in downtown Los Angeles, and even as part of some YMCA physical education programs. Is yoga merely a physical exercise?
Regarding the yoga asanas or physical postures Swami Vivekananda writes in his book Raja Yoga:
In Yoga: The Method of Re-Intergation Alain Danielou, a French scholar on yoga, writes that the real import of yoga is as "a process of control of the gross body which aims at freeing the subtle body." The subtle body is regarded as extremely complex and consisting of 72,000 invisible psychic channels called nadis corresponding to the physical or gross body. The subtle body and the physical body are connected at seven primary points or chakras ranging from the top of the head to the base of the spine.
The chakras are believed to control the consciousness of an individual. Manipulating the spine through various yoga postures is believed to increase the energy flow from the subtle body altering the consciousness of the individual. Kundalini yoga and hatha yoga directly manipulate the charkas through their various postures and breathing exercises.
In a mind over body relationship mantra yoga also seeks to alter consciousness of an individual by the repetition of mantras, which Guru Dev, the guru of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, considered the "favorite names of the gods". Mantras are repeated silently or audibly up to several hours and produce altered states of consciousness.
What Yoga is and is not
Yoga is bound up in Eastern religious metaphysics and is not an innocent form of relaxing the body and the mind. The goal of yoga is the same as that of Hinduism, which is realizing that one is Brahman, the underlying impersonal God of the Universe in Hinduism. According to Psychic Forces and Occult Shock (Wilson and Weldon): "The physical exercises of yoga are designed to prepare the body for the psychospiritual change vital to inculcating this idea (the realization that one is Brahman) into the consciousness and being of the person. Hence talk of separating yoga practice from theory is meaningless. From a Christian perspective, whether the two can safely be divided is doubtful. 'I do yoga, but Hinduism isn't involved,' is an incorrect statement.
A Spiritual Counterfeits Project (Berkeley, California) publication on "Yoga" states:
In the Shankara tradition, which pervades most of contemporary Hinduism, the raindrop is pictured as the symbol of the individual self and the ocean is the symbol of the universal soul (J.Isamu Yamamoto, SCP Newsletter).
From Personal Experience
For this author more persuasive than any authority is the author's personal experience in mantra yoga, hatha yoga, and kundalini yoga. Definite altered states of consciousness are produced by yoga. However, these states of consciousness while initially anesthetic became with constant yoga practice progressively more oppressive resulting in a disassociation from the external world. Sensory input was accentuated and produced an overreaction to external stimuli resulting in anxiety. On intensive asana-meditation courses the author experienced several blackouts during mantra meditation sessions which lasted up to an hour and a half. No consciousness of elapsed time and no memory of what had transpired during the blackout existed after such an experience.
Coping with these altered states of consciousness produced in the author mounting tension making him easily upset by trifles (slamming of a door, the screeching of a jet fighter plane, traffic). In many ways the meditation/yoga experience is the classic experience of anxiety disorder so well documented by the Australian doctor Claire Weekes in her classic book Hope and Help For Your Nerves, which also offers the best non clinical approach for curing anxiety disorder of which panic attacks are common symptoms.