Yoga on the Mormon Channel

04 June

Mormon ChannelRecently the Mormon Chanel has been posting Yoga on their social networks. For some odd reason I was surprised that Mormons are into this type of spiritualism. Yet according to a Pew Research Study 27% of Mormons believe in this spiritual practice.

Unfortunately yoga has not only become prevalent in Mormonism, but in Christianity as well. Why anyone who professes to know Jesus Christ would think it’s a good idea of empty your mind, and repeat mantras as you contort your body in these different poses and postures is beyond me.

As I looked for some insight as to why Mormons would do this to themselves I came across a website that is quite telling to say the least. On The Mormon Women Project blog Joanne Dehlin writes about her experience with Bikram Yoga, and what led her to become and instructor.

Below are just a few of her comments I thought were noteworthy, along with my emphasis.

“We are creatures of habit, and we like to improve upon what we are doing. Eventually you can turn off your brain and just let the teacher’s words move your body. “

Turning off your brain? Yeah, just turn off your brain and allow someone else’s words to guide you. What could be wrong with that?

“My best ideas and inspiration happen while I’m practicing yoga.”

Well, if you’re emptying your brain and opening yourself up to other influences where are those thoughts coming from?

“Our spirits are connected.” (While they do these poses)

Uh…..I don’t know how to respond to that one.

As I read over her article I found myself having to get up and walk away, and then come back and pick up reading where I left off. And the truly depressing part of what she said is that it’s not uncommon. Many of those who profess to be followers of Christ say the same things about their choice to practice yoga.

Where did God ever tell us to empty our minds? How do you even do that? How do you think of nothing?

He’s told us in Romans 12:2 –

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Also in 2 Corinthians 12:5 we learn we’re to:

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

The roots of yoga are from Hinduism, and not of God. People say that they can only take the good things about yoga (like the exercising and stretching) and leave the rest alone, but how can you?

As Michelle said in her article Witchcraft, Satanism and Christianity Compared

“You can’t take yoga out of Hinduism and you can’t take the Hinduism out of yoga.

For instance, did you know that “yoga” is literally a Sanskrit word that means to yoke with the highest universal spirit or Brahman (the highest god of Hinduism)?”

yoga4People refer to yoga as a type of exercise, but it was never designed for that purpose. It was and is a way of worshiping one of the many gods in Hinduism. For instance when you do the Sun pose (sun salutation) you might think you’re doing some harmless stretches for your back, but what you’re really doing is offering worship to the sun god.

Many yoga poses were named after animals. According to yoga participants can learn something from these animals but emulating their movements. On their introduction to the animal poses of yoga the Gaiam Life website proudly states that:

“Every animal has a sacred gift for humans to learn. Animal poses can help us to connect with powerful aspects of the soul that we often repress in our busy lives. Before coming into an animal pose, it can be helpful to imagine what it feels like to be that animal. Try to envision where the ani­mal lives, how its body moves, how it eats and how it plays.”

Does that sound like anything a follower of Jesus Christ should be involved in?

What “gifts” could an animal possibly give us?

Scripture tells us we’re told to seek after the gifts of God.

James 1:7 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Romans 6:23 or the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

1 Corinthians 12 also many lists spiritual gifts God has given us.

My hope and prayer is that anyone who’s involved in this practice will truly consider what they’re doing. You’re opening up yourself to influences that are of God.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

References-

Mormon Channel: Yoga –

Pew Research Study – 

Witchcraft, Satanism and Christianity Compared – 

Salutations to the sun god – 

Gamia Life – 

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5 Responses to “Yoga on the Mormon Channel”

  1. Jeff June 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work’” (interview with Philippines Television, 30 April 1996).

    We also believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men…if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, we seek after these things.

    There is nothing wrong with a follower of Christ practicing Yoga in order to better improve their body, flexibility, health, mind, and even spiritual well being. Nothing. Thank goodness the Mormon Church understands this.

    I served my mission in South Korea. I had a FANTASTIC mission president who explained (quite accurately) that all good things come from God and all of God’s children have the “light of Christ.” He taught that it is not our job to take good things away from the people of South Korea or to impose “American Culture” or “American Christianity” upon people, but only to add thereto the ultimate “good” — knowledge of the atonement of Jesus Christ and his divine role as the savior of the world. As missionaries, we were ENCOURAGED to befriend buddist monks for example. We even attended their temples with them — understanding of course that we worship the one true God and Jesus Christ that he sent.

    I think the practice of Yoga squarely falls into this category. No, Yoga is not going to save you. Only Christ can do that. But practicing Yoga can be a “good” thing and, to a certain limited extent, can even help you draw closer to God. It can relax your mind, destress your body and mind, and help you refocus on things that matter — including but not limited to your relationship with Christ.

    When I practice Yoga, I do it with a sense of gratitude to my Heavenly Father. When I do “sun salutations” I do it with a sense of gratitude for the sun which HE created. I do not worship a dead ball of flaming gas, but rather I am grateful to my true God who created it.

    • Anonymous February 5, 2018 at 3:35 am #

      I agree with you, and as a new member I truly appreciate your view on this and agree. Thank you for your words.

  2. Amie September 24, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Yoga strenthened my faith in god and has helped me become a more dedicated member of the church. When i practice yoga, i am not worshiping brahman, but i am worshiping and taking part in christs compassion, and atonement for me. Yoga can be ascribed to any belief system. That is why millions of people practice yoga. Yoga is my body prayer. All mormons should practice yoga.

    • Anonymous June 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Thank you! For your comment. This is the most ridiculous article I’ve read. The church is not a box and there are many things that are good for your body and mind that isn’t simply coming from the church alone. You can have your opinions but maybe think outside of your square a little.

  3. Anonymous June 26, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    Wow!!! Im very much a Mormon, don’t worship Hindu Gods but LOVE yoga and not just the physical exercise portion of it. In fact I loved it so much that I became certified to teach it. I think you should do a little more research on the topic. Practicing yoga has been nothing but GOOD for me and I can see the good it’s doing in the lives of my students! There are so many studies documenting the benefits of yoga! You can believe in Christ and practice yoga.

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