Christoga: Christian Yoga?

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So, I’m browsing Netflix. I search the term “Christian” just to see what comes up. One of the results that comes up is Christoga: Christian Yoga. Apparently, I missed the boat on this by a few years. It’s dated 2007.

I’m sitting there wondering if I had been transported to bizarre-o land. Well, maybe I had since I was on the internet. I’m still wondering though. What in the world…

What is Christian yoga? Do I really want to know? Yes! For some odd reason, I do want to know. When someone tells you how badly something stinks, you’ve just got to smell it! I then click the Netflix page and read the following description.

Actress Janine Turner joins forces with fitness expert Mary Cunningham to create a routine that combines hatha yoga and Christian meditation for a workout that exercises both body and soul. Using biblical Scripture, Turner and Cunningham give Christian names to traditional yoga poses. As you perform Christ Exalted, Mighty Disciple and Salvation Rotation, you’ll feel your spirit stretching along with your muscles.

Those “Christian” yoga position names can only be described as something….something a Christian shouldn’t say. Uh, yeah. OK. Then, I go check out the Amazon page. There are actually 11 reviews. Why? Well, check out the program’s creators, Janine Turner and Mary Cunningham, in the video below giving more information.

Did you catch the Christian names for the Yoga poses?

  • Angel Breath
  • Reverent Rotation
  • Holy Roller
  • Prophet Plank Low
  • Apostles Pose 1
  • Pious Pose
  • Moses Staff
  • Daniel’s Lion
  • Prodigal Son
  • Eye of the Needle
  • Angel’s Wings
  • Disciple’s Table
  • Noah’s Ark
  • Fisherman’s Boat
  • Reverent Worshiper
  • Downward Praying Pose
  • Son of God Salutations
  • Mighty Disciple 1
  • Holy Triangle
  • Christmas Star
  • Cathedral’s Chair
  • ????? Tree
  • Christ Exalted
  • Jesus Christ

Yep, the last pose mentioned was named “Jesus Christ”. Blasphemous or worshipful? The only spiritual workout one should get with this DVD is a workout in discernment. This is truly where reality transcends fantasy. What will be Christianized next?

Stephen King couldn’t make this stuff up!

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in Culture,heresy,relativism

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason Smathers June 14, 2010 at 11:23 am

I’d love to hear your prospective on Christians performing Yoga. The concept of transforming the workout to a practice acceptable for Christians seems noble. However, this clearly has gone too far into and is quite blasphemous.

2 Mark June 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Jason, my perspective on Christians performing Yoga are that as long as they are only doing the physical exercise I have no problem.

If, however, they are doing the exercises combined with the breathing and movements seeking spiritual growth and strength through higher meditation, etc. I have a huge problem with it.

3 Jugulum June 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I agree with the analysis Greg Koukl has given of yoga–to the extent that yoga consists of certain stretches & exercises, Christians can engage in those for the health benefit.

This strikes me as a straightforward example of “meat sacrificed to idols”. Except we don’t even have a physical object that had been sacrificed to an idol–we have an exercise that an Eastern religion uses in a certain spiritual context. The exercise doesn’t inherently carry the spiritual elements with it.

But that doesn’t lead us to “Christian yoga”, any more than we need “Christian weight-lifting” or “Christian physical therapy”. It looks like she’s trying to keep the meditation elements, and that seems unwise.

Most of these names don’t strike me as blasphemous–they just seem like silly Christian kitschy modifications, like in cheesy Christian t-shirts that put “Christ the King” in a “Coca-Cola”-style logo. The “Jesus Christ” move name, though… Ick.

4 Darrin June 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I remember hearing and considering years ago how the word “Christian” wasn’t really intended to be used as an adjective, or at least isn’t really appropriate as such. Think about it – it can lead to some good considerations. Try defining things without that word, and we may lay them bare to what value they really have or do not possess. We’ve created a whole class of stuff which, merely by virtue of flying that banner, assumes various forms according to the understanding of the observer. Problem is, sometimes it does not fit well with biblical Christianity, and at any rate nominal Christians are now so diverse in their convictions, the adjective has little meaning left.

5 Coram Deo June 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm

That clip gives a whole new meaning to the term “Burn DVD”.

In Christ,
CD

6 Kim in ON June 17, 2010 at 7:22 am

I came in through “Reflections of the Times.”

Yikes. Cheese! The physical benefits of yoga, I think, are not bad. However, Pilates uses similar moves, and don’t use names that the user has to find Christian “replacements” for.

That’s sort of like saying I’m having a Christian jogging workout because I listen to Christian music will I’m running.

7 Mark June 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Darrin, it really does take away the meaning of the word. Even if it didn’t what does it mean for something to be “Christian” anyway?

CD, nice turn of phrase.

Kim said

That’s sort of like saying I’m having a Christian jogging workout because I listen to Christian music will I’m running.

LOL exactly!

8 Bella June 21, 2010 at 1:06 am

I don’t understand any issue or problem with “Christians” doing “yoga.” I have practiced both. Why the labels? Why can’t “people” just do whatever enhances and strengthens their body, mind and spirit? And since we are not robots, and all different, why not accept that different people have different avenues to strengthening their beings in whatever ways work best for them, as long as it’s all positive? When we will ever get past all the labels and categories and let pure love reigh supreme? -Bella

9 Mark June 21, 2010 at 11:38 am

Hi Bella,

My issue is with Christians doing Yoga with qualifications. If the spiritual aspects of Yoga has roots in another religion that is contrary to Christianity, and it does, then a Christian should not participate. However, my conscience is clear for a Christan to perform Yoga merely has physical exercise.

You ask – “Why the labels?” That is one of the main points of this post. Why label something as “Christian” Yoga?

For a Christian, if something is spiritually contrary to God as revealed in the Bible then there can be no mixing of a contrary religion for spiritual strengthening. Therefore, to participate would actually be spiritually weakening for the Christian.

For love to reign supreme that can only be so by embracing God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

10 Bella June 21, 2010 at 11:48 am

What are the other aspects of yoga that you feel are contrary to Christian beliefs? I practice Christianity and have studied it (with your parents by the way), and have also studied and practiced Yoga, and have also studied Buddhism a bit and some other philosophies. I have found many simialarities, mostly coming down to love reigning supreme. Do you believe this is the key to Christianity, to life, to everything? And all for the cause of making the world a wonderful, loving, joyous place to be? Ecclesiastes 3:12- “I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.”

11 Mark June 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Bella,

My parents didn’t actually practice Christianity. They practiced a sect of Mormonism based on the teachings and writings of Joseph Smith.

If you’ll take a look at my 60 Seconds? link it’s a concise telling of the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the bottom you’ll see a “Two Ways to Live” link which will walk you through the Christian worldview.

The spiritual aspects of Yoga has Hindu roots and it is contra-Christianity. Buddhism similarly is contra-Christianity. Neither have a savior who offers forgiveness of sins.

The key to Christianity may be summarized by the following Bible verses:

[16] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [18] Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
(John 3:16-18 ESV)

[1] Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. [3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ESV)

[16] For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. [17] And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. [18] Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. [19] If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:16-19 ESV)

There are other aspects of understanding such as the Trinity, Jesus virgin birth, etc.

So, in Christianity for love to reign supreme it does so through God the Father sending God the Son, Jesus Christ to die for sinners. It is only embraced by faith in Jesus.

12 SirBrass June 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I find it unsettling to read or hear someone say “I practice Christianity.” Christianity is not a mere man-made religious practice which one adopts into one’s already-existing life. It IS THE way of eternal life because Christianity is the religion of those who have been redeemed from their own sinful state by the sacrifice and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross at calvary. One cannot simply “practice” Christianity like one practices a sport or a martial art, that is too shallow. We talk of adhering to Christian practices, but that is speaking among Christians. One IS a Christian or one IS NOT. It is a state of being, the only way of true life.

13 Paul September 27, 2010 at 4:07 am

Christiananity refers to a follwer of Christ. Some people. As Sirbrass has said, it is a way of life.

14 Sandip August 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

Mark,
Why Can’t Christians seek spiritual goal?
That has nothing to do with religion!

.

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