Yoga. It’s everywhere. In ads for everything from I.T. to ice cream,
meditative supermodels sit cross-legged in the Hindu Lotus position,
contemplating “nirvana.” There are yoga videos for pregnant mothers,
senior citizens, toddlers and babies – even yoga for you and your dog!
You can work out with yoga straps, blocks, bolsters and balls.
The well-dressed yoga practitioner
can wear her loose-fitting yoga togs, carry her yoga mat in her matching
yoga tote and dress her daughter in Sesame Street yoga pants (featuring
Elmo!). Since yoga is everywhere, it must be okay. Or is it?
Those who think yoga is little more than a
series of stress-relieving stretching exercises may be surprised to
learn about true foundation of the multi-billion dollar yoga craze in
There are an estimated 15-20 million people
practicing yoga in the U.S., and estimates of 50,000 to 100,000 yoga
instructors offering classes at 20,000+ locations.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary,
yoga (coming from an east Indian Sanskrit word which means “union with
god” or “to yoke”) is “a mystic and ascetic Hindu discipline for
achieving union with the supreme spirit through meditation, prescribed
postures, controlled breathing, etc.”
Over the last several decades yoga has been
embraced by the mainstream of society – and even the church. We find
yoga classes offered at YWCAs, church fellowship halls, and even
As a child growing up on Long Island, I
became involved with yoga at the age of seven when my mother and I began
watching a daily yoga exercise program on television. For the next 22
years I was heavily involved with yoga, metaphysics and the New Age
movement until I came to the end of myself and surrendered my life to
Jesus Christ in 1987.
I call yoga “the missionary arm of Hinduism
and the New Age movement.” We don’t often think of other religions
having missionaries, but the philosophy and practice of yoga have been
primary tools of Hindu “missionaries” to America since “Indian priest
and mystic” Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West at the 1893
World’s Fair in Chicago.[i]
Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda is
attributed with the idea of combining the theory of “evolution of the
soul” with his teachings of Hinduism. Instead of working out one’s
“karma” by becoming a grasshopper, ant or human in progressive lives, he
taught an “evolution of the soul” whereby the individual continues in an
evolutionary process to “manifest the god within.”
Apparently he understood that Americans
wouldn’t buy into the traditional Hindu belief in reincarnation. Not
many westerners could imagine they would ever come back as a lower
form of life. A higher form of life perhaps, but certainly not a
lower one. Have you noticed how many people – even Christians –
believe in reincarnation? One can just keep coming back until they get
it right. Sadly, this false teaching leads people away from the
necessity for a Savior. And if we progressively get better with each
life, why aren’t we all living in Blissville now?
Some consider this Hindu belief a
theory to be embraced. Interestingly, definitions of “theory”
in Webster’s include, “a speculative plan, conjecture or guess.” Do you
remember when evolution used to be called the “theory of
evolution?” It’s seldom called a “theory” any longer outside of
Christian circles. Promote a theory long enough and it becomes the
truth? “Not hardly,” as my country cousins would say. But I digress…
Another Hindu missionary welcomed into elite circles was Paramhansa
Yogananda who started the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles. He
cleverly chose to demonstrate that yoga was completely compatible with
Christianity. Wearing a cross, he came to America in the 1920s with the
Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, in one hand and the
Bible in the other. He reasoned that yoga was the binding force that
could connect all religions.
From experience I can say that yoga is a dangerous practice for the
Christian and leads seekers away from God rather than to Him. You
may say, “Well, I’m not doing any of the meditation stuff. I’m just
following the exercises.” It is impossible, however, to separate the
subtleties of yoga the technique from yoga the religion.
I know because I taught and practiced hatha yoga for years.
Hatha yoga is the most popular yoga style available on store-bought
videos and in most gyms. For an eye-opening account of the background
and meaning of “hatha yoga,” please see my notes at the bottom of
Perhaps you have sensed uneasiness while
doing yoga (what some call a “check in your spirit”), but you ignored
that quiet nudge. I urge you to pay attention to it. Jesus Himself said,
“…the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice” (John 10:4).
Your yoga teacher may bow to her class saying, “Namaste” (“I bow
to the divine in you.”). Postures have names such as Savasana
(the Corpse Pose) and
Bhujangasana (the Cobra or Snake Pose).
References are made to chakras or “power centers” in the body,
such as the “third eye.”
relaxation and visualization session at the end of yoga classes is
skillfully designed to “empty the mind” and can open one up to harmful
As Christians, you are instructed to “be
transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2),
not the emptying of your mind. Many believe that transformation
process occurs as we meditate and feed on the Word of God – renewing our
minds by filling them with God’s thoughts, not emptying
them or filling them with the prideful thoughts of man.
seems the enemy has a counterfeit for almost everything the Lord offers.
While mind-numbing tranquility may feel good for a time, it’s a poor
substitute for the “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians
4:7) and “the joy of the Lord (which) is your strength” (Nehemiah
Yoga’s breathing techniques (pranayama) may seem
stress-relieving, yet they can be an open door to the psychic realm –
inhaling and exhaling certain “energies” for the purpose of relaxation
and cleansing (Paul refers to satan as “the prince of the power of the
air” in Ephesians 2:2, and I doubt the air to which he is referring is
oxygen, but rather the psychic arena some call “the second heaven” which
is certainly not a playground). Whenever you see the words prana, ki
or chi, these refer to “life force” energies (see the notes
on hatha yoga at the end of this article).
Both chanting and the customary relaxation period at the end of a yoga
session also have an agenda that may surprise the weekend yogi. Before
becoming a Christian, I remember numerous instances of “traveling
outside my body” during yoga relaxation periods. I wonder who – or what
– checked in when I checked out? Whether you believe such phenomena can
happen or not, some medical professionals claim such experiences have
led to psychosis. (Note: While Christians cannot be “possessed” since
the Holy Spirit resides in your re-created human spirit, one may be
“oppressed” by demonic influences.)
Nine out of Ten Hindus agree: “Yoga is Hinduism”
Again and again we hear or read, “Yoga is
science. It is not religion.” But what do Hindus and true yogis say?
magazine featured a quote from
Subhas Tiwari, a professor of yoga philosophy and meditation
at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Fla.:
"Yoga is Hinduism."
You may read the full article from the Sept. 5, 2005 issue at:
which included a quote from yours truly that “Christian yoga” is an
oxymoron (contradiction in terms – like a “Christian Buddhist” – no such
A staff member of an east coast Classical
Yoga Academy wrote to me, “Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone
should be aware of this fact.” This staff member went on to say she
didn’t appreciate my “running down of the great Hindu/Yogic religion.
Did you know that yoga postures are
offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods?
Can you see a twisting of Romans 12:1 here (“present
your bodies a living sacrifice”)?
One of our PraiseMoves Instructors spent
three months on a missionary trip to India several years ago. She said
her group often saw people performing yoga postures in front of statues
of the gods in the streets! Some brought offerings of flowers,
some fruit, some themselves…
Acts 15:29 tells us to “abstain from
things offered to idols.”
In an article dated May 14, 2006, Darryl E.
Owens of the Orlando Sentinel quoted
managing editor of Hinduism Today. Arumugaswami
Hinduism is the soul of Yoga
“based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga
opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one
needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. ...
Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own
an article entitled “An Open Letter to Evangelicals” from the January
1991 issue of Hinduism Today, Swami Sivasiva Palani writes,
“A small army of yoga missionaries
– hatha, raja, siddha and kundalini – beautifully trained
in the last 10 years, is about to set upon the western world.
They may not call themselves Hindu,
but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes.”
Swami Palani goes on to write, “We hope this proves useful to
you. I close with a quote from Swami Vivekananda, Hinduism’s
greatest modern missionary, spoken in January of 1895, ‘What I
now want is a band of fiery missionaries.’ It’s a hundred years late.
But it appears he’s going to get his wish.”
In the West, the term “yogi” is used to refer to anyone who practices
yoga. However, in the Bhagavad-Gita, the god Krishna says that the true
yogi is one who has surrendered himself “fully unto me.”
Besides these historical evidences, I can clearly state from my own
experiences and those of many I knew while in the New Age movement, yoga
class was the door that led us into the New Age Movement.
According to Swami Vishnudevananda, one of
yoga’s most influential leaders, hatha yoga “prescribes physical
methods to begin … so that the student can manipulate the mind more
easily as he advances, attaining communication with one's higher self.”[ii]
seems the student is being manipulated as well. Yoga’s “least religious”
form, hatha yoga, influences one’s spiritual life as unmistakably
as any one of the dozens of other yoga techniques. Hatha yoga is
actually seen as the stepping stone to raja yoga (the form said
to involve “psycho-physical meditation techniques to attain an
experience of the truth and ultimate liberation from the cycles of death
and rebirth, or moksha”). Anyone want to join me in a collective,
Yoga claims physical and mental disciplines
bring about union with God. According to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (once
associated with the Beatles), meditation “brings us more ability for
achieving something through right means, and very easily a sinner comes
out of the field of sin and becomes a virtuous man.”[iii]
really? Sounds like salvation by works (instead of by grace)
The Bible tells us: “For all have sinned; all
fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in His gracious
kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ
Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins… We are made right
with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life
Romans 3:23-25 NLT.
make me SICK!”
While most of the emails I receive are
positive, there are a few which disagree with my viewpoints about yoga -
some strongly (I was even credited with the remarkable ability of making
someone “sick” once or twice!).
You may study or teach yoga (or so-called
“Christian yoga”) and believe it is completely compatible with your
Christian faith. Perhaps you feel your relationship with the Lord is
unshakeable, but I ask you to consider for a moment the young Christians
and non-believers in your life. We all have people we influence by how
we live our lives.
In light of the facts – the religious
philosophy and history of yoga – take a look at Paul’s warning to
believers in the Corinthian church about meat offered to idols, “All
things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are
lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but
each one the other’s well-being… If anyone says to you, ‘This was
offered to idols,’ do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you,
and for conscience’ sake…not your own, but that of the other… not
seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved”
(1 Corinthians 10:23-24; 28-29, 33).
To strong Christians (strong in their relationship with the Lord
as well as the strong-willed, strong-minded ones) I say - certainly, you
may not be adversely affected by the subtle seeds of doubt and New Age
thought planted in yoga classes. You may even be going to a yoga class
that is devoid of much of the New Age lingo and Hindu phraseology. And
if not, perhaps you are able to see there is nothing inherently right or
wrong with the "meat" or postures offered to idols (1 Corinthians 8: 4-8). You
are oblivious to the visualizations and suggestions during the
"meditation and relaxation" at the end of yoga class, the talk of
chakras, auras, breathing in prana (the "life force"
connecting us to the "Universal Life Force") and getting in touch with
our higher self to unite with “Universal Mind” (remember, I was a
student and teacher of this stuff for 22 years).
However, would you
agree there are people in your life you influence? Do you think there
may be some unbelievers and new believers watching you?
Might someone young in the faith be watching you and saying to
herself, "You know, she’s a strong Christian and loves Jesus. She does
yoga and says there's nothing wrong with it. I think I'll take that yoga
class being offered down the street." This young follower may not have
your discernment. She may be like my mother and I were - weak and
unskilled in the Word of God and open to the deceptions of the enemy. Do
you think she could perhaps wind up in the New Age movement as I did?
Are we responsible for living our lives in such a way as to be a help or
a hindrance to the cause of Christ? That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t
"They are teaching YOGA in my child's school."
receive a lot of emails from concerned parents who tell me they just
discovered their child is being taught yoga in school.
Should you be concerned? I would.
they're not teaching any of the religious aspects of yoga, just the
are they calling it?
future years when your child is visiting a bookstore and passes by the
'metaphysical/Hindu/Buddhist/occult/what-have-you' section and sees
books on "yoga" (some of which are highly religious and occult in
nature), he/she will equate it with the warm fuzzies received during
those "harmless little yoga sessions" in Ms. Winkie's 3rd grade class,
and immediately buy the book.
may later go to college and live down the street from an Ashram, see the
word "yoga" and get those wonderful warm fuzzies, sign up for classes
and be on a whole 'nother path quicker than you can sing, "Swami, how I
love ya." (I was "blessed" by famed yogi Swami Satchidananda at the
Ananda Ashram in upstate New York when I was ten years old--less than
three years after we began doing yoga "just for exercise.").
parents have written to me with their concerns about the various yoga
curricula being offered around the U.S. and Canada. I'm sure parents in
Europe, Australia and elsewhere are encountering similar challenges.
When something is so widely accepted in mainstream society, those of us
who sound the clarion call are seen as "fearful" and "extremists."
If it were
me, I would urge the principal to look into offering stretching
exercises instead. That's one of the reasons why I developed
PowerMoves Kids. I was concerned about the prevalence and
growing acceptance of yoga in schools.
being used in a number of public schools (as well as private and home
schools). It's completely non-religious -- plus it has the added benefit
of Character Education (and all Character Education points back to
Truth, doesn't it?).
combines stretching with character-building quotes. It's the first
classroom program to combine Fitness with Character Education - please
personal experience, I know where the study of yoga can lead for
children as well as adults.
children are at a Christian school (yes, believe-it-or-not, some
Christian schools are teaching yoga) or home school, know that
PraiseMoves for Children is also available (DVD, not
ANY good stretching program is a better choice than yoga. Look around,
there are several good DVDs available on just good, healthy stretches
for children, athletes and adults.
Concerning Things offered to Idols...
Quoting from 1 Corinthians 8:1, 9-13 - be forewarned this
is hard to read:
"Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have
knowledge. Knowledge puffs up (makes arrogant), but love edifies (builds
up). But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling
block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have
knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who
is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because
of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak
conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother
stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."
So it is not out of a spirit of fear we avoid yoga, but
could it be out of wisdom and love for others - perhaps those who are
not as spiritually mature as we are? Can we do such things out of love
for others? That's too hard, isn't it? What if I LIKE IT???!!!
Again, looking at the “ouch” from 1 Corinthians 10: 28-29 and 33
- "But if anyone says to you, 'This was offered to idols,' do not eat it
for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience'
sake...'Conscience,' I say, not your own, but that of the other...
not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be
So - it's not all about ME after all. I win when I make the
decision to come in third place: 1st - “Love
the Lord your God with your heart and with all your soul and with all
your mind” 2nd – “and love your neighbor” 3rd
– “as you love yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-39).
While practicing yoga may not seem to have an
adverse effect on your Christian walk, it may be effecting your
Christian witness. Of course not everyone who knows and trusts you will
jump into yoga and find themselves engulfed in a New Age lifestyle for
22 years as I was, but some weak ones might – and be hopelessly lost as
others have been. Would you agree that we are responsible for planting
seeds of faith or doubt that can lead people to Christ or away from
I remember planting numerous seeds of
New Age philosophy when I taught yoga classes – enough to make anyone
without a firm foundation of Biblical knowledge doubt the veracity of God’s
Word and fall prey to satan’s question to Eve, “Has God indeed said…?”
For example, I was convinced that there was
no such thing as “sin.” All we had to do was “get in touch with god
within and connect to Universal Mind.” One of my favorite New Age
parrot-isms was, “Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking makes it
so” (quoting Shakespeare like it was Bible!). Another favorite: “All is
good. All is God.” And the real kicker whenever something bad happened
to someone, “Well, they obviously drew this to themselves on some
level to learn something.” What insensitive nonsense!
“Sin” I reasoned “is an acronym for self-inflicted
nonsense.” How clever. How humorous. How deadly – for if there is
no such thing as sin, then there’s no need for a Savior. And if there’s
no need for a Savior, then why did Jesus come? Oh, He was “just a good
Teacher.” Then why didn’t I follow His teachings? In John 3:3 Jesus
said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from
above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
is NOT Meat!
For those who would argue with the scriptures
in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10 and say, “But yoga postures aren’t MEAT!”
Okay. Here’s a scripture that’s even clearer. I believe the Lord drew me to this
scripture when I was praying to understand the differences among yoga,
so-called "Christian yoga" and PraiseMoves – Acts 15:29. The apostles were gathered together
considering what rules should be placed on the Gentiles who were coming
to Christ. Should they be circumcised, follow the dietary laws, etc.?
Led by James, Jesus' half-brother, they wrote a letter that has
since become known as the Jerusalem Decree. In it they wrote:
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit,
and to us, to lay
no greater burden than these necessary things:
you abstain from
things offered to
From things strangled,
and from sexual immorality.
If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
– Acts 15: 28-29.
PraiseMoves certainly isn’t for everyone,
but stretching exercises are! Find a good book on stretching
and flexibility. Look for videos that are purely about stretching the
body – not the mind and spirit.
The believer's walk is one of renewing
the mind (Romans
12:2), not emptying it - a practice
common in yogic meditation.
“But I have a lot invested in being
a yoga instructor (or student)” you may say. Sometimes the measure of
our growth in the Lord equals the size of the sacrifices we make to
follow Him. If you’ve been feeling “stuck” spiritually, this may be the
next step the Lord is asking you to take.
No, you don’t have to do PraiseMoves – but
why not consider a stretching and flexibility class instead of yoga? If
still unsure, please pray and ask the Lord about it. “Beloved, if our
heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” 1 John
PraiseMoves is Born
In February 2001 I began praying about an idea I believe the Lord gave
me for a Christian alternative to yoga, PraiseMoves. I’m careful
to tell people it’s not “Christian yoga,” which I believe is an oxymoron
(a contradiction of terms). What would you say about the woman who says
she’s a “Christian Buddhist?” Wouldn’t you think she’s bit
“Christian yoga” is an example of syncretism (an attempt to blend
conflicting beliefs, religions or philosophies). Actually, PraiseMoves
is a Christ-centered alternative to the practice of yoga.
When I told my husband Paul (also a former New Ager) about the idea, I
asked him what he thought of the name PraiseMoves. His first words were,
“Well, praise moves God.” That’s it! I thought. Here’s exercise
we can do which is good for the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (our body),
which also renews our mind on the Word of God, refreshes us spiritually,
and moves us to praise and draw nearer to our precious Lord.
Praise moves us closer to Him, too!
Over the next two years, I prayed, studied
and developed the PraiseMoves® technique. Our foundation scripture is 1 Corinthians 6:20,
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body
and in your spirit, which are God’s.” People who have been looking
for a safe alternative to yoga have told me PraiseMoves is answered
prayer. I also believe it can be a “witty invention” to win the lost.
postures are integrated with corresponding Bible scriptures. For
example, during a posture named “The Altar” (at left), we
consider the scripture from Romans 12:1:
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
Dr. Steven J. Scafidi, a chiropractor in New Jersey
“I have been experiencing terrific results using PraiseMoves and have
been recommending it to my patients. I am thankful to Laurette for a
program that combines Christ-centered worship with the physical benefits
often attributed to yoga.”
(To read more
Testimonies, click here.)
There are several PraiseMoves DVDs, and we
are blessed to train people interested in becoming Certified PraiseMoves Instructors,
starting their own Fitness Ministry
to bring this Christian alternative to churches, gyms, health clubs and
recreation centers across the U.S., Canada, in Europe and Australia.
More Information? Check out the links to
articles from Today's Christian Woman, Charisma and CBN.com on
our home page.
Holly Robaina, in article entitled "Take a Pass on Yoga" on
ChristianityToday.com does a marvelous job explaining the dangers of
yoga, so-called "Christian yoga" and how PraiseMoves is definitely
Other links available with good info
MANY fascinating articles
http://www.christianresearchservice.com/LifeWayYoga.htm - article:
Fitness Expert Promotes Yoga - New Age Movement
continues to Haunt Southern Baptist Convention" - by
Bud Press, Director, Christian Research Service - June 29, 2007
articles including those about so-called "Christian yoga" at:
“But wait a second, these postures
sure look a lot like yoga.”
I’ve discovered there’s not an
infinite number of ways the human body can move. Some of the
PraiseMoves postures resemble yoga postures while others do not. For
example, the 22 PraiseMoves Alphabetics postures are based on the 22
letters of the Hebrew alphabet
(such as Lamed, above left).
If I may be so bold, I consider PraiseMoves to be a
redemptive work. Realizing that “redeem” means to “buy back” or to
“restore” something to the way it had once been, I like to think that
moving our bodies to glorify God may not be such a new idea.
thousand years ago Paul wrote that “your body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit” and that we are to “glorify God in our body and in our spirit,
which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). King David “danced before the
Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14) around 2800 years ago. After
the Exodus from Egypt and crossing the Red Sea on dry ground Moses’
sister Miriam and the women danced and sang a song of victory to
celebrate God’s triumph over their enemies about 3500 years ago (Exodus
Critics tell me yoga is a “science” that goes back at
least 5,000 years. If that is true, then I KNOW glorifying the God of
the Bible in body, soul and spirit must go back further than
How can I possibly know that in light of the fact there doesn’t
appear to be any references earlier than Exodus 15:20? Because I know
that satan is not a creator. He is not capable of creating anything. God
is the Creator (John 1:3 says of Jesus, “the Word made flesh” that “All
things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was
made” and “For by Him all things were created…visible and invisible… All
things were created through Him and for Him” Colossians 1:16).
The enemy can only twist what God has
already created to serve his own wicked purposes. In fact, the word
wicked means “twisted,” like the wick on a candle or wicker
Another example is consider a piano once used in a
honky-tonk. The establishment of sin burns down. Can we "redeem" the
piano which was used to glorify the enemy? Can we clean it up and use it
in a church? Can we redeem the notes of the musical scale once used in
songs such as "Your Cheatin' Heart" and a host of ghastly satanic music
-- and use these SAME NOTES to offer praise and worship choruses to our
Creator? Yes, indeed! Glory to God!!
Destroy all music because of ungodly music?
Are we to throw all music out the window
because of the ungodly music in the world? Or can we redeem the notes on the musical scale,
the instruments, and the singers to offer worshipful praises to God? Of
course we can!
Considering this, I like to think of PraiseMoves as a
way to “untwist” these beneficial postures back to glorify God.
However, there are some among us who would
question whether or not we can “redeem” rock music or country-western
music. What do you think? Should we only sing hymns? I’m not being
facetious either. Some believe we should.
What about Paul’s admonition to “abstain
from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV)? Is the
appearance of evil to one the praise music of another?
How about this
interpretation from the Amplified Bible: “Abstain from evil [shrink
from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may
Is this a fine distinction to be decided
between each believer and the Lord (as opposed to certain topics over
which most or all Christians agree)?
certain postures we will
NOT do in PraiseMoves
I’ll admit there are certain postures and
gestures we will NOT do in PraiseMoves because of their appearance. For
example, did you know that the so-called “Praying Hands” gesture
(putting one’s palms together with fingers pointing upward) is a
mudra (Hindu prayer gesture) which pre-dates Christianity? Yes, even
though we love the paintings of the little children with their hands in
that position while kneeling beside their beds saying, “Now I lay me
down to sleep…” It is still too closely linked with the Hindu “Namaste”
greeting (“I bow to the ‘divine’ within you”) and other Eastern
religious practices, so we will not use it in PraiseMoves.
Besides, the Bible speaks of praising the
Lord with uplifted hands, not palms pressed together:
will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name”
(Ps. 63:4); “Lift up our hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord”
(Ps. 134:2); and “…and the lifting up of my hands as the evening
offering” (Ps. 141:2).
Having spent 22 years in yoga, metaphysics and the “New Age” movement, I
am like Christianity Today writer Holly Robaina in the “Take a
Pass on Yoga” article (linked above). I have a “big nose” for anything
even slightly metaphysical or leaning toward “mystical Christianity.”
Just like a recovered alcoholic or former smoker can smell alcohol on
someone’s breath or can tell if there’s been smoking in the non-smoking
hotel room, former New Agers like Holly and I are super-sensitive to anything even vaguely “New Age-y.” And yes, as a recovered alcoholic
and former smoker myself (by the amazing grace of God), I’m super-sensitive to those smells, too.
The Postures are NOT the Foundation of
What?! Isn’t this all about the stretching postures?
No. The foundation of PraiseMoves is
neither exercise nor the stretching
FOUNDATION of PraiseMoves is the Word of God
which we speak aloud or meditate upon.
healthful stretching postures are merely a “witty invention”
get us more into the Word of God –
to get more of the Word of God into us!
If the truth be known, the stretching postures are not
the foundation of yoga either (as you see from its history
told me to do yoga…”
“But yoga postures are beneficial!” I hear some say.
“My doctor/chiropractor/physical therapist told me to start doing yoga
and now my shoulder/arthritis/fibromyalgia is better.” Well, certainly.
There is evidence that yoga postures are quite helpful for physical
ailments. They can even be stress-relieving (although yoga cannot bring
true peace-only God through a relationship with Jesus
Christ can do that).
True, one could hardly imagine something
entirely unfruitful to be much of a trap for anyone. Without
physical benefits, I doubt people in the Western hemisphere would ever
practice yoga. I don’t argue with its physical benefits. If every
time someone did yoga they said, “You know, I would rather have hit
myself on the head with a brick,” we wouldn’t even be discussing
yoga—few would do it!
May I throw a wild analogy at you? If one wanted to
poison an animal, they wouldn’t plop a glob of poison on a plate and
yell, “Here, boy!” A more likely scenario would be to put the poison in
the middle of a nice hunk of juicy meat or some other food they’d enjoy.
“Hmmm. Looks good,” thinks the animal. “Smells good. Sure gonna taste
good.” Yep, it sure tastes good. Ah, but at what price?
Did you know that 98% of rat poison is corn?
Only 2% is the arsenic that poisons the rat.
to your Helmet !!!
true meaning of hatha yoga (the style available on most videos
and at most gyms today - you know, the kind that's "only exercise"):
“The term Hatha Yoga has been commonly used to describe the
practice of asana (postures). The syllable 'ha' denotes the pranic
(vital) force governing the physical body and 'tha' denotes the chitta
(mental) force thus making Hatha Yoga a catalyst to an awakening of the
two energies that govern our lives. More correctly the techniques
described in Hatha Yoga harmonize and purify the body systems and focus
the mind in preparation for more advanced chakra and kundalini
“Let us see the meaning of word
Hatha, it is made up of Ha + Tha. "Ha" means Ida nadi, (moon principle)
or left nostril and "tha" means Pingala Nadi (sun principle) or right
nostril. Nadi means psychic passage of energy which can be compared with
nerves in physical body. Hatha means balance of Ida and Pingala Nadis,
or balancing of mental energy of Ida and Vital energy of Pingala Nadi.
Ida Nadi can be compared with Parasympathetic Nervous system and Pingala
nadi can be compared with Sympathetic Nervous System. So Hatha Yoga
practices results in balancing the entire nervous system. The basic
purpose of Hatha Yoga is to purify the Ida and Pingala Nadis and then
uniting these 2 forces with the third Psychic Nadi Sushumna, which
carries Kundalini at Ajna Chakra (eyebrow center).”
- Yogacharya Vishwas
Mandlik, Vice Chancellor of Yoga at Vidya Gurukul (Yoga University).
“It’s just exercise…right?” Or is it?
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Report: Yoga stirs tempers in Norway prison
Wed, Aug. 03, 2005
- A Norwegian prison has stopped giving yoga sessions to
inmates after finding that some of the prisoners became more aggressive
and agitated, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The yoga classes were introduced on at trial basis earlier this year
at Ringerike prison, which holds some of Norway's most dangerous
Prison officials had hoped mediation and breathing exercises would
help inmates contain their anger, but it appeared to have the opposite
Some inmates became more agitated and aggressive, while others
developed sleeping problems as a result of the yoga sessions, prison
warden Sigbjoern Hagen told newspaper Ringerikes Blad. Hagen said that
deep breathing exercises could make the inmates more dangerous, by
unblocking their psychological barriers.
Laurette Willis is a speaker, actor, founder of PraiseMoves®
and author of BASIC Steps to Godly Fitness (Harvest House
Publishers, 2005) the PraiseMoves DVD, 20 Minute
PraiseMoves DVD (both Harvest House
Publishers), and The Busy Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness
(Harvest House Publishers, 2008).
She presents keynotes, one-woman
shows (such as Great Women of the Bible) and Fitness for His
Witness™ Seminars (featuring PraiseMoves®) to churches, conferences and women’s ministries throughout North
www.PraiseMoves.com for products
© 2002 - 2008, Laurette
Willis - PraiseMoves, LLC
Victoria Jackson, “Chicago Yoga Tour,” Yoga Journal,
www.yogajournal.com/travel/256_1.cfm?ctsrc=sectnav Accessed online
January 25, 2005.
Sarah E. Pavlik, “Is Yoga Really So Bad?” Today’s Christian Woman,
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