Holistic Health Practices/Part 41

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2010
Millions of people employ yoga as an alleged health exercise or as part of a broader program of health maintenance. But true yoga is the occult use of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation for supposed spiritual enlightenment. One of the major developers was Patanjali (ca. 400 AD), the compiler of the classical Raja yoga text Yogasutra.

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What is yoga?

Millions of people employ yoga as an alleged health exercise or as part of a broader program of health maintenance. But true yoga is the occult use of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation for supposed spiritual enlightenment. One of the major developers was Patanjali (ca. 400 AD), the compiler of the classical Raja yoga text Yogasutra.

The physical exercises of yoga are believed to prevent disease and maintain health through bodily regulation of prana (mystical energy). Further, because the body is viewed as a crude layer of the mind, various manipulations of the physical body (some severe) can allegedly affect the mind, bringing supposed spiritual (occult) enlightenment.

In Hindu mythology, the serpent goddess Kundalini “rests” at the base of the spine. She is aroused by yoga practice, travels up the spine regulating prana, opens the body’s alleged chakras (psychic centers), unleashes psychic powers, and finally reaches the top or crown chakra permitting enlightenment. Symptoms of kundalini arousal – which frequently constitutes spirit possession – include indescribable mental and physical pain, undiagnosable medical conditions (some severe), and/or temporary and sometimes permanent insanity.

Forms of Yoga

Different Eastern or mystical religions practice different forms of yoga. Even in a given religion, there are various schools depending on the emphasis. In Hinduism, we find Hatha (physical), Raja (mental), Bhakti (devotional or emotional), Jana (knowledge or spiritual), Siddha (psychic powers), Karma (action or social responsibility), Laya (sound), Mantra, and other yogas. Kundalini may be labeled as a separate yoga; however, it should be observed that all yoga may arouse kundalini. Although the emphasis may vary, the basic goal is similar: union with ultimate reality, however defined. In Hinduism this would be union of the individual self (atman) with the supreme self (paramatman), itself one with Brahman, the highest impersonal Hindu god. In Buddhism it would incorporate union with nirvana, etc. Whatever its goal, yoga is characteristically a pagan, occultic practice.

Problems of Yoga

The problems presented by yoga are both individual and social. Widespread claims to the contrary, it is not a health practice. The person who engages in yoga for health purposes may find himself converted to an occultic way of life. In spite of its perception as a safe and valuable technique, true yoga involves occultic meditation and the development of psychic powers which may result in spirit contact or spirit possession.

Although the public falsely perceives yoga as a safe or neutral practice, even authoritative yoga literature is replete with warnings of serious physical consequences, mental derangement, and harmful spiritual effects. Paralysis, insanity, and death are frequently mentioned. Allegedly, such consequences arise from wrong yoga practice but, in fact, they really arise because yoga is an occult practice. Those who care about their overall health should not practice yoga.

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