Many Christians have denounced the practice of yoga to be highly soaked in pagan rituals and philosophies. Those who practice yoga attempt to reach a higher part of one’s self, which is often interpreted as making oneself god and finding divine qualities in oneself.
However, a new trend is growing where Christians are baptizing the once “anti-Christian” recreational activity with new meaning by emphasizing peace found through Jesus Christ.
Outstretched, a Christian Yoga ministry from the Jubilee Shores United Methodist Church in Fairhope, Alabama, explains the new approach:
“The Outstretched philosophy is simple: we believe God will bless our sincere efforts at deepening a relationship with Him. He wants our fellowship and appreciates creative approaches to seeking His face. This is why Outstretched is dedicated to a Christ-centered pursuit of physical healing and spiritual growth through a practice of yoga.
This Christian approach to yoga simply allows us to combine these two essential goals: becoming physically healthy and spiritually healthy. We become more spiritually healthy through the yoga practice by calming our minds and quieting ourselves to the point that we can tune out the world's frequency and tune into God's frequency.
Being quiet with God allows us to create enough psychological and spiritual space that God can truly create an inner sanctuary in us. Being quiet enough to hear our Lord's voice is not optional-- it's essential for growth. Let God bless your efforts to get closer to Him and the joy-filled, healthy life He has planned for you!
Begun as an outreach ministry of Jubilee Shores United Methodist Church in Fairhope, Alabama, Outstretched in Worship has reached thousands across the country and throughout the world with this approach to fulfilling God's word when He tells us to "be still and know that I am God."
Remember yoga alone is certainly not the path to finding peace, but true, lasting peace and contentment come only through an on-going relationship with the Lord. So let God's word and this practice together challenge you to get out of your comfort zone in worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”