In the early 1900's, the physical poses that we in America identify with yoga were added to the practice.
These spiritually neutral, physical gems were gaining popularity in Europe.
Some yoga masters added them to accommodate and appeal to a more physical society.
Yoga is about the movement and being transformed through the discipline of practicing, being slowly perfected and enlightened by doing it. Keola® on the other hand, tells a story. From the position names to the specific elements that are consistent throughout all the classes (see "Redemption Expressed"), you will experience the love story of the Good News of Jesus and be encouraged and transformed by that Word of Christ.
See more about the differences in the Keola® teacher training textbook section: "It's Really Not Yoga".
"Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already." 1 John 4:3 ESV
"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict". -Anonymous
"The word "peace" comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos."
~ Renner, Sparkling Gems from the Greek
"Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy... Esoteric views current at the end of the 19th century were a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its theory and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical. The reception of Yoga and of Vedanta are thus entwined with each other and with the (mostly Neo-platonically based) currents of religious and philosophical reform and transformation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries." ~wikipedia.com, 9/2013
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Col 2:8 ESV
As seen Biblically and discussed in the "Reality of Yoga" section, this mysticism entwined with yoga is nothing new. You don't need to discipline your body and jump through physical hoops to achieve a greater level of spiritual enlightenment or peace. It is not purely a mental ascension, or "Christ consciousness". It is the person of Jesus, who is Savior and Lord, Jesus is your peace! He is true Wisdom! God warned against this as idolatry and impurity. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is jealous for you, because He knows your humanity with the tendency to fall onto self. He desires to save you from that enslavement. Not surprisingly, the very thing that draws people to the practice is what is stolen from them in reality.
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion... As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ” Heb 3:7-8, 11 ESV
The enemy is a counterfeit. He mimics the things of God, but his methods always lead to bondage. Like a drug you need yoga for peace and rest. The idol is set and the new savior takes its place in the heart of the believer. Like GMO produce, the fruit of your practice may look and even taste the same, but poison is taking root and causing damage from the inside out. You can rest assured that time will expose the fake for what it is. Jesus is the only place for authentic freedom, peace, and rest. But praise God for He knows His Bride needs deliverance before She does!
See "Christ Consciousness Debunked by Jesus" an article written by a former New Age leader.
Yoga has most of its roots in Hinduism. It is also associated with Buddhism, which is why you will often see a Buddha statue in studios, and more recently with Wicca ("white witches"). The poses and flows function to honor different deities, a sacrifice to them, professing transformation through connection. Continued practice is touted to bring you to a greater level of tranquility and enlightenment.
"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols... If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. " Acts 15:28-29 ESV
Yoga - Sanskrit term: a yoking, union,
from yunakti he yokes
One definition taken from the freedictionaryonline.com:
"(Philosophy) (Non-Christian Religions / Hinduism) a Hindu system of philosophy aiming at the mystical union of the self with the Supreme Being in a state of complete awareness and tranquility through certain physical and mental exercises"
"Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead."
Psalm 106:28 ESV
The Pulpit Commentary of the Bible describes this passage as follows:
yoking - "It signifies a mystic union, such as was supposed to exist between a heathen god and his worshippers." The dead or lifeless gods - "as opposed to the true living God"
Interpretation from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:
"To this idol the Israelites joined or "yoked" themselves...which was to be unequally yoked: or they were tempted unto it; they committed spiritual whoredom with it, which was idolatry; they left their first and lawful husband, to whom they were married, and joined themselves to an idol, and cleaved to it. The phrase is expressive of their fellowship with it, and with the idolatrous worshippers of it; they devoted themselves to the worship of it...they were initiated into the rites and mysteries of this idol."
We are praying for you...
We praise God that His deliverance is by grace and pray a hedge of protection around you as you consider separating yourself from yoga. This is a controversial subject, as was participating in pagan feasts with food sacrificed to idols in the early church, and ultimately what you decide to do is between you and God. May you seek His face, His Word, and His guidance by the Holy Spirit as you decide your course of action. May love be magnified in both your choice and reactions to other people's views. The Lord will rescue you from every evil attack. Feel free to email us for specific prayer or to share your experience. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
When I obediently launched Keola Fitness and started teaching exercise as God instructed, I thought yoga was just an exercise. In fact, I called it Christian yoga because I didn't want anyone to walk into class surprised by either one.
As I taught, I still found that I was explaining to everyone who had heard of or experienced yoga that Keola® was very different from what they were used to. I also started to become more aware of the reality of yoga: what it was created for, represents, and submits to. I eventually realized that Keola® truly was something fresh and needed to be recognized as such by a new name.
I brainstormed several ideas. Nothing quite fit. Then it clicked that Keola® which means the health, the life, the well-being, was the name He had for this exercise from the very beginning. I had reached a place that He saw and planned before I even started. He made the provision before I said yes to the call. Praise Him! ~ Alli
"I am the way, the truth, and the life." ~Jesus (John 14:6 KJV)
~Jesus (John 14:27 NLT)
"I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 44:22 NASB
Understand that everything written on this page is in no way meant to condemn you or judge your freedom. It is a deposition of truth in love. You have been bought at a price and the blood of Jesus has paid for ALL your sins; past, present, and future. If you have been participating in yoga and now understand what it actually is, don't beat yourself up. God still loves you and His grace abounds toward you. That is the blessing of a real, everlasting union with God through Jesus by faith, as opposed to a perceived, shakable, mystic union based on your sacrifices and actions. He is with you in the good, bad, and ignorant choices, declaring you holy because of the work of Jesus even as you are being made holy. He reveals things to us gently and patiently, transforming us from glory to glory. Praise Him for counting NONE of this against you, cleansing you of all unrighteousness, and healing you authentically and completely by grace through faith (Heb 8:12, 1 John 1:9, James 5:16, Eph 2:8).
Now, you have a choice. The class that you go to might be mostly movement without philosophy and maybe you do it just for the exercise, but that "separation" is becoming less available. Instructors seeking certification through Yoga Alliance must now train in Hindu philosophy for course completion. Non-biblical meditation is spreading like wild-fire as a solution to stress as people focus on anything other than Jesus and the Word of Christ for salvation. It is heart breaking.
Our prayer is that these movements become less and less associated with yoga and that more Christians choose to elevate Jesus and His Gospel by stepping away from participating in yoga classes, making the statement that forgiveness through Jesus Christ is the only way to God and we will not blend religion with the freedom of the Gospel of grace and peace. It's a stance that we hope will bless our Christian youth as they are already bombarded with ideas of many paths to God. It is also a witness to those who believe they need yoga to reach God. May those lost sheep know that Jesus loves them so much that He came to them directly, so they no longer need to strive to climb and master eight limbs in order to reach Him.
Whatever you came to yoga for in the first place, He IS... YHWH! Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Healer/Health, Refuge, Provider, Shepherd, Wisdom, Sanctification, Redeemer, Righteousness, Savior, Wholeness, Love... Praise King Jesus!
God loves you and so do we!
"But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.." John 4:23 AKJV (emphasis mine)
Designed to wake up the "serpent of energy coiled up at the base of the spine".
Worship to the "god" Ganesha.
Image courtesy of tiverylucky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net .