Same Old New Age – Part II

By Jenniffer Mann

Previously, we looked at what New Age beliefs encompass and were able to determine the wide ranging and often conflicting beliefs that make up the various New Age philosophies.

You will need to refer to Part I for an overview but we are going to take a closer look at one particular philosophy that has gained a lot of traction in recent years, namely, Yoga. 

According to The Good Body website, there is a staggering 300 million Yoga practitioners worldwide. Whilst it has been on a steadily rising trajectory, Yoga really found its peak during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.  The most popular yoga channel on YouTube run by Adriene Mishler, from the US; she has over 8 million subscribers. 

A 2016 Yoga Journal survey estimated that Americans alone in that year, spent almost $17 billion on yoga classes and apparel but why is Yoga so popular?

Research on the health benefits of Yoga as a ‘mindfulness practice’ — is thought to range from reduced stress, anxiety and depression to better vascular health and a lower risk of heart disease, although I cannot help but note that this echos the benefits of almost all types of exercise!

Jessica Beaubien is the instructor for SoulStretch.org, a Christian yoga ministry started at Royal Oak (Michigan) United Methodist Church. She states, “Christ-centred yoga gives me time to ‘be still’ before God. It helps me listen for his quiet voice and become aware of his awesome presence within me.”

“The postures and the presence in the body can itself be a prayer,” instructor Carolyn Blueml says, “whether of praise or gratitude or need.”

Yoga as a church ministry has become very popular within Western Christian churches but What are the postures that Blueml references? Well according to Chopra.com “poses hold within them many profound symbols and metaphors that can bring more magic and meaning to every moment spent in that pose.” No matter how you may choose to interpret the origins of Yoga, there is no getting away from the fact that it was never intended to be physical exercise. It is inextricably linked with the metaphysical. 

George P. Alexander, Ph.D., a Christian believer who taught World Religions at Biola University, was born in Sri Lanka, although he grew up in India, the birthplace of Hinduism and yoga. He states, “Many Westerners who practice yoga today are unaware that the physical positions assumed in yoga symbolise a spiritual act: worshiping one of the many Hindu gods.” 

So does the roots of Yoga actually matter if those poses are being used to worship the God?  Well we only have to look to the bible to see how God feels about worshipping other deities. Of course, the question arises if is it possible for us to honour God, if at the same time honouring another Deity?

In the Bible, God commanded Israel not to worship idols.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3

In fact, God feels so strongly about it that in Exodus 23:13 he states: 

Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

Exodus 23:13

The intent behind Yoga poses is to ‘open up chakras’. These seven chakras are spiritual energy centres in the body. Through these, the kundalini – the latent ‘serpent power’ coiled at the base of the spine – passes through a person as they move toward greater enlightenment. Each chakra is also linked with a certain Hindu deity. 

This is not in alignment with Ephesians 4: 4 -6 which reads:

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Ephesians 4:4-6

If the foundation of an action is rooted in a philosophy directly opposed to God, our intentions are irrelevant to that original purpose. For example, would the Satanic bible be any less Satanic if I decided to change all references from Satan to Jesus? Would God deem this as acceptable? 

There is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” and the intent behind Yoga and other New Age Philosophy is to lead us away from God who is “The way, the truth and the life” (John 4:16) down a path of spiritual confusion and darkness. 

In 1 Kings 18:21 Elijah asks the Israelites “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” Quite simply it cannot be both! We cannot merge philosophies to suit our intent. 

As Christians, we need to be very clear about the practises we choose to adopt and reflect. Are we really glorifying God or defiling His message in a bid to be popular and attractive to win new converts? 

Let us pray to be led, only by The Way, The Truth and The Life, so that in guiding others, they are led directly to the source of salvation. 

Let’s Pray: Father God, now more than ever, we need to be clear on who you are and why we serve you. Let anything that leads us away from the message of salvation be repellent to us and may you give us wisdom to understand the difference. In no other name we pray. Amen 


  1. Royson says:

    Excellent double article about Yoga. Thanks for the reminder Jenniffer. New knowledge.