Yoga or Demonisim? That was the title in the number two spot on Go0gle when I searched “Holy Yoga” in my preparation for one of my current freelance projects. There are several words that come to my mind concerning this tired debate and none of them are nice. I feel a bit like the Mad Hatter in the most recent film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp. You know…”I’m thinking of words that begin with “N”- numskull, narrow-minded, nincompoop…”
The thing is, while it is most important to be civil, there is also a moment when one has to stand up for the reputation of the body of Christ. I have been in the church since I was only a couple of weeks old, and I know how handy it is for a minister or writer to have a sensational rallying cry, but we as the church do nothing for the glory of God when our arguments are arrogant and poorly constructed. This brings us to the most fundamental reason the whole Yoga/Demonism argument is flawed- whether or not anything we do is glorifying to God, demons, or ourselves for that matter, takes place in the heart of the individual.
I am a follower of Christ. I have determined that the pursuit of my relationship with him is the most important one in my life. I wake up each day, make the coffee, grab my Bible and recommit to that pursuit with the simplest of prayers, “My God, once again, I lay down all I am for the sake of all you are.” Then, I get up and try to live my life in the light of that. I stumble a lot along the way. I snap at my kids. I eat too much sugar. I forget to pay the orthodontist. Sometimes, when my spatially challenged 16-year-old almost kills me while driving, I yell every bad word I used in highschool. I say I’m sorry. I receive grace. I get up and keep moving forward.
And I love yoga.
On that mat, I meet with God, and for those of you who are saying rather snidely (shame on you), “Yes but which God, hmmmm?” (You just forgot that bit about me growing up in the church. I know how you work.) I proudly state, that He is the one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The one who inhabits all things. The one for whom and by whom everything we see was created. His name is Jesus.
So, let’s give the yoga/demons bit a rest, shall we? The church has greater causes to champion. There are children who are hungry, orphaned, and abused. Even in America, young girls are sold into the sex trade. There are multitudes bound by addiction. There are too many people who are ruled by despair when we, the Church, know where to find hope.