Yoga is rapidly gaining popularity.
Yoga (Transcendental Meditation – TM  is understood as a path of union with the divine in Hinduism. Yoga is any type of exercise (physical, mental or spiritual) that promotes an individual’s journey to a union with the divine.
Should we practice yoga because it’s popular?
Yoga in Light of Christianity
A significant USP of yoga is that it is not a Hindu religious ritual.
This video reveals the agitation of practicing Hindu’s about the marketing of yoga as independent of Hinduism (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UobbY9R2uJo).
Please read “Death of a Guru” by Rabi R. Maharaj, a former yogi  to understand the power of yoga and to learn that yoga is a Hindu discipline.
Yoga in its core spiritual essence is salvific. However, the Bible teaches that man is saved (receives his eternal life) by the grace of God through his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation for mankind is only through Christ (Acts 4: 12; Romans 10: 9). Salvation is not through yoga.
Contrarily, Hinduism teaches that man unites with his maker through yoga. The Vedanta philosophy, based on Upanishads , teaches four paths to liberation (Atman is the Brahman):
- Karma yoga (selfless service to work off karma)
- Bhakti yoga (path of devotion)
- Jnana yoga (path of knowledge)
- Raja yoga (path of formal meditation)
Some may say that “Hatha yoga” (physical exercises towards self-transformation) isn’t salvific, so practicing it is not a concern. But Hatha yoga is deeply rooted in Hinduism .
Therefore, man is either saved through Christ or through yoga, certainly not through both. When Christians practice yoga, they are negating Christ.
But you may ask, “What’s wrong if I practice yoga only for exercises?”
You may defend your practice of TM by quoting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who stated that TM is not a religion . But Maharishi declared that TM is yoga, “Maharishi explained that Transcendental Meditation is Yoga. “I had to give it a new name—Transcendental Meditation…”” 
Therefore, TM is yoga, and yoga is a Hindu practice.
Yoga has nothing to do with Christianity. In reality, yoga or TM is deeply spiritual and very much non-Christian. At the heart of TM is a deep distortion of other religions to prove a point that these religions are harmonious and not hostile to each other.
False Teaching in Christianity to Encourage Yoga
Some false teachers within Christianity who encourage yoga  emphasize that the yogic codes such as Yamas and Niyamas can strengthen our appreciation towards the Christian teachings. They maintain that the yogic codes resonate with the Christian moral teachings.
It seems “Ahimsa” (non-violence) resonates with the Christian moral teaching “love your neighbor as yourself” and “Saucha” (cleanliness or purity) resonates with the cleanliness teaching of Matthew 15: 16-20, and prayer, fasting and Scripture reading that focuses on the cleanliness of the heart.
Exposing the False Teaching
At the heart of the false teaching that yogic codes are essential to appreciate Christianity is the notion that all religions should converge, and truth (from various disparate worldviews) is always convergent.
This is Syncretism (fusion of divergent religions). Syncretism presupposes the inadequacy of any single religion to comprehend the divine on its own.
But God can be adequately understood from HIS Holy Word – The Bible. Christianity does not require yoga or Hinduism to help understand and believe God and HIS Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is the significance of these similarities between Yamas and Niyamas with the Bible? None! Similarity in teaching does not syncretize religions.
Hinduism and Christianity are two fundamentally different religions (Godhead, salvation etc). Certain aspects of similarity in the teachings cannot harmonize these religions.
While it is a given that a Christian is to move away from yoga, what should he / she do when forced to do yoga?
Today’s dilemma is the necessary teaching of yoga in schools. At the most, the child can go through the motions without getting involved. But it’s vital that the child is aware of yoga’s danger, so educating our children is of utmost importance.
What about stretching or breathing exercises? Anything that’s under the brand of yoga is a no-no. Stretching or breathing exercises is not a problem. So, one can do these exercises as long as it’s not connected to yoga.
Christians practicing yoga should renounce yoga by repenting and seeking forgiveness from God.
The God of the Bible is an Almighty God. HE says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32: 27, NASB; cf. Genesis 18: 14a).
When nothing is too difficult for our God, why do we run to other gods through practices such as yoga? Running to other gods portrays a lack of trust in our God. While we run to another god, we are running away from the true living God.
Do we need yoga to heal us? Can the living God not heal our bodies and minds?
God will answer our prayers. God surely has a good and a just reason even if HE does not answer our prayers according to our desires. However, it is mandatory to trust in the living God of the Bible.
We do not need yoga to be united with God. We only need to believe in Christ and offer our lives as living sacrifices to HIM, for God to dwell in us (John 14: 23).
When we honestly seek to love and obey the Triune God, HE will enlighten our hearts with HIS understanding, and will empower us to be HIS true disciples. Amen.
Watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KsIWDhuvyY) to gain an initial understanding of Yoga and its development.
 Transcendental Meditation (TM) was promoted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who merely followed the philosophical thoughts of [Swami] Vivekananda and Yogananda. While Maharishi promoted TM, the popular English rock band Beatles popularized TM.
TM is yoga says Maharishi, “Maharishi explained that Transcendental Meditation is Yoga. “I had to give it a new name—Transcendental Meditation—because I felt Yoga has been commonly misunderstood in terms of the physical level alone.”
 “The treatises that deal with brahma-knowledge are called the Upanishads and so pass for the Vedanta…The Upanishads more clearly set forth the prime Vedic doctrines like Self-realization, yoga and meditation, karma and reincarnation, which were hidden or kept veiled under the symbols of the older mystery religion.” (http://www.hindunet.org/upanishads/)
 “”Lotus position” is one of the postures of Hatha yoga. Lotus is a deep symbol of Hinduism.” Need I say more that Hatha yoga is a Hindu discipline? (http://www.hindunet.com/faq/39.html)
Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural program for the mind, a spontaneous, effortless march of the mind to its own unbounded essence. Through Transcendental Meditation, the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness, Unity Consciousness — a lively field of all potential, where every possibility is naturally available to the conscious mind. The conscious mind becomes aware of its own unbounded dignity, its unbounded essence, its infinite potential.
Transcendental Meditation provides a way for the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence — active and silent, point and infinity. It is not a set of beliefs, a philosophy, a lifestyle, or a religion. It’s an experience, a mental technique one practices every day for fifteen or twenty minutes.”
Originally posted on “http://rajkumarrichard.blogspot.in/2014/02/should-christians-practice-yoga.html“