Many people see yoga as a form of physical exercise. It is offered at most gyms and exercise studios, so it’s not hard to understand why many people overlook the fact that it is both a physical and spiritual practice.
The question of whether or not Christians are committing a sin by doing yoga is an interesting one because it could be argued that the physical part of yoga is just a series of stretches and exercises. The problem is that with yoga many also argue that the spiritual aspect of yoga can not be separated from the physical. This means that in practicing the physical part of yoga, one is also practicing the spiritual.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.,president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains:
“When Christians practice yoga, they must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga. The contradictions are not few, nor are they peripheral. The bare fact is that yoga is a spiritual discipline by which the adherent is trained to use the body as a vehicle for achieving consciousness of the divine. Christians are called to look to Christ for all that we need and to obey Christ through obeying his Word. We are not called to escape the consciousness of this world by achieving an elevated state of consciousness, but to follow Christ in the way of faithfulness.
There is nothing wrong with physical exercise, and yoga positions in themselves are not the main issue. But these positions are teaching postures with a spiritual purpose. Consider this — if you have to meditate intensely in order to achieve or to maintain a physical posture, it is no longer merely a physical posture.”