Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Three Weeks of Yoga, part one

Well, this is it. Telling this story makes me feel a little nervous, but I'm telling it. It's a significant part of my healing journey.

 I remember a specific day about three weeks before my symptoms began. It stands out in my mind, because it was a day I consciously ignored my conscience. I was standing in Target in the aisle that is most popular in January. You know--the one with hand weights, exercise balls, floor mats and work-out videos. I wanted a DVD that would help my neck and shoulder muscles relax--something that wouldn't make me too sweaty. Yoga would be perfect, I thought. Stretching, relaxing, calming...it would be great! As I studied the backs of all the DVDs, I had the thought that maybe I shouldn't buy one. I knew that yoga was a New Age thing, and I didn't want to do anything "weird", for lack of a better word. But I dismissed my concerns by telling myself that I was only doing it for the exercise and if there were any weird parts, I could just pray during that time or meditate on a Scripture. That sounded plenty reasonable to me, so I started right away.

I really enjoyed it. I liked it so much, I did it every day, twice a day. It made me feel limber and strong and stretchy in a cool way. I liked all the poses and the peacefulness of it all. The instructors said some things I didn't understand, but I just ignored that. I did pray when I remembered to, but mostly I just let my mind be quiet.

Three weeks later, when I started seeing double and going numb, yoga was my first thought, simply because it was the only thing that I had been doing differently in my life. It was natural for me to look for the physical reason for the changes in me, and yoga was what I kept coming back to. I spent a great deal of time googling yoga and my symptoms, wondering if it could somehow be the cause of everything. I could never find what I was looking for. It took quite awhile to get it through my thick skull to stop looking at the physical and start considering the spiritual side. This seemed to be a theme for me during my illness. Every time I got hung up on something, the Lord just kept pointing me back to the spiritual. It is, after all, what's really "real". The things we see with our earthly eyes are facades covering the spiritual realities behind them. And in the spiritual, things are much more black and white. The spiritual realm consists of either good or evil. There is no neutral. It's either of God or Satan. 

It was after I had already started feeling better and was praying about the condition of my heart that the subject of yoga came up again. I felt prompted to do another search, only this time it was about the spiritual side of yoga. I was surprised by what I discovered. And somewhat sickened and creeped out. Okay, a lot sickened and creeped out. I read for hours on the subject and discovered that yoga is not considered merely an exercise except by some in the Western world. In fact, Eastern followers of yoga criticize the Western world for its attempts to separate the spiritual aspect from the physical exercise. Many claim that it cannot be done. It is an impossibility due to the whole concept that yoga is at its very core the uniting of spirit, mind, and body. 

The most unsettling information for me was that the poses themselves are ritualistic offerings to Eastern gods and goddesses. These poses have been offered sacrificially to the gods for many years. And I had been putting myself into these positions twice a day! Maybe I'm just extra-sensitive, but I felt like I had been unknowingly cheating on God! I love Him, and I don't want to do anything that even looks like idol worship. 

This story is too long for one post, so this will be part one. But if you are interested in this topic, here is a good article about a woman who was involved in New Age and yoga for 22 years and then became a Christian. Her point of view is eye-opening.  http://www.cbn.com/health/fitness/bagby_yoga-alternative.aspx.  Please don't think I am trying to tell anyone to stop doing yoga. I just want to share what happened to me. So, part two, comin' up!  


  1. This is scary! I've never done yoga, and now I'm really glad. I wonder how many times we open ourselves up to Satan because that's who is behind this. What we see and hear for sure are avenues of attack.

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful story. I am inspired. God has truly used you in such a unique and special way. I will continue to think of you and your beautiful family as you continue on this journey.

    God Bless,



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