Yoga may not send you to Hell, but it won't get you to Heaven

Yoga may not send you to Hell, but it won't get you to Heaven February 5, 2018

Matt Walsh, above, described here as ‘a hipster Christian blogger’ and ‘basically an outright asshole’, last week went gunning for Christians who see no harm in yoga.
He reported here that he tweeted:

It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are many excellent ways to get in shape that do not involve participating in Hindu worship.

This tweet, he said, led to him being:

Mocked relentlessly … especially by Christians who find any criticism of yoga to be not only wrong but hilarious.

Here’s just one of the tweets that upset him:

You can see other piss-taking tweets here. I particularly like:

My friend sneezed and I said ‘gesundheit’. Now we’re both German. I should have been more careful.

Walsh, an “asinine” Catholic, went on to explain all that was wrong with yoga.

We know that yoga means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. It has its roots as an ancient Hindu practice meant to unite a person with his body and with the universe. The classic mantras that people repeat in yoga to help them meditate – ‘so’ham’ means ‘I am the universal self’ – are all in service to this mission of ‘oneness’.
It is a pantheistic practice because it derives from the belief that we are all a part of some great flow of cosmic energy, which has no original Author, and which we all are born and then reborn into over and over again. Yoga is supposed to bring us into harmony with this ‘energy’ … Hindus had their spiritual purposes for yoga, we have ours.
Neither purpose seems at all compatible with Christianity.
So, if we follow the trajectory of yoga, we begin with pagan spiritualism, trace it through the anti-Christian counter-culture revolution, then sprinkle on a bunch of new age gibberish, and here we land with the modern day yoga class. Is it really crazy to think that perhaps this thing – with its combination of ancient paganism and new age mysticism – may not be an advisable hobby for Christians?

He then quoted “a well-written article” by a pro-yoga writer named Katie Kimball, who agreed that:

Practicing yoga could be a sin. [It] could be a pathway down which one could fall into pagan worship and away from God. However, doing a yoga pose is not an automatic pathway to Hell.

Walsh went on to suggest that there were better ways of exercising that did not endanger one’s soul.

What is the point of trying to re-purpose pagan worship for the sake of getting a nice workout? What’s wrong with just using an elliptical machine? How is the Kingdom advanced, how is an individual’s actual spiritual fulfillment attained, by participating in a pagan ritual?

He added:

There may be some physical benefits to bowing to Mecca five times a day. I’m sure you could get a nice lower back workout.

Apparently, there are.

But, of all the ways to exercise your back, why would you choose to prostrate yourself to Allah? Indeed, I wonder how the Christian yoga apologists would respond to a workout routine based around Muslim prayer?
My guess is that they would make every argument against it that I have made against yoga. But they don’t apply it to yoga because yoga is just a ‘normal’ part of their life, and so they don’t question it.
I see a comparison here with something like a Ouija board or a horoscope. Yes, you can mess around with those things relatively innocently, not actually seeking to summon spirits or ascertain your future from the stars, but why? Is this a form of entertainment that Christians should seek out? What’s wrong with just playing Monopoly instead? Why mess around with it?

I don’t think you’ll automatically be possessed if you do yoga. I don’t think all yoga practitioners go to Hell. But neither do I see how a pagan ritual could ever help someone get to Heaven, and maybe that’s reason enough to leave it alone.

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  • David Anderson


  • David Anderson

    Hey! half of my comment got eated. Never mind, it was about TATOOS.

  • Angela_K

    Another Christian idiot who believes his religion is the right one and that ancient beliefs that were around a long time before the jackboot of christianinsanity tried to stamp them out, are dangerous.

  • John the Drunkard

    THere is no monolithic ‘ancient’ yoga. It can range from Hindu slop to simple ‘physical culture.’

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Looks like Matt has the Chi-Rho tattooed on his arm.
    I’m pretty sure that’s a ticket to hell by itself.

  • Stephen Mynett

    Angela K, he probably does not know, or would be too dishonest to admit, nearly all the stuff in his bible is stolen from the ancient myths he mocks.

  • OurSally

    My mum (aged 85) did yoga in the local church hall. The new vicar said it was heathen and banned them. They all now attend yoga (and church) in the next village.

  • L.Long

    Bet he is a LIAR4jesus and a hypocrite ahole!
    So it perfectly OK to celebrate xmas with a bunch of pagan symbols, and satan will not get you, but if you exercise with a simple routine, satan gets your soul!?!?! go back to 1st line!

  • andym

    I suspect a pretty obnoxious person to start with is being made even worse by an inability to handle his booze.

  • Broga

    Has he any evidence to support his opinion? No. Being a Christian berk he follows the usual route of knowing best and anyone who disagrees must be wrong.

  • Michael

    I think this is one of the best piss takes

  • StephenJP

    I think we can be fairly certain that almost nobody, Chistian or not, will take the slightest bit of notice of this buffoon. Anyone who is motivated enough to want to get the physical benefits of yoga is likely to be intelligent enough to distinguish them from the Hindu religious trappings. And even Christians can be quite picky about whether or not to obey the orders of their clergy: for instance, look at the number of ordinary Catholics who use contraception, or support abortion.

  • Euston

    Catholics can get away with any amount of sins with ease. Just confess to get absolution and move onto the next sin. The priests get the information with which to coerce and blackmail. Never has such control been enjoyed over so many by so few.

  • 1859

    I’d like to know more about this ‘elliptical machine’? Do they sell them at ToysRus? Is it a quadcopter? Or something like floating and spinning in a vertical wind tunnel? An ellipse has two focal points, or two centres (unlike a circle that has only one centre) and somewhere there is a constant coefficient – but how this ends up as a religious experience is a somewhat tricky puzzle. So what happens to one’s worldview when you get inside an elliptic machine? Does god finally become real? We need to know!

  • barriejohn

    @1859: I think he’s referring to the following!

  • barriejohn

    PS Not to be confused with:

  • Brian Jordan

    That “elliptical machine” looks like something Cynthia Payne might have had for the vicars in her cellar. Is that his idea of heaven too?
    Anyway, years ago when there was an expulsion from a church hall like OurSally’s mum suffered, I read that yoga as done in the West today was due to its being pinched as a cultish form of exercise by the PE crowd and has long lost any connection with Eastern religion.

  • turismomarche

    A few days ago, Matt Walsh, a conservative Christian blogger tweeted: “It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are many excellent ways to get in shape that do not involve participating in Hindu worship. ” Walsh backed his explosive tweet with this article:  “Yoga Is A Pagan Ritual. Maybe Christians Should Find A Different Workout Routine.

  • barriejohn

    Westerners practising yoga would be amazed to learn that they were “participating in Hindu worship”. Christians suffer this constant dread that they might inadvertently be doing something “satanic”; it obsesses them. However, they see nothing wrong with joining in such pagan celebrations as Yuletide and Easter!