Testimony of Ana & Steve Westhoek

My views on Yoga, Christian Yoga, Pilates and Stretching

Long time coming to this blog post, I know. It will be lengthy, but bear with me. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and read through it. Or feel free to read it gradually.

This is an important matter and first and foremost, I want to reassure you that I have written this after much research and prayer, which is why it has taken me so long to finish it.

Ok, let’s start! So, what exactly is yoga?

The word yoga means “to be yoked with” or to be united with. Ancient Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, talk about being yoked with a universal consciousness. Meaning to merge one’s soul with the universal consciousness known as Brahma.

If you do a quick research you will find that Brahma is a Hindu deity known as “the Creator,” and he is part of the trinity of supreme divinity along with Vishnu and Shiva.

In yoga, they say “For those looking to understand the origins of yoga and the role of all yoga practices within it, they must first look to Lord Shiva”. Shiva, who is a false god, is also known as the Destroyer and the Lord of Yoga.

If you look at images and sculptures of Shiva, there is typically a serpent or especially a cobra, which is considered by science the wisest of all serpents. Do you remember the serpent in Genesis 3? Who is the serpent and how deceiving it was?

Genesis 3:4 – “You will not surely die,” the serpent told her.

Moreover, in the Satanic Bible, Set and Shiva are both mentioned as none other than Satan himself. I think this should be self-explanatory! If Shiva is regarded as the “the Lord of Yoga” and is referenced as Satan himself, we can conclude that Satan is the Lord of yoga and practising yoga is worshipping Satan.

Exodus 20:3-5 – “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God (…)”

I want to make clear that I have never practised yoga. I had to study the topic and dedicate time to thoroughly research it by reading various articles and testimonies to be able to write this blog post. 

Through my research, I have found a consensus that yoga poses were designed to honour Hindu deities and to invite and yoke with them. The goal of practising these poses is to lead you into that state of universal consciousness or God consciousness, aiming to be like God.

Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Yoga was created by demons and it is a religious practice. When you are participating in yoga you are yoking with all these same deities that created it. Essentially, the concepts of yoga the very word “yoga” and religion are intertwined, you cannot separate the two! Therefore to say I’m practicing a religion or practicing yoga is one of the same thing.

It is important to say it once more – Yoga is not just stretching and mere physical exercise! It is 100% Spiritual! It is a spiritual discipline and a form of religion with physical benefits! And no matter what you say you cannot separate the two! By being under the covering of yoga, one is yoking with other deities and engaging in idolatry.

But, what about Christian Yoga?

I found this quote to be excellent:
“If you tell a devote Hindu I’m just doing yoga for stretching but I’m not in Hinduism. Or I don’t practice yoga for the spirituality. The Hindu may get offended because yoga is a Hindu ritual.”(2)

Interestingly, Hindus will normally have a problem when Christians claim to practice yoga. This offends them! Some say “You know they’ve stolen our gold in the past now they have stolen our yoga”. (2)

Yet the Lord says:
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus calls us to be yoked with Him and not with any other entity, like Shiva. Jesus and demons are incompatible, He has triumphed over them all.

In the end, if you are doing yoga, even if you say a “Christian prayer” you are opening doors to demons that enter into your mind gradually, leading you away from Christ.

You cannot redeem yoga! As you cannot redeem Halloween! Yoga is not holy! It is a demonic practice and that cannot be changed. Jesus instructs us to be holy, to love and worship only Him. And the Bible states clearly how we can worship Him.

Now, most people going to yoga classes have no idea about this, nor do they have any desire to practice religion. They’re primarily focused on the physical benefits such as stress relief, productivity, healing, peace of mind, joy, and happiness in life.

But once again, the Bible is also clear in this, we should seek these blessings from Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ, prayer and God’s Word.

This brings me to the next question – does this mean we can no longer or should not stretch?

This is where some people tend to over-spiritualise stretching, placing themselves and others under restrictions that Christ does not put us in. We are called to be prudent and wise, but we should not allow the enemy to rob us of what is a gift from God.

Take the rainbow as an example. We know what the rainbow means right? A sign of covenant between God and man. Each time I see a rainbow, I appreciate its beauty, perfection, and creativity. Yet, now in the modern world, it has been associated with “PRIDE”, which is the very essence of the enemy and the reason for his rebellion.

You probably won’t find Christians wearing clothing with a rainbow symbol anymore, as it is linked to the LGBTQ movement. This is frustrating because it feels like something meaningful, which should inspire worship of Yahweh, has now been stolen and appropriated by the enemy. 

The same with the body. The body was made for moving! This is a gift of God! And exercising and moving our bodies is beneficial (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

Hinduism doesn’t get to necessarily own all stretches! For example, basic stretches like bending to touch your toes, stretching your lower back or piking your hips up to get a good stretch of your hamstrings, etc. are generic human stretching poses that for example I’ve been doing since childhood, often in school or in fitness and dance classes, long before I even knew yoga existed.

Even babies, who are naturally flexible, do these movements simply because it feels good. Are they practising yoga? No, they are simply enjoying themselves and discovering how to move their bodies.

Why would you let the enemy steal the joy of moving freely from you? Why confine yourself unnecessarily? Whether you are touching your feet with your hands, performing a glute bridge, or stretching your legs in any way, you are still a child of God. True worship does not solely come from a physical posture, but from dedication, your heart and mind in worship.

After much prayer and consideration, I do not think that stretching is out of the question for Christians. Stretching is beneficial as long as it is not associated with yoga practices. That is performing stretches with specific yoga sequences, chanting, or offering prayers and worship to other deities.

My final question is about Pilates. Some people say it has evil roots. Should I avoid it?

I get a lot of questions about this and I think in regards to this, it can be personal and subject to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Some argue that “Pilates comes from yoga,” while others believe that “Pilates is good, as it is yoga without the demons”. 

Let me give you some context.
Yoga has ancient roots in India dating back over 5000 years. Pilates on the other hand was developed less than a century ago by a German guy during wartime.

Pilates, the creator, was a sick child, he had asthma and other conditions that made his life very difficult. By combining specific breathing techniques with bodyweight exercises, he found a way to improve his physical health and well-being.

He was also put in a prison camp during the war, confined in a small cell, where movement was restricted, so he developed exercises to keep himself fit as a survival mechanism.  Staying healthy and physically fit was crucial for survival under these conditions.

Then, he created specialised equipment and apparatus to help people recover from injuries and improve physical well-being. For instance, the “Pilates reformer” machine was inspired by a hospital bed, originally used to assist wounded soldiers in their rehabilitation after the war.

I’ve watched his instructional videos and there is a significant difference from yoga – it is intense, there’s no meditation, you get a burn, your heart rate increases and you feel pumped/energised.

Now you may say but it was also inspired by Yoga and martial arts – therefore it has demonic influences. Yes, maybe you can argue that. But it is worth noting that Pilates was also influenced by disciplines such as ballet, boxing, and various sports. He was a bit obsessed with health and fitness so he explored a wide range of practices and techniques.

To understand more about his method and also test it, with prayer, I’ve read his book “Contrology”. While he writes about body, soul and spirit, it is like he has not a clear understanding of what the spirit is. He seems to confuse the soul and the spirit as one. It doesn’t talk about meditation or spiritual worship, but rather about achieving peak physical form and what he perceives as one’s “best and healthiest self”.

What concerns me today about Pilates classes is the presence of many instructors who are also yoga gurus, incorporating yoga principles into it. In this regard, I believe it is best to be cautious, exercise wisdom and steer clear whenever possible.

I have now developed my own exercise methods and routines, blending elements of mobility and flexibility training with certain Pilates principles such as breathing and core engagement, which I feel peaceful about.

My advice regarding Pilates is to find instructors that don’t bring spirituality into it and only focus on physical activity. Avoid classes with teachers who are literally dedicated to yoga, even if consciously or unconsciously.

In conclusion:

Yoga, as a religious practice, is irredeemable and contradictory to God’s commandments. Engaging in yoga involves aligning with entities other than Jesus, thus opening oneself to the demonic realm.

If you say “There is nothing spiritual about my yoga classes”, please understand it is under its spiritual covering. You are playing with fire and “If You Play With Fire, You Will Get Burned” (Prov 6:27).

In my opinion, there is no such thing as Christian Yoga, the two words don’t go together.  God is holy and He cannot coexist or be mingled with demons. The Bible is clear about how to worship Jesus and we should be faithful to what the Bible says.

Regarding stretching, we should not refrain from certain movements just because they are associated with yoga. That is also conceding victory to the enemy, which is unnecessary as the victory has already been won.

In my view, Pilates stands as a safe form of exercise, just like gymnastics or strength training, but be wise and try to find instructors that do not bring yoga principles into it. 

Philippians 4:6 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything

If you are doing yoga, considering or not sure if you should stretch or do Pilates, GO to God! Pray to Him and He will guide you.

Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I pray this over you and over your life – may He give you wisdom and revelation and also guide you in the right path. Amen

Some of my sources:

1. https://youtu.be/DIWnZDGZsVg?si=7DsKtyWxzYs4a2YM

2. https://youtu.be/mokCM0mPGCM?si=Cc-rKkHk0xzP7wnX

3. https://youtu.be/mokCM0mPGCM?si=Cc-rKkHk0xzP7wnX

4. https://youtu.be/ZGzSWnh71Ik?si=tHPab3QZJPCWhsFA

5. https://youtu.be/Ta9Eod2jEoc?si=-SBfjLHK222TLIHF

About the author

By Ana
Testimony of Ana & Steve Westhoek

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