An ELCA Lutheran Church near me is offering "Holy Yoga" class with the below picture and this description. "I am teaching Holy Yoga at 11:00 this morning at Elim Lutheran...Before you run errands or head off to do some Christmas shopping, join me for some yoga and re-center yourself."
The below picture is not from a New Age or Hindu website, it is the website of an ELCA Lutheran church.
So what is wrong with Yoga? Isn't it just exercise and stretching? It can be in some cases, but in other cases (and originally) it is a Hindu practice "by which people and even gods gain immortality and supreme powers by its practice" (from Hinduwebsite.com).
So what are Lutherans doing trying to re-center their lives through yoga? Don't we re-center our lives through prayer, Bible reading, Christian fellowship and Holy Communion? Don't we become one with God through Jesus Christ and not through this Hindu practice?
This is called "syncretism", the mixing together of all religions. It is what got the ancient Jews in trouble when they tried to mix worship of Jehovah with worship of Baal and Asheroth. To which the Lord said "Thou shalt have no other gods."
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
At the ELCA's 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering, in front of over 30,000 teenagers, speaker Sarah Funkhouser said “…one of the most powerful ways in which I connect with God is through the practice of yoga. When I am surrendering to the breathing and relaxing into the postures I’m reminded to slow down, observe the sacred and the ordinal and trust God.” Go to the 2:17 hour mark on the video below to see more.