Position Statement on New Age Practices
Be Totally Fit for Life! does not promote New Age practices such as yoga, tai chi, and eastern religious mediation (i.e. transcendental meditation, mindfulness, balancing energies, Reiki, etc.) Instead, we promote focusing our minds and hearts on God's Word, growing our faith in Jesus Christ, practicing the Christian Disciplines as the Wesley brothers taught, and consider how we, as Christians, can be good stewards of our bodies to serve God and others more effectively (Ephesians 2:10).
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Our Position on Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga and Tai Chi have been widely popular in the mainstream culture of America for a long time. Although the exercise aspect of each is beneficial, these practices are forms of eastern religious meditation. They are not religions, but religious practices of Hinduism (yoga) and Buddhism (current yoga and tai chi). Even though many Christian instructors tack Bible verses on to yoga or tai chi exercises, it does not necessarily mean it is safe for Christians to practice. The Yoga Alliance, a massive yoga instructors' association, is an evangelistic arm for Buddhism and Hinduism. Many Christian instructors are members, unwittingly proselytize for eastern religions. There is a particular process a Christian must use to redeem such exercise forms to make them worthy and acceptable before God. My first husband and I used this process to finish cleaning up our martial arts system to share Christ and disciple Christian students, which was accepted by two different Christian martial arts associations. Laurette Willis, the founder of PraiseMoves, used this process as well. There must also be a name change reflecting the redemption of such exercise forms as God changed the name of people and places to be sanctified and set apart for Him (GotQuestions.org). Anything less falls short of honoring God.
We do offer Christian alternatives to yoga and tai chi here at Be Totally Fit for Life!, such as PraiseMoves and ChiRho Flow, which direct individuals in worship and praise to God while reflecting on Scripture passages. Eastern religious influences have been replaced with God-honoring hand and head positioning, and modest postures and movement patterns so Christians may reap the physical benefits in yoga and tai chi without compromising their Christian faith. Let us honor God with our bodies and our spirits which are God's because of the blood of Christ shed for us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). All that we do reflects our love and reverent respect for our Savior Jesus Christ.
Meditation: Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence
There are particular two practices which have infiltrated mainstream America through business, education, health and wellness, psychology and, unfortunately, churches: Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence. This is our position on these two cleverly deceptive Zen Buddhist practices:
Mindful Meditation and Emotional Intelligence are not appropriate practices for Christians because they are contrary to biblical Christian faith. These practices were "cleaned up" for Westerner acceptance by John Kabbot Zin, a Zen Buddhist priest who influenced Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Corporation among others. Daniel Goldman helped champion Emotional Intelligence for business. The Bible teaches spiritual maturity in Christ through learning more from the Bible, prayer, and spending time with God (Hebrews 5:12-14). Spiritual maturity yields emotional maturity. Christians are called to examine ourselves with sober judgment (Romans 12:3), that is, seriously consider our attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, in the context of our relationship with God. When we have done so, then we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the prayerful reading of God’s Word (Romans 12:2). We are called to bring every thought captive to make it obedient Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) in light of our prayerful consideration of what God reveals to us in our reflective time. As a result, Christians are able to live a life of unswerving faith in loving obedience to God (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2, 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148). We are called to become mature in our faith which shows through how we manage our day-to-day interactions. This is what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. We are called to be different, to stand out (1 Peter 2:9, John 8:23, 2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 10:1-3).
We cannot follow Jesus Christ and Mahatma Buddha at the same time. Joshua, after Moses’ death, the leader of the Israelites for crossing over into Canaan, said this: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NKJV. We live in a time of spiritual confusion when persecution in America comes through tremendous social pressure and ridicule. This is not new. Jesus went through this and more (Luke 22:63, Matthew 27, Matthew 21:23, John 18:9). Certainly, we, as followers of Christ, can stand for Him in this age regardless of the pressure to conform to the world's standards.
May God bless you.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
"Manage Anxiety in Business: How Mindfulness Helps" by Rachel Green. The E I Institute. http://www.theeiinstitute.com/ei-mindfulness-meditation/tag/jon-kabat-zinn
"Daniel Goldman: Adding Social Intelligence to Emotional Intelligence" by Sean Silverthorn. CBS News, September 9, 2008. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/daniel-goleman-adding-social-intelligence-to-emotional-intelligence/
"Changed Names" by Knowing Jesus. https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Changed-Names
Yoga Alliance www.yogaalliance.org.
PraiseMoves, by Laurette Willis. www.praisemoves.com.
"Why Did God Change Someone's Name in the Bible" gotquestions.org. www.gotquestionsorg.com/name_change
"and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 NKJV