Frequently Asked Questions

WholyFit is not yoga and is never referred to as “yoga”. WholyFit operates independently, unaffiliated with the yoga industry, culture, philosophies, religions, or practice, regardless of whether or not yoga is represented as ‘Christian.’
Read more below to see how we balance our commitment to unity of the church with our passion for the purity of the Bride of Christ. 

2 Corinthians 6:14

(Click embedded green links for support from Scripture & outside research.)

What Is WholyFit?

A: WholyFit is a scientifically based stretching system including Bible verse memorization (meditation,) prayer and worship, honoring Jesus aspre-eminent. WholyFit group exercise classes are fun, friendship and fitness, perfect for church missionary outreach! Believers and secular participants both enjoy WholyFit’s quality, the teachers and the uplifting scripture set to exercise. WholyFit is holistic wellness for body, mind and spirit presented from a Biblical worldview.

Q: What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual and physical discipline using stretching exercises, together with other practices, for religious purposes. The body is believed to have the ability to facilitate the awakening of Kundalini so as to become one with a “universal spirit.” In Sanskrit, the word, “yoga” means “yoke” as in yoking with spiritual entities like Brahma and Shiva.

Q: Is WholyFit Christian yoga?

Answer:

No, WholyFit is not ‘Christian yoga.’
1. Stretching is only yoga when it is referred to as ‘yoga’ or done in a yoga environment, whether or not it is called, ‘Christian.’
2. What’s more, stretching is yoga when it is called ‘yoga,’ whether or not there are classical yoga philosophies associated with it or not. So ”Christian yoga’ is still yoga, identifies and supports the yoga industry and benefits from that alliance.
3. Those who do “Christian yoga’ choose to give their resources to an industry that promotes things contrary to the teachings of Jesus. 
4. WholyFit doesn’t participate in ‘Christian yoga’ because we prefer to spend all of our very finite resources, including our very short lives, in the sole promotion of the Kingdom of God. To participate in ‘Christian yoga’ would divide our time and we just don’t have enough of that.

Q: Why is WholyFit better than Yoga for a Christian?

Answer:

1. The Bible study component featured in WholyFit makes it better than any exercise system because the Word of God is healing and God is Creator of the Body.

2. WholyFit does not include yoga philosophies which makes it a better FIT for Christians.

3. Safety of body, soul and spirit is the basis of WholyFit certification. WholyFit is safer than yoga in general because WholyFit is regulated and standardized. Wherever you go, WF routines and classes will be safe, successful and engaging. Yoga is not regulated nor standardized. No regulatory organization oversees safety of yoga, therefore certifications, teachers, training and methods are highly variable in quality and safety. WholyFit certification meets and exceeds standards for the highest quality professional programs. WholyFit is endorsed as safer than yoga by fitness professionals like Cody Sipes (right.)

Q: What is the difference between yoga exercises and WholyFit exercises?

Answer: 

1. WholyFit exercises can look like those from any other discipline, even yoga, but it is the intention, biomechanics and purpose of the exercise that makes WholyFit different from yoga or any other sports discipline. For example, some body postures in yoga have no fitness purpose whatsoever, like the ‘Ohm’ gesture (left.) No hand “mudras” like that are ever included in WholyFit. However this gesture might be done inadvertently by a piano player limbering up her fingers. So, it is not the body position, but rather the intention that is important. (More below.) 

2. Yoga poses are named in Sanskrit for their remembrance and transcendental meditation. For example the yoga ‘cobra pose’ is the translation of Bhujangasana, which in Sanskrit, “bhujanga” means snake and “asana” means pose; that’s why this yoga pose is referred to as the ‘Cobra Pose’. Conversely, WholyFit postures are paired with Scripture verse segments and named after them. For example, “Shield” posture is from Eph. 6, to remind us of the “Shield of Faith” as we meditate biblically. (More below.)

Q: So WholyFit is Safer than Yoga?

Answer:

In general, potentially, yes, because yoga poses are not engineered primarily for fitness purposes, but also for religious applications and therefore some safety principles may be overlooked in yoga in deference to the religious purpose. For example, Cobra pose is used in yoga, to open a supposed “root chakra” to awaken what is believed to be a Kuhndalini serpent power (see “chakras” below.) Full Cobra pose is known to the fitness industry to be unsafe for certain ages, body types and fitness levels. Regardless, this posture may be encouraged anyway in yoga for ‘chakra opening’ purposes, without considering that only those with innately long torso body type or extreme lower back flexibility can possibly do this pose safely. Statistically, lower back injuries are the most common reason for Dr. appointments and so WholyFit only teaches appropriately modified back arching movements. WholyFit postures have been engineered from the ground up, solely for specific fitness purposes taking into account anatomical differences, with biomechanics known as safe according to American College of Sports Medicine, ACE, AFAA and IDEA criteria. Therefore WholyFit teaches a more conservative approach to safety, overall, than the yoga industry is able to. 

Q: Is all stretching yoga?

Answer:

Stretching is not yoga unless it is referred to as “yoga.”

1. WholyFit is never referred to as yoga because stretching belongs to everyone, not just yoga.  For the sake of honesty, we never call WholyFit ‘yoga’ because it’s not. We do not call WholyFit ‘yoga’ out of respect for our own beliefs and the beliefs of others. We believe yogis have every right to their own system with their own culture and legends attached to their system, just as Christians have the right to stretch with our own beliefs in tact.

2. Those who ally with yoga are choosing to identify themselves with yoga for the favor of the lucrative and popular yoga industry and for instant approval by the public. Fitness Professionals who do not call our stretching classes ‘yoga,’ are at a distinct disadvantage in the fitness industry, especially regarding earning ability and marketability. Regardless, WholyFit Fitness Pros do not believe yoga teachings and therefore choose not to identify themselves with “yoga,” avoiding classes, trainings; nor do we ever contribute our time, energy or money to the yoga industry.

3. WholyFit operates from within the universal church as a part of the fitness community, but outside of the yoga industry.

Q: Does WholyFit teach yoga postures?

No, WholyFit does not teach yoga postures. WholyFit teaches exercises including flexibility, strength and cardio. Yoga uses stretching, but this does not limit our use of all stretching.  Stretching does not belong solely to yoga. Stretching belongs to everyone because God gave it to us at Creation and made our bodies to NEED IT.

Q: Can Christians stretch?

Answer:

Everyone needs to stretch. If we don’t stretch we will not be healthy. The notion of avoiding stretching, when stretching is done in a biblical (non-yoga) atmosphere, is legalistic. What stretches are OK? What stretches are not OK? Where do you draw the line and who draws it? We need to be careful of legalism lest we start saying that Christians cannot do a forward bend to pick up a dropped coin. Can we twist in our car to look over our shoulder when backing out of the driveway? Of course Christians can stretch. We heartily disagree with the notion that Christians  cannot stretch at all.

When I mistakenly taught yoga at 24 Hour fitness, as a Christian, I influenced pre-believers into thinking that Christians approve of yoga. Pre-believers do not know the difference in what we believe or don’t believe so by calling my classes, ‘yoga’ I inadvertently gave my approval to all teachings of yoga and influenced pre-believers to go to other yoga classes. In fact one student of mine said that once I introduced them to yoga, he also started going to the ‘yoga class down the street.’ That was the very class in which I was asked to “give my soul to Shiva.” I quit 24 Hr fitness and never taught yoga again. It would be better for me to have a stone tied around my neck and be thrown into the sea than to ever mislead one of God’s little ones away from Christ again.

LaLa

Q: Why do some christians avoid all stretches that look like yoga?

LaLa says, “In my experience it is those who have been traumatized by yoga who may not be able to do certain stretches that look too much like what they were traumatized by.” Associations can be powerful to the emotions, whether that means a body position, or a song or smell that is associated with a trauma. We can be sensitive to others with trauma, but also pray that God heals them so that they can fully participate in their freedom in Christ.

Yoga Elements That Christians Do Not Believe

See below explanations for each of these elements

1. Idol Worship
2. Chanting Mantras
3. Body Positions for energy channel
4. Chakras
5. Namaste
6. Yogic Meditation

 

Q: How does yoga teach idol worship?

Answer:

The ultimate goal of yoga is Samahdi, becoming one with a universal spirit. Click  research you can look up about what classical yoga teaches, including the veneration of “gods” like the sun god, Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu and others. We point this out, not to condemn those who practice yoga, but rather to make it clear that worshiping any other God but the One True and Living God is an act of rebellion against our God and all Bible believing Christians believe this, without exception. 

LaLa says, “You can read more about my eyewitness experience if you click here. In a nutshell, it says that I used to take yoga classes and teach yoga until I was sitting in a yoga training which promoted the worship of idols. That was not the biggest problem. They were just practicing their own religion. What was worse than that, was the dishonest and clandestine way I was urged to participate in idol worship with the class members. The leader also purposefully preyed on practitioners in secret by calling up (what the Bible defines as) “demonic spirits” in outside rituals directed to influence attenders spiritually, without their knowledge. My teacher hid his spiritual agenda from me purposely, assuring me from the outset, that I, as a Christian, would have no problem with yoga philosophies in his class. I renounced yogaand repented.

Repentance is a great feeling, contrary to it’s negative press! It was freeing to face the truth. Since there are no other “gods” except for God, Shiva and all other sources of supernatural power come from demons. My yoga teachers had a powerful influence over their students by teaching them to call on spiritual entities that are not from God.

Q: So are yoga gods demons?

Answer:

Yes, Christians believe, and the Bible teaches, that there are only two sources of spiritual power: God and demons. Simply put, the Bible teaches in Gen. 3 that demons are rebellious angels. Good angels submit to the Lordship of Christ. Demons hate people and oppose the will of God. Good angels love people. (LaLa says, “Forgive the simplicity but I find that interpreting the Bible as a 12 year old would, is the purest way to understand it. Read more about demons below…)

Even if you don’t believe that yoga opens people up to demonic forces, there is solid logic supporting the idea that Christians who participate in yoga:

  • condone classical yoga philosophies by their participation
  • lend credibility to yoga claims by their participation
  • legitimize yoga, causing others to follow their example 
  • transfer resources (entrusted to them by God) into the hands of those who work against the cause of Christ (intentionally or not)

Q: Do all yoga certifications teach yoga philosophies?

Answer: 

LaLa says, “In my experience national yoga certifications do proseletyze attenders, and do so without their knowledge, in both subtle and audacious ways. This is not only good business, it is good religion. Don’t we Christians try to influence others too? I’m not judging how yogis spread their religion but I am testifying to the truth of how they do it through certification. If you have never gone to yoga certification, you would not know this. Christians who have gone through yoga certifications have told me they simply put up with the philosophical part, but all true Christians are to have nothing to do with the worship of idols– at all. We are never to even have their names on our lips.

Christian Fitness Professionals who refuse to go through yoga certification endure inequitable treatment in the marketplace. To this day, Christians are expected by the yoga industry, to spend time, energy and lots of money on certification with content we don’t believe in. Yet enduring the philosophies does not make us better fitness professionals, has nothing to do with developing our fitness expertise, and takes time away from learning more important things like safety and anatomy. In my personal opinion, yoga philosophies degrade the knowledge of our True Creator which in turn, makes for less knowledge. WholyFit certification developes fitness expertise from a Biblical worldview.

Even if a certification does not include philosophies, we in WholyFit do not want to yoke ourselves with an industry whose purposes are completely opposite to ours. Here are some of the philosophies/religious teachings that are promoted by the yoga industry explained in the following questions.

Q: Can you explain the other yoga elements?

Chanting Mantras

Mantras used in TM are the names of sub-deities. The Bible teaches that all people should not allow the names of other gods on their lips because the One True Living God is God alone. Even if mantras were believed to be harmless, the Bible teaches that repeating the same thing to God over and over, is insulting to Him. In WholyFit we use repetition only as a way to memorize scripture, but then we rephrase the scripture and pray to apply it to our lives.
““And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7

Namaste

Namaste means in Sanskrit, “the god in me honors the god in you.” It is a common greeting and the literal meaning is usually not intended in casual use with no harm done or expected. But for Christians, it is against our faith to say, “Namaste” in a yoga class because the “god in you” refers the yogic, “self.” The Bible teaches that God exists outside of human beings and can never be found by looking inward, but rather by looking upward to Him. Only Jesus can bring us to the True God. 

“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Showing respect, like bowing to a false god is an act of idolatry.

Chakras

Christians do not believe in Chakras because, again, all energy has only two sources: God or Satan. Chakra energy manipulation in yoga, is believed to awaken a Serpent power. The Kuhndalini serpent power is believed to be laying dormant in all people, coiled at the base of the spine. The yogi believes that chakra progression coaxes the serpent to uncoil up the spine and exit the “third eye” facilitating “Samahdi,” becoming one with a “universal spirit.”

    Meditation

    Meditation: In yoga and Transcendental Meditation, meditation is spirit channeling. The ultimate goal is union with a spirit that is not from God. Biblical Meditation on Scripture is  thinking about God’s works, Words and ways, chewing on them, memorizing them, singing them and thinking about them with the goal that we are renewed in our minds and transformed in our spirits to be like Jesus.

    “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I [a]muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah”  Psalm 143: 5-6 

     

    Body positions for energy channel

    The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. The Bible teaches and we believe, that there are only two sources of supernatural power or energy: God and Satan. There are only two spiritual kingdoms: 1. God’s Kingdom, which is victorious through the shed blood of Christ; and 2. Satan’s kingdom which will be defeated. 

    Satan is a created being, a rebellious angel that is not omnipotent. God is omniscient and omnipotent and created all angels. Demons are angels who rebelled against God and were thrown out of heaven when Satan was expelled. Satan is the king of demons and these evil angelic beings are the source of the energy yogis and TM practitioners feel during spirit channelling / energy channelling. In fact, anyone who calls on spiritual power that is not from God, opens up demonic activity. Those who call on demonic activity think they are controlling the spirit entitiy, but in reality the demon is in control.

    In WholyFit, body position is not intended to affect the Holy Spirit. Believers cannot manipulate the Holy Spirit and do not want to. Instead, we use body position, as dance does, to express emotion and worship to God Almighty. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God who indwells the bodies of believers in Jesus. We submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit completely. 

    Moreover, all Christians have been given authority over the supernatural power of satan / demons. As Christ-followers we have been given authority to bind demons and kick them out of environments and even other people in order to bring the Kingdom of Jesus into that person’s life. Christ followers encourage each other to be able to spot demonic activity and oppose it just as Jesus did on earth when He established His Kingdom.
    We think Mike Shreve’s views are clear and balanced. As a former yogi, now a pastor, he explains reasons why Christians who IDENTIFY with and PARTICIPATE in yoga classes may experience degradation of the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. See Mike’s video below.

    Q: Do body positions channel energy?

    Answer:

    The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. The Bible teaches and we believe, that there are only two sources of supernatural power or energy: God and Satan. There are only two spiritual kingdoms: 1. God’s Kingdom, which is victorious through the shed blood of Christ; and 2. Satan’s kingdom which will be defeated.

    Satan is a created being, a rebellious angel that is not omnipotent. God is omniscient and omnipotent and created all angels. Demons are angels who rebelled against God and were thrown out of heaven when Satan was expelled. Satan is the king of demons and these evil angelic beings are the source of the energy yogis and TM practitioners feel during spirit channelling / energy channelling. In fact, anyone who calls on spiritual power that is not from God, opens up demonic activity. Those who call on demonic activity think they are controlling the spirit entitiy, but in reality the demon is in control.

    In WholyFit, body position is not intended to affect the Holy Spirit. Believers cannot manipulate the Holy Spirit and do not want to. Instead, we use body position, as dance does, to express emotion and worship to God Almighty. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God who indwells the bodies of believers in Jesus. We submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit completely. 

    Moreover, all Christians have been given authority over the supernatural power of satan / demons. As Christ-followers we have been given authority to bind demons and kick them out of environments and even other people in order to bring the Kingdom of Jesus into that person’s life. Christ followers encourage each other to be able to spot demonic activity and oppose it just as Jesus did on earth when He established His Kingdom.
    We think Mike Shreve’s views are clear and balanced. As a former yogi, now a pastor, he explains reasons why christians who IDENTIFY with and PARTICIPATE in yoga classes may experience degradation of the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. See Mike’s video below.

    Do Not Miss This Interview With Mike Shreve 
    In this video, I sit down with former Kundalini and hatha yoga teacher Mike Shreve, who has extensive study and practice in Hinduism and yogic traditions. After overseeing hundreds of students, running 2 ashrams, and teaching yoga at 4 different universities, he had an encounter with Jesus Christ and has since been in full-time ministry. In this video, we cover the dangers of yoga, why Christians shouldn’t practice yoga, examine the spiritual foundation of yoga, and talk about the gifts and power of the Spirit.

    Do you have questions? We would love to hear from you?
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