Is Practicing Yoga Heretical for Christians?
It is not unusual for adherents of one religion to maintain that it is irreligious — or even blasphemous — to dabble in the practices of another. People may hold the view, for example, that practicing yoga is heretical for Christians, but this is not true. Yoga is from India, and it is a practice derived from the Hindu religion, but there is nothing religious about yoga. It is one of the six schools of philosophy; its aim is to teach practitioners to attain salvation through meditation and cleansing of body and mind.
The metaphysical ideas of yoga were originally akin to those of Sankhya, until yoga brought a deity into the picture during the Middle Ages. The god (Isvara) of yoga was not a creator, but an especially exalted soul. Thus, the god of yoga resembled the Buddha of the Lesser Vehicle (Hinayana) or the glorified Tirthankara of Jainism. Yoga was thought to give insight into the sublime purity of the soul, and thus aid meditation.
Certain practices such as yoga are religious in appearance. By bowing to the master guru, saying namasté(“I bow to you”), and repeating a mantra, one is aiding his meditation. However, mantras do not have to be religious; they can be completely sectarian if you choose.