Twisted Sister Yoga's Statement of Faith
We know that yoga is a spiritual discipline much like fasting, meditation, and prayer that cannot be owned by one specific religion. While yoga predates Hinduism, Hindus were the first to give yoga a written structure. Yoga postures were originally named in Sanskrit. Twisted Sister Christian Yoga teaches in our native tongues to avoid any confusion or becoming a stumbling block. Twisted Sister Yoga embraces the essential elements of yoga: breath work, meditation and physical postures. In all of these elements, Christ is the focus of our intention and worship. There are other concepts and traditions that may be part of some yoga practices that are not typically a part of Twisted Sister Yoga, such as chanting "OM" or using chakra theory to explain the interplay of the physical and energetic dynamic in the human body. Furthermore, we believe that:
God is one and is the only one God. (Deut. 4:35; 32:29; Isa. 45:14; 46:9; Ex. 20:3). God exists eternally as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 29:19; 1 Corinthians12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 9:14)
The Son of God became man in the divine-human person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). Jesus was fully God (John 10:30), and at the same time fully man (Philippians 2:7-8). His death on the cross was the answer for mankind’s sins (Rom. 3:23-26; 1 Cor. 15:3). He physically rose again on the third day (Mt 28:6; Rom 1:4). Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God; was manifested in the flesh by virgin birth; was crucified as the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins; arose bodily from the grave; is preparing a place for us; will return for us. (Luke 1:35; John 1:1, 14; John 14:1-6; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-19; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18)
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a life pleasing to God (1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit persuades us to confess Jesus as our Savior from our sins and Lord of our lives; indwells us to explain the Bible and empowers us to live godly lives. (John 16:7-14; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:17-21)
The whole Bible and every word in the Bible is inspired by God. The Bible is without error, it is living and the final authority for our faith. (Psalm 19:7-8; Matthew 5:18, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
We believe that through the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ by faith, and asking Christ to forgive our sins, a person becomes a Christian (John 1:12; Romans 10:13), and our relationship with God is established. The acceptance of Christ assures us that: Christ comes into our life (Ephesians 1:13-14) Our sins are forgiven (Colossians 1:14) We become a child of God (John 1:12) We begin a new life with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; John 10:10b) We are assured of eternity in heaven (John 11:25, 26; 17:3) We are eternally safe and secure in Jesus and give evidence of genuine faith by a life of good works. (John 3:16; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39; James 2:14-17)
stresses wellness of the body and soul through the use of postures and purposeful breathing, self examination and meditation. A leading hatha yoga cardiac therapist, Nirmala Heriza, gives us this definition of yoga: “Yoga is a complete science or synthesis of practices—the poses (asanas), meditation, self analysis, nutrition, self awareness— that when combined influence and inform not just our physical body but also our mental, emotional and spiritual health.”1 This definition comes pretty close to our ideal for self-care: practices that integrate the needs of body and soul together in balance. Christian yoga seeks to employ the healthy and beneficial practices of hatha yoga as a support to the pursuit of physical health and spiritual growth.
Christian yoga assumes that God is the origin of all truth and beauty and that things that are true can be redeemed and consecrated for His glory. Paul warned Timothy against people who made up rules that God never intended, like forbidding marriage or certain foods. He tells Timothy that instead “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1Timothy 4:4-5).
I think that similarly we can thank God for how he created our bodies and enjoy physical movement, like yoga, that brings health to our bodies. God’s creation reveals truth about him and likewise our bodies are a revelation of his wisdom as the Ultimate Designer. Our bodies work best in the way he designed them to work and practices that support the healthy function of our bodies are ultimately from Him.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit yug which can be translated as “to harmonize”, “to bring together” or “to harness or yoke”. As Christians we can apply this image of yoking in a couple of ways. First, we can understand it as the idea of desiring wholeness or unity in our person of the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional aspects of our being. We seek to yoke together all these parts to be able to move forward with purpose just as a farmer yokes his oxen together to move the plow in one direction. We pursue an integrated focused life instead of a fragmented life. We can also apply the picture of being yoked to pursuing harmony or communion with God, bringing our lives in line with Him. We seek to be yoked in relationship with God and by God.
Jesus uses this image or metaphor when he invites us to take off the world’s harness and take on his yoke instead: 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 (Matthew 11:28, emphasis added). There is a beautiful parallel between the picture Jesus draws for us here and the image of yoking in Christian yoga. When we practice Christian yoga we can keep this picture in our minds and imagine surrendering our fragmented and distracted lives to his lordship, to be transformed and conformed to his image and redirected under his yoke of grace and mercy. This is one way we consecrate the practice of Christian yoga.