If you are searching for a Christian yoga alternative I think it might help to understand what is on offer.  I am developing my own program of Christian Yoga, but that program compared to those on offer on the internet is probably too radical for most people.

My program of Christian Yoga follows the first instruction of the Master Jesus when he clearly declares, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.” Most Christian Yoga programs have their focus on reading the Bible which was never the focus of the primary focus of Master.

Most people who practice Christianity and who practice yoga are looking to have a more comfortable life. What they are not looking for is transformation in the real sense of that word.

In the words of Dr. Jean Houston writing in The Wizard of Us – Transformational Lessons from Oz1  what people are looking for is “the same old same as.” They are not looking for transformational lessons that fulfil the promise of why they are created.

What most Christian Yoga programs offer is fitness, flexibility, and affirmation of belief. What they don’t offer is the journey to the transformational experience of the Kingdom of Heaven or what is referred to in the Old Testament as the Promised Land.

That’s just to radical an idea.

Christian yoga programs and yoga in general as taught in the West focus on making your slavery in the Land of Egpyt that bit more comfortable (Biblical metaphor).

In this series of Christian Yoga alternatives I will be looking at the programs that feature most prominently when you search for this term.

  • Christians Practicing Yoga
  • Praisemoves or Fitness Ministry.
  • Holy Yoga.
  • Yoga Faith.
  • GracexStength
  • Cross Yoga.

In reviewing these Christian alternatives to Yoga I will share with you what I think are their strengths and weaknesses. As part of this  Christian alternative to yoga overview I want to look at the following questions:-

Is Christian Yoga and Oxymoron?

effortless yoga

Is Christianity and Yoga an oxymoron meaning “they don’t mix?” The answer is “Yes” they do and “No” they don’t. The answer depends from where you ask the question.

To answer this question you have to clearly understand the core teaching of Yoga and Christianity which is the core purpose of all religious teachings.

If this core teaching is not central to your understanding of Yoga and Christianity then they will likely be in opposition.

If this core understanding is recognised then they are recognized as being a different path up the same mountain.  One can and does complement the other.

So what is the core teaching at the heart of Yoga and Christianity and all authentic religious teachings.

The core intention behind the teaching of Yoga, Christianity and all authentic religion is the overcoming of the idea of the separate personal self. – Tony Cuckson.

The Master Jesus spoke about this core teaching when he said.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 16:25

This is also the meaning of the phrase, “I have overcome the world.”

This is the world of time and space created by identification with the separate sense of the personal self by way of identifation with thought and the body.

Most Christians and Yoga teachings do not have as their core teaching the overcoming of the separate personal self that is the reason for most unnecessary suffering in the world.

If that were advertised as the key intention for the program no one would attend at Yoga class or at Church.

Its OK if Christianity or Yoga is simply a system of belief. The belief system simply becomes a part of the separate sense of self that the system is inviting you to overcome. The teachings become another way of maintaining ones personal identity as a Christian or as a Yogi.

From the level of personal belief Christianity and Yoga are often declared to be an oxymoron.  This is because one is seen as on set of beliefs and the other another.

This is the level at which most Christians and Yoga practice operates.

I call it the basement level of experience. It is the experience of living from the personal and separate sense of self rather than from the revelation of the Christ within.

Living the revelation of the Christ within means leaving the basement and acending to the Penthouse.

However the ascent means you having to lose your personal sense of identity for the sake of living what the mystic Joseph Brenner called The Impersonal Life2.

This was the book that Elvis Presly was reading at the time of his death (The Seeker King – Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley – Gary Tillery3)

The Decline of Religion in the West

christian yoga alternative decline

Throughout the time that Yoga was first introduced to the West there have been objections to such introduction from those in the Christian community.

When I was first introduced to Yoga in 1967 at the age of 17 years the teaching of Yoga was criticized by the fundamentalist Christian preacher named the Reverend Ian Paisley. On Ulster TV (Northern Ireland) at the time you would hear the so-called Reverend declare “Yoga is the work of the Devil.”

There are those in the Christian community who might not be so extreme in their views but assert that the word “Christian” and “Yoga” do not go together.

They are right in what they declare in the sense that they have no real understanding of either the word “Christian” or the word “Yoga.”

The numbers of people practicing religion in all its different forms is in deep decline in the Western world. (Why there is no way back for religion in the West – David Voss – TEDx University of Essex

The primary reason for this decline is essentially that younger people tend to be less religious than their parents.

In New Zealand which has a question about religion on its census form the numbers claiming religious affiliation are as follows: –

  • D.O B – 1900 – No of people claiming a religious affiliation – 100%
  • D.O.B – 1990 – No of people claiming a religious affiliation – 38%

The decline is happening in the U.S.A. but not as quickly.

When the question, “Do you believe God exists and have no doubt about it?” is asked the numbers are as follows: –

  • D.O.B – 1900 – Do You believe God exists and have no doubt about it – 75%
  • D.O.B – 1990 – Do You believe God exists and have no doubt about it – 40%

For me this is a strange question because if you have no doubt about it then you KNOW and if you KNOW there is no need to believe.

In Canada, the question “Religious or spiritual beliefs are “very important?”  For people born in 1900 the percentage that affirmed this question was 80%+. Those born in the year 1990 affirmed the question by 20%.

From studies across the globe the undeniable conclusion is that the most undeveloped countries in the world are the most religious.The only place where Christianity is expanding is on the African subcontinent. (Putting on the Mind of Christ – The Inner Work of Christianity  – Jim Marion4)

It is from these underdeveloped countries that the Roman Catholic church is now acquiring its priests because there are not enough entering the seminaries in the West.

The reason is because the religious teachings are understood not from the level of the metaphysical and mystical but from the mythical.

If these numbers were the results from a business endeavour, then the whole management would be sacked.

Growth of Yoga in the West

effortless yoga

The growth of yoga in the West is exponential.

This is not because it has its primary focus on the core teachings of yoga which is the overcoming of the sense of the personal self but on fitness and flexibility.

The focus is as one Yoga teacher has said a focus on sweat and calm.

In that sense declining Christianity need not fear the teachings of Yoga as promoted in the West.

% of People Practicing Yoga in USA

  • Year 2012  – 20.4%
  • Year 2015 – 30. 7%
  • Year 2020 – 55.5%

Christians who claim that yoga takes people away from the church (especially young people) need to examine the real reasons for the decline.

Maybe if they offered revelation rather than cerebral belief they might reverse the decline.

Christian Yoga Alternative – Level 1

christian yoga alternative level 1

You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and you believe what you want to. – Morpheus in The Matrix (1999)

I will review at what level each of these alterative Christian yoga programs address the journey.

  • Level 1 – Staying in Egypt – The Land of Belief and Knowledge.
  • Level 2 – Entering the Desert – The Land of Transition and Unknowing
  • Level 3 – Entering the Promised Land – The Land of Transformation and KNOWING

To use a movie metaphor from The Matrix.

At Level I Christian Yoga alternative programs you choose the blue pill. You decide to remain in the Matrix which is the metaphor for your being identified solely with the personality.

At Level 1 Christian Yoga it is all about what you believe rather than KNOW. Spirituality speaking you remain in what religious traditions recognise as the dream of separation.  This is the human idea of separation from God.

At Level III you KNOW that you are never separate from God because you have experienced awakening by way of Grace.

At Level I you are encouraged to believe in awakening by those who have not themselves awakened but in reality you would prefer to remain in slavery to the idea of your personal and separate self.

Most of what is taught under the terms Yoga and Christian is at Level I. At best it makes your stay within the slavery of Egypt (or the Matrix to use a movie metaphor) that bit more comfortable.

Characteristics – Christian Yoga Alternative – Level 1

christian yoga alternative characteristics level 1

Here are some of the characteristics of a Level 1 alternative Christian yoga program.

Not all of these will apply.  However, it is fair to say that for most all programs reviewed in this series of Christian Yoga alternatives few move beyond Level 1 and none approach Level III.

  • Focus on becoming established in a system of belief.
  • Focus on Jesus rather than Christ.
  • Confusion about Biblical terms such as “Word” “I” “Me” and “I AM.”
  • Judge other religious traditions as lessor than Christianity.
  • Have a mistrust of inner experience invited via meditation/contemplation.
  • Authority for spiritual direction and unfoldment comes from without.
  • Prayer is by way of petition to a God separate from oneself.
  • Focus on Bible readings aligned with physical postures.
  • The Bible is read literally rather than metaphorically and mythically.
  • No recognition of the role of personality as the block to the Christ experience.

The primary reason for teaching Christianity and Yoga (either separate or together) is to transcend this feeling of being separate from God which is the primary cause for most all unnecessary suffering both individually and collectively.

The slavery of Egypt is a Biblical metaphor for your identification with your personal sense of separation from God as being something outside yourself and from which you are apart.

This has been the view of most of humanity throughout the history of its existence.

Christian Yoga Alternative – Level II

christian yoga alternatives level II

But in the desert, in the pure clean atmosphere, in the silence – there you can find yourself. – Father Dioscuros

Level II  is where metaphorically you leave the slavery of Egypt to enter the desert of the unknown (Level II) before reaching The Promised Land (Level III).

Level II of the Christian Yoga journey is the equivalent of taking the Red Pill as invited in the Movie the Matrix.

This is where the Christian Yoga program shares practices that take you into the unknown but not the unknowable. Many mainstream Christian preachers are against this invitation.

The Lord Jesus speaks about them in this way.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.- Matthew 23:13

Christian Yoga alternative programs at Level II have the following characteristics.

  • Moves from a focus on without to a focus on within.
  • Prayer becomes a way of Being in the World.
  • Experiences a second awakening of faith from blind faith to authentic faith.
  • Focus is on Christ rather than on the historical personage of Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Invites taking authority for one’s spiritual journey.
  • Introduces some form of meditation or contemplation (Christian name for meditation)
  • Bible passages are understood as metaphorical rather than literal.
  • Begins the journey into discovering the power of silence.
  • Moves from a focus on belief into a state of being willing to not KNOW.

Level 2 Christian Yoga is where you take the Red Pill and see just how far into Wonderland you can go.

Christian Yoga Alternative – Level III

christian yoga alternative level 3

We are exiles in Time’s abyss, strangers now in the Promised Land. ― D.B. Nielsen, Seed

This is where you are likely to become a Christian Yoga teacher in the true meaning of that phrase. Before this you can get certified by those calling themselves Christian Yoga teachers in name only.

What certifies you to teach Christian Yoga or any other form of yoga as it is intended to be taught is the grace experience of revelation.

This gives you direct KNOWING of eternal life. It shatters belief.  You have been to the Promised Land.  In Yoga terms you have had the revelatory and transformative experience of Union.

I am in the Father, the Father is in me – John 14:11

Most everyone who is graced this experience doesn’t stay in this state of wonder.

They return to the slavery of Egypt, but nothing is ever the same.  Now you KNOW what is on offer.

For one grace moment you can say with St Paul.

I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: – Galatians 2:20

Returning to the movie analogy this is where you as the hero Mr. Anderson (meaning “Son of Man”) begin to KNOW that you are the ONE. You are awakening to the revelation that you are a Son of God.

The term “Son of God” is not gender specific. This is simply the limitation of dualistic language.

It’s very difficult to teach Christian Yoga from this level.

You are in essence trying to teach in words what cannot be taught in words. This is why it took me about 45 years to arrive as a place where I felt able to attempt to invite such an understanding.

This was 45 years following the grace experience of entering the Promised Land.

The Promised Land is not a place. It is a state of Being that exists outside of time.  It is the experience of KNOWING eternal life.  This is not a belief in eternal life which is a level I concept.

Characteristics of Level III

christian yoga alternative level III characteristics

The characteristics of someone living at level III Christian yoga are as follows: –

  • You have had at least one direct encounter with God.
  • Are in falling in Love with the Silence and the Stillness of KNOWING that God is.
  • Your life becomes a flow of Divine purpose, peace and REAL Prosperity.
  • You live the mantra Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
  • You are focused on living the Impersonal Life (Joseph Brenner).
  • God is KNOWN to be LOVE (at Levels I and II God is assigned the quality of loving).
  • You give no thought so that the Divine can think through you.
  • You teach Christianity and/or Yoga from the experience of Presence.

KNOWING that you are and have forever been an expression of eternity is what it means to abide in the WORD.

Neither Christianity nor Yoga as mainstream teachings in the West invite the direct experience that is the Grace of revelation which is Level III teaching.

Most Christian Yoga teaching programs simply have as their focus a strengthening of belief in the teachings by way of words and concepts rather than a focus on the experience of revelation.

If you have not had the grace experience of revelation, then words and concepts are all you have. You will only be able to teach from the level of words and concepts. You will be the blind leading the blind.

Christian Yoga Challenge

christian yoga challenge

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

When I was drafting this article most of the Christian Yoga alterative programs that appeared in the Google search where those that taught at Level I and occasionally crossed into aspects of the teaching at Level II.

It was toward the end of drafting this article that I came across the website Christians Practicing Yoga.

When you search for the term “Christian alternative to yoga” the Christians Practicing Yoga website does not feature in the top 20 searches.  I found it indirectly through another search related to a Christian teacher called John Main.

To me this website Christians Practicing Yoga has much to offer those who are seeking an expansive Christian yoga program.  This is the website I will review to begin with.

Meantime, because I couldn’t find a Christian Yoga website that I felt did justice to the teachings of the Master Jesus Christ and Yoga I decided I would explore creating a program that would cover all three levels.

This Christ centred Yoga training program continues as from December 2021. I will include some Christian Yoga postures later in the program.

This program is being written as from the beginning of November 2021. Here are the links to those pages that have already been written.

I have listed below how I think the days may unfold but the reality is that the writing comes through me rather than my deciding that I will write on a specific topic.

  • Day 5 – I AM the Way – Part I
  • Day 6 – Christian Yoga Practice 1
  • Day 7– If Thy Eye Be Single.
  • Day 8 – Resist not Evil.
  • Day 9 – Pray in Secret.
  • Day 10 – Christian Yoga Practice 2
  • Day 11 – Become as a Little Child.
  • Day 12 – I AM the Way – Part II
  • Day 13 – Sin No More.
  • Day 14 – Renewing Your Mind.
  • Day 15 – You Must be Born Again.
  • Day 16 – Take Up Your Cross
  • Day 17 – Christian Yoga Practice 2
  • Day 18 – Judge Not.
  • Day 19 – Abide in Me.
  • Day 21 – Christian Yoga Practice 3.
  • Day 22 – Be In the World.
  • Day 23 – Christian Meditation
  • Day 24 – Christian Meditation Practice
  • To be decided.

To be notified as and when this developing Christian Yoga program of learning comes available why not sign up and discover keyways in which you can Companion Your Greatness.


  1. The Wizard of Us – Transformational Lessons from Oz – Dr. Jean Houston
  2. The Impersonal Life – Joseph S Brenner
  3. The Seeker King – Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley – Gary Tillery
  4. Putting on the Mind of Christ – The Inner Work of Christianity – Jim Marion

If you wish to leave a comment or ask a specific question, then please feel free to do so.