A Methodist Church in Loxahatchee, Fla. incorporated recently the stretching movements of yoga and Pilates with Christian prayer and meditation, through a class called Praisemoves, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The class is forwarded by the Community of Hope which always opens in prayer and then ends with a New Testament bible verse such as 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,’” as their ending meditation, the Sun Sentinel said.
Despite criticisms from many Christians who believe that yoga invites demonic spirits into the body, others join the class precisely because of its Christian orientation.
Some prefer its low-impact workout, while others enjoy the chance to dwell on God in a peaceful setting, the report said.
Praisemoves is different from a similarly named group, PraiseMoves which was started by Laurette Willis, who goes to Calvary church in Tahlequah, Okla.
Willis designed PraiseMoves as a way to get fit without compromise, according to their website. PraiseMoves describes itself as the Christian alternative to yoga.
In her website Willis explains in great detail the dangers of yoga and shares her own journey.
She talks of yoga’s Hindu roots and how the different yoga postures are actually offerings to 330 million Hindu gods. She also expressed concern about yoga being taught in public schools to grade school children.
PraiseMoves, Willis says, is not Christian Yoga which she calls an oxymoron, like Christian Buddhism.
Instead, PraiseMoves involves stretching exercises for physical flexibility for one’s body as a temple of God. It is so called because praise moves God. With the movements, the mind focuses on New Testament verses that praise Jesus.
Amy Julia Becker, in her article “Yoga: An Exercise in Discernment” at her.meneutics said, “I’ve started my personal prayer time by integrating God’s Word with breathing techniques I learned in yoga. Breathe in: “Be still.” Hold the breath: “and know.” Exhale: “that I am God.”