A former psychic who has now come to Christ spoke to Billy Hallowell of CBN News and warned against the dangers of yoga, particularly to Christians who try to separate it from its demonic origins and use it as a form of exercise. Jennifer Nizza formerly worked as a psychic medium for many years and was involved in many New Age and occult practices before coming to Christ. She details her conversion in her book From Psychic to Saved and now works to help others leave the occult. “I was lost to the deception and the lies of the devil before God miraculously intervened and lifted the veil from my eyes that had kept me blind for so long,” Nizza writes on her website.

In speaking with Hallowell, Nizza aimed particularly at yoga, warning that “Yoga is a Hindu spiritual practice, and the word ‘yoga’ is rooted in Sanskrit. It means ‘to yoke to’ or ‘to unite with’ what they’re doing. They have deliberate postures that are paying tribute, honor, and worship to their false gods, and they have over 330,000,000 false gods, which are demons, and they’re honoring them with these postures.” She warned Christians that it is more than just “stretching and breathing” and to remember the words of the Bible that warn against the worship of other gods. 

Nizza stated she was speaking from her personal experience as a former psychic and that the meditation aspect of yoga opened her up to communicating with evil spirits. She warned that churches should not be opening themselves up to yoga with the intention of only using it as a way to stay fit. Hallowell and Nizza also discussed the concept of “meditation,” which is generally a word in Christian circles synonymous with prayer. In discussing New Age meditation, Nizza warned that it is used to open the mind to other influences, particularly demonic. She quoted Peter 5:8, which states that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Nizza is not the first to sound the alarm on yoga. In 2018, pastor John Liddell of James River Church in Ozark Church criticized yoga in a sermon that dealt with the occult just prior to Halloween. Like Nizza, he pointed out that the positions in yoga have a reference to demons. “Every single body position has a meaning. Let me say this, yoga positions were not designed by your local fitness instructor. They were designed, and they were created with demonic intent to open you up to demonic power. Because Hinduism is demonic. Every false religion is demonic. Hinduism is not a mild, gentile, pacifist religion. Anybody who says that has not visited India. Neither is Buddhism. We may have a sanitized view of it in our Western culture, but it is not a pacifist. It is demonic. It is idol worship,” he warned. He also stated that simply chanting “Jesus” does not take away from the demonic influence. “Demons don’t care what you chant as long as you open the door to them,” he said. “They don’t care if you are in peace, harmony, have the energy or are in great shape as long as you give them access.”

Liddell faced criticism after his sermon, including from Christians who practice yoga. Christian yoga practitioner Reggie Harris stated that his relationship with Christ “has gotten deeper through yoga.” Serita Jakes, wife of pastor T.D. Jakes faced criticism and support after posting an image of her women’s group, The Potter’s House of Dallas, getting a “taste of yoga.” In a discussion about how Christians should approach yoga, John Piper encouraged approaching it with a “maximalist” approach, saying, “Will it make me more Christlike? Will it make me more devoted to Jesus? Will I be more powerful and full of the Holy Spirit? Will I be more effective in prayer because of it? Will it make me bolder in witness, or weaken me? Will it help me be spiritually discerning of the ways of Satan in the world, and will it help me lay up treasures in heaven? Will it help me find joy in God and all that he is for me in Jesus?”

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