There are those who believe enlightenment equates to reason. I agree, but there are many who think otherwise, who believe the state of being is more spiritually based. Maybe so. I really can't argue that, because it's subjective and takes faith.
Recently a pastor at Mars Hill Church, who I've attended on a few occasions, decried the practice of Yoga as being demonic as he claims it's based in pagan roots. All over the country people have gasped over such remarks defending it with vehemently as if it was its own religion.
Now let me be clear that I don't know much about Yoga. I've attended a couple classes and I found it to be a great workout, until I read more about it and noted that the idea of holding stretch longer than 30 seconds doesn't give you any physical benefits what so ever. Sure stretching is great exercise and Yoga does that in spades, but you could get the same benefits without paying a large fee for someone to tell you to bend over for long periods of time. It has no harmful effects that I'm aware of so I won't condemn anyone for believing in it's tenets, at least the physical notions.
Yoga is a lot like the martial arts in the fact that when asked about it's roots most practitioners will give you different answers. It's commonly accepted that it's an ancient philosophy developed in India, but the background doesn't matter. What's interesting is both of these faiths, the followers of Mars Hill and those who buy into the fact that Yoga leads to spiritual enlightenment, are at odds with each other. I don't know Yoga to directly contradict Christianity, at least in my limited experience, but so many people practice both so differently I'm sure I can find contradictions in both.
Still I don't get Yoga and it's wild popularity. Sure it's trendy, but when looking at the facts people get far better workouts hitting a heavy bag, running, or lifting weights. That being said can it really connect body, mind, and soul like so many believe? Many think so and I'm hard pressed to argue this simple precept as it takes faith to do so, but of course I'm skeptical. Many people just find it a fun way to get a great workout and feel better after they're done. Good for them. The Mars Hill pastor sounds like an idiot anyways.
I'm sure heroin is awesome and can connect me with my divine soul as many believe. I should try it by injecting large amounts into my testicles. If that doesn't make me see God nothing will.
"Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic. If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you're signing up for a little demon class." - Mark Driscoll