Matt Walsh will never be found in a yoga studio because he is convinced that those who practice it support pagan rituals. To support his claim that the ritual of connecting one's physical connection with the universe is not compatible with Christianity, he traced yoga's origins back to "pagan spiritualism" that evolved through the "anti-Christian counter-culture revolution" into the modern practice it is today.
Walsh said that the final stage of yoga where one separates his or herself from the physical state is comparable to being in a "demonic trance."
The physical practices of yoga are expressly designed to open ourselves up to enlightenment (Hindu enlightenment, that is). The intended final stage of yoga is to achieve a state called Samadhi, where the self disappears and you are brought into an unthinking trance. You may perform the moves without consciously seeking the demonic trance they were designed to help you attain, but it would seem you are playing, quite literally, with fire.
Yoga proponent, Katie Kimball, believes that Christians could still participate in yoga by glossing over its purported pagan-related aspects. She wrote an article in Kitchen Stewardship called, "Could Catholics Do Yoga?" in which she drew the conclusion that "practicing yoga could be a pathway down which one could fall into pagan worship and away from God. However, doing a yoga pose is not an automatic pathway to Hell."
Walsh seemed to agree at first.
I, of course, would never call it an automatic pathway to Hell. But if "it's not an automatic pathway to Hell" is the best justification you can construct for doing something, isn't it best just to not do that thing? What is the point of trying to re-purpose pagan worship for the sake of getting a nice workout?
Walsh also equated yoga to playing the Ouija board.
Yes, you can mess around with those things relatively innocently, not actually seeking to summon spirits or ascertain your future from the stars, but why? Is this a form of entertainment that Christians should seek out? What's wrong with just playing Monopoly instead? Why mess around with it?
Although he doesn't believe that practicing yoga will make Christians prime candidates for demonic possession, he firmly believes that the spiritual practice would deny direct passage through heaven's gate.
The author of The Unholy Trinity even denounced yoga on Twitter.
It's kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are many excell… https://t.co/LqW0vYMA7G— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh)1517495222.0
I have noticed that many Christians really do not believe that evil spirits are at work in the world at all. They l… https://t.co/Eoc7c0fKXy— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh)1517535894.0
He's aware of his controversial stance on yoga, so the ensuing backlash was nothing that was particularly enlightening.
@MattWalshBlog https://t.co/4kMt2m9ySN— kristin (@kristin)1517527413.0
@ChurchofSatan Yoga is a form of worship, but this guy's tweet is extremely ignorant.— Mike G. (@Mike G.)1517530014.0
@MattWalshBlog Thanks, Matt, for a perfect example of the divisive nature of religion. The condemnation of a benefi… https://t.co/7rudwh9v2q— MrOzAtheist (@MrOzAtheist)1517535916.0
@MattWalshBlog It highlights your closed mind, it highlights your inability to see the world beyond the religious b… https://t.co/Hml6ZRBpw5— MrOzAtheist (@MrOzAtheist)1517536205.0
@MattWalshBlog Hey Matt... quick question for you... My wife and I are Catholic but, she’s a yoga instructor. I sho… https://t.co/pHYDvb39jo— Steven Keltie (@Steven Keltie)1517522550.0
@MattWalshBlog “What if I spend the entire day posting about how yoga is a Satanic ritual?” -you— 🇺🇸The Half Baked Conservative🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸The Half Baked Conservative🇺🇸)1517535952.0
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani shared an anecdote about the harmful effects of yoga.
I know a Christian family that once did yoga. They all spontaneously combusted & their relatives got charred letter… https://t.co/aNUR7v1Fcc— Kumail Nanjiani (@Kumail Nanjiani)1517506651.0
How dare Walsh denounce Ouija!
The Ouija board was designed as a fun party game and only later had "spooky" connotations added. Calling yoga "Hind… https://t.co/SCbboQcA8J— The Church Of Satan (@The Church Of Satan)1517524549.0
@ChurchofSatan Ah, yes. That famous ghost conjuring device made by Hasbro 😂😂😂— Bobby Chakraborty (@Bobby Chakraborty)1517524783.0
Maybe "Downward Dog" isn't a good thing.
@kumailn My neighbor started doing yoga and then mysteriously my dog died three years later.— Very Stable John (@Very Stable John)1517506720.0
This remedy for his narrow-mindedness is brilliant.
@MattWalshBlog Your inflexibility is showing. Try yoga.— TraceTime (@TraceTime)1517521941.0
@MattWalshBlog Matt, pull down your Christmas tree — it’s a pagan symbol. Don’t celebrate on December 25th, it was… https://t.co/OYoLjN5iVG— For Fox' Sake (@For Fox' Sake)1517580988.0
This pretty much sums it up.
@MattWalshBlog Could also be framed as "Don't do ________ because it was started by people who were not white."— Existential Bread (@Existential Bread)1517553445.0