Chapter 20: Lies of Yoga & Meditation
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour–1 Peter 5:8
After the spell on Beltane, I felt that I needed to take a break from witchcraft. Summer had arrived with a bang and the weather even in early June had already begun reaching the triple digits. My spacious duplex was only equipped with window units, and I struggled to cool the place down below 85 degrees in the heat of the day. The two window units in the living room and the bedroom weren’t very strong at all, and so the coolest room of the house was the dining room. I requested my landlord to upgrade one of the units, but my request was denied. At that time, I didn’t have the money in my budget to purchase a new unit so I improvised. I decided I would move my bed to the dining room and camp out to stay cool for the summer. This was turning out to be one of the hottest summers on record, with heat indexes upward of 120 as the days trudged ever onward. The entire city was miserable that summer, but I was in a personal nightmare what with my already existing heat issues. After 3 months of hellish temperatures, drinking, and stress, I felt as if I would finally lose my sanity.
Finally fall time had arrived, and I was the most relieved any one person could be. I was so excited for the cooler weather that I began to embrace the idea of any fall decoration I could find. Identifying as a witch, the season of fall and the holiday of Halloween was very exciting to me. It was the only time of year that the nation celebrated witches, and I felt I could ‘go all out’, as it were. I was filled with happiness at the idea of decorating my duplex with all kinds of knick-knacks, but I was most excited to dress up in a witch costume. You see, part of the allure of witchcraft for me was a fundamental need for escape, a need to be in a fantasy of sorts. I desperately wanted to create a different reality than the one I was currently in, a different life where I had more control over the bad things that happened. The sparkling lies of witchcraft promised this. I would soon learn that the illusion of magick was indeed beautiful and alluring, but this was just the bait to entice me into a never-ending abyss of darkness.
However, my fall wonderland fantasy was about to come to a screeching halt, as I was soon to receive some devastating news about an old friend. Weeks later, I would learn that my friend from many years ago had killed herself. Her name was Michelle, and to explain her death, I need to recount a few things. You see, I had met Michelle while working at the health food store after graduating college. Michelle worked in the supplement department, and I worked in the juice/coffee bar. Michelle was a touchstone for me, someone in whom I could always confide the secrets of my heart. She had one of the gentlest natures of anyone I had ever met. Michelle and I had also both been hurt by the former men in our life, and we bonded through shared pain from lack of love. We both had complicated relationships with our family as well, and we wanted healing and peace in our lives. This more than anything propelled us into searching for answers in the new age. Michelle and I would have friend time and talk about our lives, discussing all kinds of healing practices from tarot cards to reikhi, to yoga and minfulness, and even Buddhist mantras and meditation. Michelle taught me a lot about yoga as she seemed to really gravitate towards that particular path. One of the first yoga studios had recently opened in our town, and Michelle had been faithfully practicing there. She reported experiencing a lot of satisfaction from her new spiritual path, and I was intrigued to see what this was all about. One morning, Michelle invited me to attend a particular kind of yoga lesson called Iyengar Yoga. At the time, I remember feeling no concern about the statues of the Hindu gods or the chanting of the word ‘Om’. Only fundamental Christians had issues with this, and they were just weird and crazy I thought. I myself believed the prevailing wisdom that ‘many paths led to the mountain’, meaning there were many paths to find God. Believing that, I certainly didn’t want to arrogantly assume that the God of my childhood was the only way to Heaven.
What I didn’t understand, was that Jesus had declared that He was the only way to the Father, and that my belief that there were many paths to heaven was essentially calling Jesus a liar.
I would also later discover that yoga was actually an intrinsic part of the Hindu religion, and chanting the world ‘Om’ was in effect yolking oneself to the god Brahma, and that ‘yoga’ actually meant to be ‘yolked’.
However, at the time I viewed yoga as a harmless sort of ethnic experience, no different from eating at a Hindu restaurant or attending a cultural fair. I wanted to be a multicultural woman myself, someone who explored and embraced all the world had to offer. Yoga offered an intriguing path to inner peace, one that promised I could achieve enlightenment through breath work and opening the chakras and third eye. I wanted to know what this secret wisdom was, the wisdom of the yogis.
So, I accompanied Michelle to the yoga studio—eager to absorb all the peace and wisdom I could. A few minutes went by, and I was surprised at my reaction. I began to grow panicky instead of peaceful. I was uncomfortable in the quiet and stillness of the studio, uncomfortable with the meditation and emptying of my mind with complete strangers surrounding me. To add to the discomfort, I began to experience severe wrist pain from the yoga poses themselves. It was just too much for my carpel tunnel. I sat there feeling completely dejected that my body was not compatible with yoga, and I viewed this as a supreme failure to become one of the beautiful yoga women I had seen around town.
Yoga seemed to produce such a love for one’s body, a love of self that I thought was a good thing at that time. I wanted to be a yoga goddess, spiritual and sensual all at the same time.
Thankfully Michelle didn’t seem bothered that I couldn’t practice yoga with her, and we found many other fun things to do as friends during that time of our lives. However, as our different spiritual paths began to develop, we realized that we were meant for more than just staying in our small city. Being the free spirits that Michelle and I were, it was only a matter of time before one of us relocated to explore the world. So, Michelle and I wished each other well in our search to find our bliss. I went off to Seattle, and Michelle journeyed to California. In Seattle, I began to grow into mysticism; meanwhile in California, Michelle had found a commune where she could live rent free in exchange for providing yoga lessons. We thought we were having the time of our lives then. While I was happy with my own situation, I remember being particularly impressed with Michelle’s path, as I considered living in a commune to be the epitome of ‘cool’ at that time– the ‘end all be all’ of the nomadic gypsy experience. We vowed to stay in touch, and we did for a while, but as time went on we gradually began to drift apart.
A few years went by, when out of the blue I received a call from Michelle telling me she was in town for a visit. I had already moved back to Oklahoma by then, but she was still living at the California commune. Excited to catch up, I drove over to her mother’s house where she was staying for the week. Anticipating a joyful reunion complete with anecdotes from the coastal life, I was instead shocked to find my dear friend struggling with intense depression. I had never seen Michelle so low before. She definitely didn’t seem like the same woman I knew from before, but rather she appeared drained and weary.
Hoping to hear exciting stories of what life was like in a real life commune, I begged her to regale me with all the fascinating things she was doing out in California. Michelle let out a dry laugh, and began to patiently debunk my childish fantasy about what a commune really was. She began to tell me about the serious nature of her yoga and meditation studies, and that it wasn’t at all what I had imagined it to be. Michelle confided that it was much harder on her than she imagined, and that what had once began as a peaceful practice had morphed into a burden upon her body, mind, and soul. Michelle had been learning deeper levels of yoga and meditation, and she said it was a difficult practice for her emotionally. It was bringing up lots of pain that she had to learn to process. The yoga had also begun to create crippling carpel tunnel symptoms for her as well, and she wasn’t sure how she would support herself. As we talked, I noticed the growing sadness in her, a profound heaviness that I couldn’t quite place. Wanting to help, I offered to do an energy healing on her wrists, and tried my best to ‘channel divine energy to heal her’. I now know this was demonic energy, and even though I had the best intentions, it was not of God.
After spending the afternoon together, I drove away with an unfathomable heaviness in my own heart. Worried for Michelle, I was however relieved when I got a text from her a week later. As it turned out, her wrists healed up quickly from the carpel tunnel, and she had gone back to California. Pleased that the energy session had worked, I wished her well and we kept in touch online, but that was the last time I would ever get to spend time with her.
It was almost a year later when I received the news that Michelle was deceased, and I couldn’t quite believe the news.
I learned that Michelle had taken her own life, and that she was struggling with profound depression. A mutual friend disclosed that towards the end Michelle had moments of mental disassociation—blocks of time that she could not remember, as she became dizzy and confused in her last days. Before her death, Michelle had confessed to a friend that she couldn’t control her own thoughts and actions at times, and a terrible darkness seemed to wash over her.
After this symptom, Michelle was hospitalized for treatment at a psychiatric hospital. However, a week later she seemed better, so she returned back to the commune.
This false recovery deceived everyone, so it was a shock when Michelle’s body was found a week later in her car–overdosed on prescription medicine.
As I sat there discovering the true story of what happened to Michelle, I began to have a bad feeling about it all. Michelle’s friend told me that Michelle had been studying deeper levels of yoga and meditation for the past year, and that she had learned that there were certain spiritual and physical dangers from these practices. I didn’t want to believe it at first. This was the first time I had ever heard anything negative about yoga. How could harmless stretching and breathwork be dangerous? I thought.
Not quite knowing what to do with all this information, I felt an intense amount of guilt and grief. I wanted to somehow make it right, undo all the darkness. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that the most innocent and sweet-natured person had been driven to such depths of sorrow. I had no idea how to process the weight of sadness that was bearing down on my soul.
I would only later learn that Michelle had been practicing what is called Kundalini Yoga, an ancient practice which awakens the dormant ‘serpent energy’ called kundalini. This serpent energy lies coiled around the base of the spine, and once this serpentine energy is awakened it arises throughout the opened chakras to eventually open the third eye or pineal gland as some call it. The goal of all this is for the practitioner to reach nirvana, a spiritual plane where enlightenment is achieved. In fact, all yoga is for that purpose of reaching enlightenment and ultimately opening the third eye.
Yoga was designed as a spiritual quest from the start, a spiritual practice for the religion of Hinduism. Yogis studied and practiced the art of yoga in order to levitate and leave the physical body, to travel the astral plane.
The truth is: Yoga has never been about exercise, and Meditation’s goal is NOT Inner Peace. The goal is to ‘transcend’ to another spiritual realm. When someone dabbles in this practice, demons are attached to them. Plain and simple. The practices are the Trojan Horses of the Occult World.
Yoga and Meditation are spirit quests designed to awaken the person to visit nirvana and become enlightened with forbidden demonic knowledge in the astral plane. Once visited, this person comes back with entities (demons) attached to them. This is the forbidden sin of Spiritism listed in the Bible. However, most people—even Christians nowadays– believe that they can just skim the surface of yoga and use it as a form of exercise. In truth, each yoga pose is designed to worship various Hindu dieties, and true yogis know this.
Divorcing yoga from Hinduism is simply not possible, as they are one and the same. In fact the name ‘Yoga’ actually means ‘to yolk oneself’ to Brahma, the main Hindu god.
Knowing what I know now, I believe Michelle was battling against the powers of darkness, the powers of satan. Yogis would argue that Michelle’s demise occurred because of her own ‘inner darkness’, and not because of any demonic forces outside of herself. However, knowing what I did about spiritual attacks and the spirit world, I began to suspect that yoga had tapped into the hidden spiritual doors and opened them to allow the demonic realm entrance. Michelle had been devoured by the enemy, and this was the first of many wake-up calls.
It was the crack in the veneer that let a bit of God’s light inside. I would soon start to see the truth about the new age and the unimaginable darkness behind the glittering facade. My friend had paid the highest price for believing in the false peace and healing of this lie, and I would be forever changed by the loss of her.