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School Yoga Sees Backlash, Parents Call It Religious Indoctrination

Posted by on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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1 mom liked this

Encinitas Union School Yoga Sees Backlash, Parents Call It Religious Indoctrination

Encinitas Union School Yoga

Parents of Encinitas Union School District in southern California have slammed the district’s twice-a-week yoga program, accusing it of religious indoctrination, the North County Times reports.

The program was launched at half of the district’s schools over the last couple months thanks to a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, an Encinitas-based group that promotes Ashtanga Yoga.

On Tuesday, seven parents and a lawyer complained to the district’s trustees, claiming the program encourages Hinduism and violates religious freedom.

"Yoga practices and poses are not merely exercise; they're religious practices," said Marsha Qualls, who has a student at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School. She said the techniques were “a kind of prayer.”

Some parents have asked that their children be removed from the yoga classes rather than allow them “to be indoctrinated by this Hindu religious program,” according to Andy Vick, whose three daughters attend Mission Estancia.

“Because of this, you're forcing me to segregate my children,” he said.

Superintendent Tim Baird tells KSWB that there are no religious aspects to the lessons, and the program is part of a greater endeavor to encourage students to keep active and eat healthy.

“We believe the yoga program will actually have academic benefits, and in fact there is research out there that shows that,” Baird said.

The trustees said they would investigate parents’ concerns about the program, which is supposed to be expanded to the rest of the district’s schools in January.

In an op-ed for the North County Times defending the program, columnist Brigid Brett cites a 2003 study by Cal State Los Angeles that found that yoga improved students' behavior, physical health and academic performance, as well as attitudes toward themselves. Research also indicates that the benefits of yoga are especially evident among children with special needs.

“We are living in an era when children are overstressed, overbombarded by technology and overmedicated,” Brett writes. “Who wouldn't want their children to be able to calm themselves in a safe and natural way?”

In April, a study found that students who did a 10-week yoga physical education class scored lower on psychological tests for mood problems and anxiety than those who didn’t do yoga in their PE class. In addition, the teens who didn't practice yoga reported more negative emotions during the study period, while the teens who did do yoga reported fewer negative emotions. Researchers reported that almost 75 percent of the teens who did yoga said they would like to keep practicing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/12/encinitas-union-school-di_n_1961578.html

by on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

lol



Quote:

"Yoga practices and poses are not merely exercise; they're religious practices," said Marsha Qualls, who has a student at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School. She said the techniques were “a kind of prayer.”

Some parents have asked that their children be removed from the yoga classes rather than allow them “to be indoctrinated by this Hindu religious program,” according to Andy Vick, whose three daughters attend Mission Estancia.

“Because of this, you're forcing me to segregate my children,” he said.


This is from The American Yoga Association:

http://www.americanyogaassociation.org/general.html

Quote:

Yoga and Religion

Yoga is not a religion. It has no creed or fixed set of beliefs, nor is there a prescribed godlike figure to be worshipped in a particular manner. Religions for the most part seem to be based upon the belief in and worship of things (God or godlike figures) that exist outside oneself. The core of Yoga’s philosophy is that everything is supplied from within the individual. Thus, there is no dependence on an external figure, either in the sense of a person or god figure, or a religious organization.

The common belief that Yoga derives from Hinduism is a misconception. Yoga actually predates Hinduism by many centuries. Ancient seals unearthed in the Indus Valley provide clear evidence of widespread Yoga practice earlier than 3,000 B.C.E. The techniques of Yoga have been adopted by Hinduism as well as by other world religions. Yoga is a system of techniques that can be used for a number of goals, from simply managing stress better, learning to relax, and increasing limberness all the way to becoming more self-aware and acquiring the deepest knowledge of one’s own self.

The practice of Yoga will not interfere with any religion. Many American Yoga Association students who have practiced Yoga intensively for many years continue to follow the religious traditions they have grown up in or adopted without conflict.

http://www.americanyogaassociation.org/general.html

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM
5 moms liked this

I thought my mom was the only idiot who felt this way.  Yoga is GREAT for the mind and body.

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM
3 moms liked this
Hahahaha. "Yes, I'd be totally fine with the Koran passed out in addition to the bible".
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lga1965
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM
3 moms liked this

 oh ...now what? Yoga is NOT a religion. It is a peaceful, healthy series of poses that make you healthy , fit and relaxed. I swear, people are losing their minds.

eye rolling

GoddessNDaRuff
by Silver Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Really? Some people are just too damn much.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM
what the hell - yoga is not religious at all.
muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM
4 moms liked this

Actually, yoga is based on Eastern religions. Look at the history of it and where it came from, yes, many christians today are trying to make it a more 'christianized' form of exercise for them.

If people want to pratice their faith and follow the guidelines within that faith, they have the right to say no to yoga.

Quoting lga1965:

 oh ...now what? Yoga is NOT a religion. It is a peaceful, healthy series of poses that make you healthy , fit and relaxed. I swear, people are losing their minds.

eye rolling



mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

what the fuck does that have to do with yoga ? - Yoga is not religious it is exercise? Some people find spirituality in running should that be banned as well?

Quoting jessilin0113:

Hahahaha. "Yes, I'd be totally fine with the Koran passed out in addition to the bible".


livelaughlov26
by on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM
Oh please. Yoga is a great workout
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Lizardannie1966
by on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Moronic parenting at its finest.

There needs to be a sweep of parents collectively pulling their heads out of their asses.

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