I'm an active practicing LDS member and I love yoga. This is ridiculous
My experience with Bikram yoga did not occur until I was 50 years old. However,
the benefits for me were undeniable. Slept better, eliminated backache,
increased muscle strength, and provided a clarity of thoughts. I only wish MORE
schools would offer this type of meditation because the benefits would assist
children to relax, stretch, and meditate more. How can that be a negative
Yoga is about as religious as track and field, which has its history "firmly
rooted" in Ancient Greek polytheistic religious ceremonies. Music is used
in religious to elicit a spiritual experience, but that does not make music
itself religious. Likewise with Yoga, while it may be used in religious
practice, and can just as easily be utilized in a secular manner.
These parents are entitled to their opinions. But if it were my kid doing yoga
at school I would not have a problem with it. I really doubt the school is doing
it to indoctrinate the kids into a belief system. I'm sure they just
thought that yoga would be a healthy physical activity. Some people are so
worried about being exposed to other ways of thinking. I remember being in 4th
grade and learning about Christmas around the world and the different ways that
other countries celebrate. I remember being a teenager and learning about
different cultures and religion. It was interesting to learn about different
ways of life. How boring it would have been if I grew up only seeing the world
from one point of view.
It's not really any different than a kid taking a Karate class.
The article states "The plaintiffs are Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and
their children." I highly doubt that the children are truly plaintiffs.
Let's call it something else - how about meditation, stretching, etc.
I'd be interested to know further what the teacher says that bring religion
into the yoga - perhaps there is something. Who knows.
This separation of church and state stuff is overboard. It will get to the
point where we can't even talk about Greek mythology or Egyptian history.
"Why did they build pyramids?"
It would be interesting to note whether this group also opposes fluoridation,
immunizations and other legitimate programs which the conspiracy crowd opposes.
Folks, we need to look up the definition of "Yoga" before taking up arms
in its defense. Take a moment and do it. Yoga is most certainly a religious
practice that has been adopted and adapted for fitness purposes. No available
definition does not contain a religious element. If it's stretching, call
it "Stretching Class" and side-step the religious connotations.
Otherwise, expect the *very necessary* lawsuits to keep religion out of official
Curiously, the parents who are opposed to anything with a tenuous connection to
any Eastern religion are often the same ones who complain that "God is being
kicked out of our schools" and who demand the right to have school start
with prayers and are unhappy about the absence of teacher-led Bible study.
It's not that they don't want religion in public schools. Rather,
they don't want any religion except their own in public schools.
I would personally not be opposed to yoga as an educational program as long as
children with opposing religious views were allowed to opt out. And yes, in
spite of some comments above from those who have a superficial knowledge of
yoga, yoga is VERY religious in nature. But so what! The real issue
is that so many, driven by a flawed interpretaion of the First Amendment, want
to attack programs, activities, arts and music or popular culture solely because
they are religious in some nature form or possess religious roots. Secular
thought police attempting to drive anything "religious" completely from
the public square is the real danger. All religionists need to watch out for
each other!Americans need to come to terms with the pluralistic
nature of our society, grow up and learn to tolerate perspectives and practices
that differ from their own.
The real danger here is BOTH sides of extremism. Neither side allows diversity
and are so uptight (i.e. the plaintiffs claim this is the "worst
case...") that they make life miserable for the rest of us. As
much as I love the US, I prefer the culture in Europe, where they are more
secular but also gather in town squares at Christmas to sing carols. They
observe all kinds of Christian and Pagan festivals throughout the year. Even the
secular Northeast where we live still has Christmas concerts in the schools.
Just live and let live. The problem is when we are hypersensitive and constantly
offended by everyone. Both ends of society just need to chill and let the rest
of us breathe.
We are counseled to be in the world but not of the world. There is no difference
here in taking this class then in taking a martial arts class. Yes, Yoga came
from religious roots, but there are many classes of yoga where the religion
aspect is totally gone from the class and only the physical portion of the class
is taught. As long as that is all that is taught then there is no problem
teaching it in a school as it is just another form of physical exercise. If the
teacher brings the religious aspects into the class and tries to gain converts
then that is a totally different story!
@ OHBU Yoga is S Asian in nature not Greek.@ EliyahuAgreed. That is the problem w/ Organized western religion IMO... its all
about Conformity and guilt.@ eastcoastcougBuilding on
your thoughts... There too many people who are too repressed and/or
self-absorbed that just won't accept anything outside their myopic &
subjective view off the world.
We had the same thing happen here in Stockholm. The national School Board
finally decreed that there were no religious aspects in the kind of yoga taught
in this school, and that even if the word "aum" was used, it was not
used in a religious context (as it apparently is in certain aspects of Hinduism)
but in its more secularized, non-confessional usage. Kids were allowed to opt
out if they wanted to. This, of course in a country where commencement exercises
are traditionally held in Lutheran churches but are not allowed to have any
Christian elements anymore. Personally, I see yoga as one of many forms of
exercise and not as a religious practice. It's probably all about how it is
taught by the teachers.
Hank,You misread my comment. I said Yoga=Eastern religion as Track
& Field=Ancient Greek religion. I never suggested Yoga is Greek.To those arguing that it is very religious, keep in mind that you are
certainly right as to its history. However, it is not, by and large, practiced
as a religious experience anymore. It has far outgrown these religious roots
and has become primarily a fitness program. Theeng is right to point to Karate,
as it's a very apt comparison.
So since LDS have been taught to "Be Prepared" for at least
forever, that means anybody who isn't LDS and prepares for the unplanned is
adhering to a religious principle? Can we all just stay home, avoid each other,
turn off all media, and have Chinese food delivered so we don't have to be
influenced by ANYONE? How much more insanity can we take?
Yoga is not religion, it is a philosophy, a way of looking at life. Religion
teaches a person how to interact with God. Yoga teaches one how to interact
with oneself and reality. Religion has commandments given by God. Yoga has
tenets teaching how to interact with others (non-harming, truth, non-stealing,
moderation, non-hoarding) and how to interact with ourselves (purity,
contentment, determination, self-study, devotion).Do the teachings
of religion and the philosophy of Yoga have overlap? Yes but saying Yoga is a
religion is like saying a hummingbird is an eagle just because they both fly.
These parents are probably the ones that grew up during the 90's in
families that viewed Disney movies as violent and not appropriate for kids. Now
their grown up and with kids of their own fearing yoga might make them turn into
some terrorist or violent person.
I hate yogurt. Yogurt should not be allowed in schools. It's a disgusting
food. Oh, wait. Yoga. That's different.
Only this could develop from a certain religious/social/political organization.
The world is laughing at Utah.
@ sigmund5: Please read the article before commenting on a story. This school
and the associated lawsuit are in California and none of the participants are
This will only get more convoluted before it gets clearer.Religious
folks are enamored of telling us that "secularism" and "atheism"
are being taught in our public schools and sustained in our halls of government
- and that secularism and atheism are "religions"!They
invoke such absurd arguments in an attempt to convince us that THEY should also
have a right to teach their religious ideas in our schools and support their
religious ideas in our government."There is no separation of
Church and State in the Constitution!" they naively insist.Then
the same people seem to be split over whether Yoga is or is not a
"religion" and should be allowed in public schools.Once you
deny the separation of Church and State (which is like denying that Thomas
Jefferson wrote the Declaration), you open a can of worms that will corrupt the
body politic from the inside out.
justamacguy: Have you tried Greek Yoga? ;) (read comments above to get the
context...)I don't have a problem with religion being taught
anywhere and in any form, as long as all religious voices are allowed free
expression. I think we rob ourselves of a lot of life because we're so
scared that our precious little ones are suddently going to convert to some
strange religion and blow up buildings or shave their heads and stop eating
hamburgers... Honestly, let's let our consciences run free a
little... we're all far too stifled the demagogues and fear-mongers. I
favor tolerance for all religious expression.
raybies wrote:"I favor tolerance for all religious
expression."Nice sentiment.But does "tolerance
for all religious expression" = "public funding for all religious
expression"?If so, how are you going to pay for all that
religions expression at public expense?
Re: MaudineThanks for pointing out that Sigmund5 was jumping to a
false conclusion based upon his prejudgemental point of view about a certain