So…some parents in San Diego are considering legal action because of free yoga classes offered by the school in San Diego. They are claiming two things: 1) that public resources shouldn’t be used for yoga classes and 2) that yoga is a practice of Hinduism and therefore, they are teaching religion in schools.
I will give you #1. Yoga classes are probably not the best use of public education funds when the education system is failing, we can’t afford adequate teachers and California is broke. And I am usually the first one to point out ridiculousness in the classroom and obnoxious abuses of power on behalf of teachers and school districts alike, but this one is just off the wall.
“The lessons are funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Ashtanga yoga. Some schools began classes last month and others will begin holding them in January, at which point roughly 5,456 students will be participating.” according to The Blaze. I researched Ashtanga yoga. While it does have an Indian origin, it’s main focus is on breathing techniques and body alignments with emphasis on concentration. The school made sure to eliminate all religious forms and phrases from the class as well. This is California we’re talking about. Land of the hippies. Of course they want everyone to breathe deeply (and think slowly). This is a state full of proponents of alternative approaches to health. It’s not that outlandish.
Plenty of people practice yoga and it has nothing to do with any religious practice. Even Christians. I’ve been to plenty of yoga classes where they don’t say a word the entire class, with the exception of hello & goodbye (This is mainly because it was a hot yoga class and the temperature was roughly ~110 degrees and everyone was mostly focusing on breathing without dying).
However, the Encinitas Union School District is not attempting to brainwash your children through yoga. I NEVER give people the benefit of the doubt, but even I, as cynical as a I am, know that indoctrination is not what is happening here. Also, you ave the option to remove your child from the class. So if you don’t like it, don’t have your child participate. Fight for appropriate use of your tax dollars on the basis of tax dollars, not indoctrination.