And Again and Again…with the Yoga
Clearly anyone who is familiar with this site knows of the writings, debate, and other websites who have contributed to our number one read that supports yoga not being a religious idiom for those living in the West. The article titled, Is it sin? Can Christians do Yoga? has produced several follow-up articles with some of the best commentary coming from India as well as from the East.
I wrote the article one day with a passionate posture. The same sort of attitude seems to be brewing as well – and that is generally coming from Atheists who just enjoy stirring up the kettle so to speak. We believe that Atheists don’t really have any qualms whatsoever with yoga; however, they do know how to get a rise out of a Christian.
A California judge refused on Monday to block the teaching of yoga as part of a public school’s physical fitness program, rejecting parents’ claims that the classes were an unconstitutional promotion of Eastern religions.
Judge John Meyer acknowledged that yoga “at its roots is religious” but added that the modern practice of yoga, despite its origins in Hindu philosophy, is deeply engrained in secular U.S. society and “is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon.”
This is precisely how we presented it. Fortunately or unfortunately we live during a time when so many of our cultural norms are changing, and in that notion, it certainly appears as though these changes are not of the majority opinion. James Madison referred to this as “factions” and that when these ideals reach inside of government’s responsibility to govern – well suffice it to say the outcome is not received well.
Judge Meyer also said the Encinitas Unified School District had developed its own version of yoga that was not religious but distinct and separate from Ashtanga yoga.
While school district officials were pleased by the ruling, the lawyer for the parents said they probably would appeal.
The case was the latest twist in a broader national clash over the separation of religion from public education that has seen spirited debate on issues ranging from the permissibility of student-led prayer to whether science instructors can teach alternatives to evolution.
“If yoga is a religion and has religious aspects, it doesn’t belong in the public schools,” said Dean Broyles, who represents Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, whose two children opted out of yoga for physical education. “There is a consistent anti-Christian bias in these cases and a pro-Eastern or strange religion bias.”
The primary concern of the Sedlock family is the amount of brandishing and bullying their children have been subjected too as a consequence.
Their suit expressed concern that the school district had implemented the program with a $500,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, which promotes Ashtanga yoga. This particular practice of yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009).
Just a concluding thought for today – One of the innermost difficulties one can experience within the public education environment is when liberals and/or progressives begin to push their agenda too far.
The plaintiffs objected to eight-limbed tree posters with Sanskrit characters that they said were derived from Hindu beliefs, as well as to the use of the Namaste greeting in class and several yoga poses said to represent worship of Hindu deities.
This is exactly what happened that got to the other’s belief systems. We have no argument with the judge; however, if organizers are going to insert a religious aspect into a program – well then there will be problems. Then again hearing about this aspect, we wonder if the Judge was aware of these facts.