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Avatar Samantha Ai

California school sued over yoga as religion

Yoga in schools   38 members have voted

  1. 1. Should yoga be allowed in schools?

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    • No
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  2. 2. Do you practice mindfulness?

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    • What is mindfulness?
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97 posts in this topic

Is yoga religious?

In a closely watched lawsuit in the San Diego-area where a family had sued the Encinitas, Calif. school district for what it saw as government sponsorship of religion for its yoga classes, a judge ruled Monday that yoga has religious roots but is not religious the way it's taught in the district.

*snip*

Compared with other religious traditions, white evangelical Protestants consistently express lower levels of acceptance of both Eastern beliefs (reincarnation, yoga) and New Age beliefs (spiritual energy in physical things and astrology).

Yoga Religion? California Schools Case Won't Stop Controversy

In a way this controversy brought upon by the religious intolerant is a good national conversation to have. It can only make more aware of practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation and with all their health benefits it is likely more will adopt them as a result.

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Personally, I don't think yoga itself is religious. It's exercise. I know folks that do more meditation style yoga and hot yoga, and as far as I can tell they aren't religious in their exercise. Spiritual maybe, but not religious.

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If some people in California only have yoga to concern themselves with, then they really should count themselves very lucky!

What is wrong with some people, there are people being killed daily because of religion and all California have to moan about is YOGA!!!

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Do they feel threatened by stretching and breathing exercises?

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"Compared with other religious traditions, white evangelical Protestants consistently express lower levels of acceptance of both Eastern beliefs"

What kind of moronic quote is that? Compared to WHAT religious traditions? Compared to, say, islam? Do you even know what the koranic punishment for polytheism is? Take a look at the Bahmian Buddhas before posting nonsense like this.

I have no sympathy for bible-thumpers, but this lunatic idea that they are the worst among the religionists truly upsets me.

What ignorance.

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Yoga instructors these days have a wide range of practices. There are yoga instructors who simply teach the functions of the muscle groups and show how to stretch them. Then there are yoga instructors who also throw in all the traditional mystic energy mumbo jumbo that we know is complete hogwash. I'm amazed that they're called the same thing.

I say keep the yoga instructors who teach anatomy and chuck the ones who teach hogwash.

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Do they feel threatened by stretching and breathing exercises?

It depends if it involves duck tape.

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Yoga instructors these days have a wide range of practices. There are yoga instructors who simply teach the functions of the muscle groups and show how to stretch them. Then there are yoga instructors who also throw in all the traditional mystic energy mumbo jumbo that we know is complete hogwash. I'm amazed that they're called the same thing.

I say keep the yoga instructors who teach anatomy and chuck the ones who teach hogwash.

Bit isnt the "mystic energy mumble jumble" the same that you get from Asian martial arts? Are the bible-thumpers also opposed to Kung Fu and Karate, not to mention Aikido?

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"Compared with other religious traditions, white evangelical Protestants consistently express lower levels of acceptance of both Eastern beliefs"

:w00t: Some of our schools have "yoga recess". There is water yoga, aerial yoga and dozens of yoga classes all over the city. I can't imagine where gullible people get these strange ideas.

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"Compared with other religious traditions, white evangelical Protestants consistently express lower levels of acceptance of both Eastern beliefs"

:w00t: Some of our schools have "yoga recess". There is water yoga, aerial yoga and dozens of yoga classes all over the city. I can't imagine where gullible people get these strange ideas.

http://www.cbn.com/health/fitness/bagby_yoga-alternative.aspx

Why You Should Stay Away from Yoga

We are bombarded by messages of yoga’s peaceful and healthful benefits, but what we don’t hear, specifically in the United States, is the true origins of this type of lifestyle. Laurette made it very clear to me in a recent phone interview.

“These are postures that are offered to the 330 million Hindu gods. Yoga postures really are; they are offerings to the gods. If you do these postures and you do this breathing technique and this meditation, then you will be accepted by a god, little “G.” That’s the real danger,” she said.

Laurette told me that one of her PraiseMoves certified personal trainers visited India for three months on a mission trip, and she would often see people in the streets doing yoga poses in front of the statues of the gods.

“Romans 12:1-2 says we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God,” added Laurette. “Here they are doing something very similar with these postures to their 330 million gods, and it is scary. So we abstain from things offered to idols—Acts 15:29.”

In yoga they do what they call pranayama breathing. Prana is the Hindu word for life force, the same concept as the word chi in some martial arts. Yoga breathing attempts to manipulate that life energy, which Laurette believes is perilous. “That is a dangerous thing,” she said, “because I think that we are coming out from under the blood of Jesus when we do stuff like that, and we are no match for the enemy in those areas. I think of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:2, that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. We are not talking about oxygen.”

A third area of concern in yoga is the concept of emptying the mind, which is contradictory to what Christianity teaches. As Laurette explained, “We are transformed by the renewing of our minds, not the emptying.”

Along with emptying the mind, yoga guides people into astral travel, which is where people actually leave their bodies, a practice that Laurette was familiar with and has since questioned. “I wonder with those experiences when I left my body what got in there when I was gone?” Laurette posed. “As a Christian with the Holy Spirit in there, we are not going to be possessed, I don’t think. But one could easily be oppressed.”

Clearly, with this understanding of yoga, Christians should think twice before heading to the local gym for a yoga class. But if you are a Christian who thinks it’s all right to attend yoga classes because you think you are strong enough not to fall prey to the spiritual deception that’s being taught and you enjoy the physical benefits, Laurette pleads in all seriousness that you to please consider a younger believer or weaker Christian who is watching your lifestyle. If you go to a yoga class, chances are they might be inspired to go also, and they could fall completely off track in their walk with God.

Laurette’s Story: Sucked into Yoga and the New Age

Laurette first got involved in yoga as a little girl. Her mother used to give free yoga classes to the college students, and Laurette was the demonstration model. Laurette loved being the center of attention, so yoga was fun. In addition, the exercises really relaxed her mother.

But Laurette warns that yoga’s ability to bring a sense of calm is one of its deceptive charms: “That’s one thing people look at, too,” said Laurette. “They say, ‘My doctor, my chiropractor, my physical therapist says to do it. It helps me. I feel less stressful.’ Well, it wouldn’t be a hook if it didn’t have something good in it.”

Yoga also fulfilled a spiritual need in Laurette’s life. Though her family went to church, Laurette says she never heard the message of salvation preached there.

“We didn’t know about living the victorious Christian life,” she explained. “We were not aware of the deception that is inherent within yoga and its connections to Hinduism. It seemed so spiritual, so it was fulfilling a void that was in our lives. I have found that any part of our lives that is not submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ is an open door for the enemy. … As I look back, that was the open door to the New Age for us. We began getting into Edgar Cayce, Ouija boards, crystals, and all kinds of things.”

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I voted no, it shouldn't be allowed because it's probably just exercise to everyone but it's origins are religious or spiritual and there's a bunch of bible-thumping idiots in politics in this country that are just chomping at the bit to use ANY excuse to cram their religion in school and get prayer in, evolution out. They'll use something like this as leverage so I say do yoga on your own time.

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Bit isnt the "mystic energy mumble jumble" the same that you get from Asian martial arts? Are the bible-thumpers also opposed to Kung Fu and Karate, not to mention Aikido?

Some hard-core fundies do consider some martial arts evil. They claim at the higher levels you end up praying to Buddhist statues which are in their view demonic.

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I voted no, it shouldn't be allowed because it's probably just exercise to everyone but it's origins are religious or spiritual and there's a bunch of bible-thumping idiots in politics in this country that are just chomping at the bit to use ANY excuse to cram their religion in school and get prayer in, evolution out. They'll use something like this as leverage so I say do yoga on your own time.

Leave it to you to find that angle. :P

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Yoga Religion? California Schools Case Won't Stop Controversy

In a way this controversy brought upon by the religious intolerant is a good national conversation to have. It can only make more aware of practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation and with all their health benefits it is likely more will adopt them as a result.

I just saw this on the news (local) and thought, seriously? Anyways, I am glad to see it will be staying. I practice yoga(Bikram) everyday in the summer. It is really good for your health, and will get you into shape.

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In my town I see examples of the effects of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles every day. Kids under the age of 12 that are already morbidly obese or damn close to it. Young adults under the age of thirty who are out of shape, filled with a vibrant lack of energy or enthusiaism, with bellies that would make a professional barfly envious.

ANYTHING that promotes a healthier lifestyle should be encouraged whether it be baseball, gymnastics, or yoga.

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Posted (edited)

I do not look at it as a "religious" question at all. I have other concerns.

I am not saying it is wrong, but I do have questions. Schools are underwater financially, illiterate kids graduate and we are far from the top in math and sciences.

Where do specialty classes fit it?

Where do special instructors' salaries fit it?

How much do schools need to offer kids outside of academics?

What are schools?

How unequal should schools be in what they can afford to offer their students?

Is this meant first for the kids or just a way to draw residents into their districts to get more tax money?

Why not offer a lot of other good and well-intentioned yet non academic classes? Nutrition and cooking and physiology and ...

Will this open the flood gates for "best schools" widening the gap between the haves and have nots?

Every school can offer math, not every school can offer specialty classes to entice tax paying parents.

How will these attractive offerings affect academics?

Will core requirements have to suffer in order for students to fit in popular electives?

Edited by QuiteContrary
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You ask very pertinent and important questions QC, my response is that it would be up to the school boards and districts to figure out whether or not they can do this. But they should at least be allowed to consider offering it. And, from the looks of things, those opposed to it are throwing up a religious smoke screen to cloud the issue.

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In my town I see examples of the effects of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles every day. Kids under the age of 12 that are already morbidly obese or damn close to it. Young adults under the age of thirty who are out of shape, filled with a vibrant lack of energy or enthusiaism, with bellies that would make a professional barfly envious.

ANYTHING that promotes a healthier lifestyle should be encouraged whether it be baseball, gymnastics, or yoga.

I agree, as a parent myself I think exercise should be a part of a kids daily life, it really is an investment in their future health. In California it is mandated that a kid get at least 40 minutes a day of activity.

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Leave it to you to find that angle. :P

I'm just being fair, woman!! The family suing is Christian says the article, and I'm sure they're kid isn't forced to do yoga so I wouldn't be surprised if it's a, not fair to us we can't have our religion in school so we're going to make a fuss over the downward dog being some spooky demonic Hindu ritual. They run around here with bumper stickers griping about God not being in school. If you're going to let one, you have to let them all.

6323579499_56921e5b6b_z.jpg

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If some of the kids here tried that, they'd have to open a pediatric coronary unit. They'd be dropping like flies. And if anyone thinks I'm being humorous, I ain't. It is a sad, sad state of affairs.

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It depends on how it's taught. I suspect that in a school setting, it's taught as a physical stretching exercise and for the relaxation response. You could do the same with Tai Chi, but both practices do have a religious foundation.

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It depends on how it's taught. I suspect that in a school setting, it's taught as a physical stretching exercise and for the relaxation response. You could do the same with Tai Chi, but both practices do have a religious foundation.

They absolutely do, even if it's not practiced that way, they have grounds to contest it if they aren't going to allow any other religious practices in school. There's plenty of other things they can do for physical fitness. The problem isn't what kids do for exercise, it's that they do something.

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Bit isnt the "mystic energy mumble jumble" the same that you get from Asian martial arts? Are the bible-thumpers also opposed to Kung Fu and Karate, not to mention Aikido?

Many martial arts schools do not teach that aspect to their students unless they have been around for a very long time. I teach meditation and mindfulness indirectly to avoid controversy. The three Rs are forbidden to be talked about with my employees between themselves and students. ( religion, race, & relationships) oh and politics.

In California everyone sues for everything and everything is illegal. The liberal mindset runs wild. I have tried to convince my wife to move several times.

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If they're going to prohibit physical exercises based on their ancient religious and philosophical origins, they'll have to get rid of cognitive behaviourial therapies and mindfulness based stress reduction.

"The construct of mindful awareness originated in earliest Buddhist documents but is neither religious nor esoteric in nature"

Let the slippery slope races begin.

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Chemistry started off as alchemy.

Astronomy has its origins in astrology.

Both alchemy and astrology had magical and religious components.

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