California Parents Fear Yoga In Schools Indoctrinating Children Into Eastern Religions

Are we doing enough to keep our children safe from yoga? Via Yahoo! News:

Encinitas, CA — A group of parents is bent out of shape by free yoga classes at schools in this San Diego County beachside community, fearing they are indoctrinating youngsters in eastern religion.

“There’s a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices,” the parents’ attorney, Dean Broyles, told the North County Times. In an Oct. 12 email to district Superintendent Tim Baird, Broyles called the yoga program unconstitutional and said he may take unspecified legal action unless the classes stop.

The lessons are funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Asthanga yoga. The classes involve traditional eastern breathing techniques and poses.

Jois Foundation Director Eugene Ruffin denied the group is religious. “These therapies are headed toward trying to find solutions for some of the stress that these children find themselves in,” he said. “We’re trying to solve problems.”

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  • Anarchy Pony

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW8UlY8eXCk I’ll just leave this right here.
    Today Yoga, tomorrow, The Prana Bindu. Where does it end!?

    What? No love for a Dune reference?

  • Make Mine Raw

    Yoga? Isn’t that one of those pussy religions where you can’t even eat meat, much less blow up a school bus? Nothing to see here, folks . . .

    • Kevin Leonard

      Yoga is not a religion.
      But in Hinduism we have this, Vishnu (the Supreme Lord) speaking to Arjuna:
      “The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist.
      Therefore, get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these (warriors) have already been destroyed by Me. You are only an instrument, O Arjuna.”

      Pussies… right…

  • C.C. Rider

    What? Well, what the heck happened to, Teach the controversy, Let the kids make up their own mind? Oy.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Because teach the controversy creates a false balance. For instance, intelligent design and evolution are not equally weighted scientific theories. One is a bunch of fundamentalists trying to buy legitimacy, the other is backed up by over a century of observation and experimentation, and forms the basis of all modern medical and biological science..

      • kowalityjesus

        You’re right that kids will generally have little appreciation for the matter. Then again, isn’t one of the wonderful aspects of childhood an express allowance for the purpose of being wrong?
        I am, no doubt surprisingly to some, of the sentiment (and experience) that one must not talk to children of religion if you expect them to have any when they get older. Honestly though, I do not like this hippie yoga indoctrination, even while there is definitely something to the practice.

        • Kevin Leonard

          “Honestly though, I do not like this hippie yoga indoctrination, even while there is definitely something to the practice.”

          Cognitive dissonance, much?

          • kowalityjesus

            uhm well when i see my niece do yoga, I don’t like it because I know the sappy-ass superlative philosophy that comes with it, which will make a seriously poor impression on her worldview. I reckon this is also the primary complaint of the Californians. I appreciate the discipline and motor coordination that it fosters though.

          • Kevin Leonard

            su·per·la·tive (s-pûrl-tv)
            adj.
            1. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others

          • kowalityjesus

            lol sorry pertaining to, or noting the highest degree of the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, I meant superlative-laden, meant to change that. It is corny and full of simpy semi-truths.

          • Kevin Leonard

            So, “sappy-ass” “corny” “simpy” is how you would describe yogic philosophy. That tells me that you have not looked past the westernized version of yoga.(e.g. breath into your root chakra as you feel love for all of earth, and so forth) Because those adjectives do largely describe the basic street-corner yoga in America – New Age yoga, I would call it. Yoga as a true path is a hard discipline and it is not for the meek.

            Look at the four yogas – karma, bhakti, raja and jnana. Do you know of these? I doubt that you do or you would not say you “know the sappy-ass superlative [-laden] philosophy that comes with [yoga]“. It is difficult for an open mind to examine the four yogas and not see similarities to a way of life that Jesus promoted.

            In fact, it is entirely possible to go through all activities of karma, bhakti, raja and jnana yoga without ever straying from Christian ideals.
            http://www.ramakrishna.org/catalog/archive/FourYogas.htm

          • kowalityjesus

            Thank you for your information. You are probably right that I was exposed to the consumer version of yoga. Although I still hold influence from concurrent literature, and had much admiration for the instructor (who was really a better person than anyone else in the room) I was disenchanted by the corny new-age superlatives that people spouted left and right. That is, I am afraid, what the kids will be getting 2nd- or 3rd-hand, and that is why the Californians, and I, have a problem with this being taught in schools. I maintain my previous statements because this Japanese-manga Weltanschau is tripe and I don’t buy it, only in a most general and open-minded sense.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Sorry, but to define a Indian system as “Japanese-manga weltanshau” and tripe in the same sentence as declaring yourself open-minded is a non-sequitur. “I don’t buy it” means, precisely, you have closed off to deeper understanding..

            As it stands, the New-Age yoga is harmless, and, as you mentioned, has inherent merit. But if those parents’ concern is indoctrination… well, there is a larger issue at hand in regards to leaving the entirety of a child’s education to the school system. Much better for the parents to become informed and have realistic discussions with their children rather than dismiss it all as tripe – especially when, as you have noted, the teachers tend to be wonderful people. The students will be subject to spewing bile at home and loving openness at school. When a parent tells a child that something is bad, but in the child’s experience the something is good and to be desired, the parents have just cause to be concerned that their children will not be following in their footsteps.

            More power to the children.

          • kowalityjesus

            I find it most wearying to argue with your type. Perhaps I can clue you in to how you can win other’s admiration, if not their opinion.

            Step 1: Validate merit in other person’s argument.
            For example, I have already done yoga, therefore I am knowledgeable of the practice, and profess to be knowledgeable about the philosophy to a certain degree also. Therefore whatever I say is not from complete ignorance, but with reason behind it.

            Step 2: Show appreciation for concessions made by other person.
            These are not points to be taken advantage of, they are good-humored admissions to the other position’s validity.

            Step 3: Do not make absurd or baseless assertions.
            Here are those which I have seen in your argument so far:

            “New-Age yoga is harmless” that is an opinion

            “as you have noted, the teachers tend to be wonderful people” not provable, not necessarily true, and I did not say that my yoga teacher has anything to do with other yoga teachers

            “The students will be subject to spewing bile at home and loving openness at school” this is baseless and absurd

            Step 4: End with clearly and respectfully stating your opinion and the reasons behind it, using language as you discern to convey the quality and severity of said opinion. Also perhaps state why you think the other person’s opinion is incorrect.

            You neglect to acknowledge that my experience is basically the experience that the children will get. You don’t need to prove that I haven’t gotten ‘the real deal’ because that is not the issue. Furthermore, unlike me in my college years, the public school students will not have the maturity to discern the airy dogma of eastern philosophy from medical science, for example the idea of chakras or the recitation of “aum.”

            Also, reread my statement “I don’t buy it, only in a most general and open-minded sense,” because you did not pick up the meaning. Open-minded is not always the horizon we need to pursue to ensure the mental and physical health of our youth. I think yoga is fine for private practice by volition of the parent or student but completely wrong for public school.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Since I am not trying to win your admiration, I will skip replying to Steps 1 and 2.

            As for Step 3, are you really such a hypocrite to expect me to refrain from opinion when you make such statements as ” I know the sappy-ass superlative[-laden] philosophy that comes with it” and ” It is corny and full of simpy semi-truths” and “this Japanese-manga Weltanschau is tripe”? Please. And that last statement, in particular, is bile. If we are to expect you are giving yoga at least partial credit, why should we expect more forgiving parents who are “bent out of shape by free yoga classes.”

            Step 4. Take a lesson from your own book. Calling another’s philosophy “tripe” is far from being respectful. Further, your clarification of your meaning behind being open-minded is, by no means, properly implied in your previous statement.

            Wearying, indeed.

          • kowalityjesus

            “using language as you discern to convey the quality and severity of said opinion” accounts for my previous statements that you object to. Respectfully, that is my opinion. I am quite disillusioned by it, and am both offended and humored when hipsters and hippies try to pull it on me. I have already been there. Maybe I am jaded, but I think as a perspective it is inchoate.

            The classes are not free, are the teachers doing them pro bono? They are paid for by the state taxpayers which gives the citizens all the more reason to have a say in the matter.

            I can appreciate the practices and beliefs of this philosophy only when I metaphorically wear my biggest fish-eye lens, where I can encompass the greatest number of ideas and where those ideas are the most irrelevant in practice. I really don’t think as lowly of these ideas as you might gather. I just find them outside the scope of reasonable practicality for me and for public school students, and apparently so does a contingency of Californian citizens one of the most liberal states in the union.

          • Kevin Leonard

            This rationality and clarity of speaking from personal experience is much more palatable.

            Since we are back on topic, I would concur that, while teaching yoga postures as part of a physical education program has merit – it is entirely possible to approach yoga as simple exercise and relaxation – teaching the philosophy of yoga has no place in public schools, unless it were part of a comparative studies curriculum. In accord, I would argue that the Pledge of Allegiance has no place in public schools, nor teachings of Creationism, nor any other modality which is not entirely secular, which may as well include celebrations of Halloween and Christmas.

            The money is not from taxpayers, as indicated in the story. And the teacher is not on the school district’s payroll. The parents should have every right to opt their children out of the program. Perhaps, even, it should only be offered as an opt-in extra-curricular program.

            But Ashtanga yoga, even though highly informed by core yogic philosophy, is still not religion. Curiously, my cousin is a devout Ashtanga practitioner, and also a devout Catholic. She, unlike me, is not a syncretist, and shies away from my Hindu apologetics.

          • kowalityjesus

            very good, I agree with you, although I think the fear is still that it will be difficult to strain out all of the objectionable beliefs from the practice. Sorry for insulting something that you find sacred. :(

            For reference, the words “under God” were actually put in during the 1950s in order to differentiate the United States from “godless Communism.” I don’t disagree with the phrase whatsoever, but with respect to secular objectivism I sadly agree that it might not be founded in public schools.

          • kowalityjesus

            I’ve got it. I know you will counter with your sophistic wisdom, but here is a quote which encompasses my view of all this new age….stuff:

            “The people who bind themselves to systems are those who are unable to encompass the whole truth and try to catch it by the tail; system is like the tail of truth, but the truth is like a lizard; it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well it will grow a new one in a twinkling.”
            -Tolstoy

            That is my trump card against the whole smattering of ideas. I rest my case.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I’m kind of speechless.
            Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you a pronounced Catholic?
            As a declared syncretist, I, by my very nature, am opposed to binding myself to any system.
            It looks like you have trumped yourself.

          • kowalityjesus

            some would say I have a penchant for self-abuse, though I would excuse myself by saying that the centrality of Catholicism is mystery and faith, not knowing.

          • Kevin Leonard

            So, I don’t really understand the context of the Tolstoy quote as you present it.

            For the record, I was born into and baptized in a Catholic family and raised in a Lutheran household. Following the principle of John 14:6, when I was 18, I asked Christ to come into my heart and guide my actions. It was a very personal moment and not done in any Church setting or with any other’s knowledge. Shortly afterward, I became compelled to explore other faiths and have only seen the universality of the Divine. The differences, as I see them, are meaningless.

            I agree with Tolstoy. It is reminiscent of the story of the blind men and the elephant, and an apt lesson for adherents to any belief, be it religious or secular. None of us are omniscient. All systems of understanding have something to teach.

      • C.C. Rider

        I was being facetious.

        • Anarchy Pony

          It’s not easy to detect in text form.

          • C.C. Rider

            My apologies. One more reason why we need a sarcasm font.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Or at least some sort of puncuation mark.

          • kowalityjesus

            lol

  • http://www.zoboprepublic.wordpress.com/ zobop republic

    First of all its California and its NOT Islam. So what is the problem?

  • Rickenbacker4001

    The Mormons and Islam have their underwear and head scarves.
    Yoga has rubber mats and lululemon.
    Oh dear gods…….

  • Calypso_1

    That’s funny; I’ve feared for some time that sports in
    public schools are indoctrinating children in pedophilia

  • Bruteloop

    Is there any end to the idiocy of paranoid Americans?

    • Andrew

      I’m scared to find out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

      nope

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    Ah… panty wadding.

  • Anon01

    This is ironic because Christianity is so ubiquitous in American culture despite separation of church and state laws. Exposure to culture not our own is invaluable to raising children. Most eastern practices like this promote gentleness and discipline, why would we want to dis-empower our kids?

  • BuzzCoastin

    glad to see that Cali morons are representin’
    I’d hate to think the East Coast had a lock on stupidity

  • Apathesis

    California will not be missed.

  • chinagreenelvis

    Wait. California parents are afraid of this?

    California?

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