Re: [bostonatheists] Yoga Lessons in public school

From: Anthony M.
Sent on: Friday, October 26, 2012 7:27 PM
How is it not being separated?  Nothing I've read about this situation indicates that something other than poses are being taught. In fact it says that even the names of the poses are changed to kid-friendly terms they can understand (gorilla pose as opposed to its "real" Sanskrit name). Did I miss something in these reports?

Anthony Medel
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Skype: anthonyjmedel


On Oct 26, 2012, at 7:17 PM, Raja <[address removed]> wrote:

I think you are mixing up a lot of things. Ashtanga yoga or any yoga can be separated from religion. May be, but it is not separated in this case. Therefore keep it outside public school. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 26, 2012, at 6:42 PM, "Anthony Medel" <[address removed]> wrote:

Any kind of yoga, even Ashtanga yoga, can be separated from any religious practice.  It's like saying that since Halloween started out as a superstitious Keltic practice of human sacrifice, there is a direct link between our celebrating of it and blood ritual.  It's simply dishonest.

When I was in 2nd grade, we had a Japanese teacher who taught us how to make ceramic bowls decorated with cherry blossoms, rice cakes and other things of Japanese origin.  Whatever the symbolism of cherry blossoms might have been at other points in history, we weren't being "taught" anything more than a fun skill.  Renaissance art is almost always religious in content, but that doesn't mean kids shouldn't learn to make frescoes or learn about single vanishing point perspective.  The Olympics originated in Greece and concerned its pantheon of gods and goddesses, but that doesn't mean kids shouldn't have goals of competing in them.

Unless it can be shown that anything other than yoga poses are being taught in these schools, there is nothing to worry about.  The fact of the matter remains is that, whatever its context may have been, the part most of us are concerned with is the physical benefit of it.  If kids are only engaging in a fun, healthy, non-competitive activity, what's the harm?  My little cousin loves doing the poses and trying to get better at holding them longer and longer.  It seems to help him focus which is good as he has a form of ADD.  There are far more benefits to kids than negative effects.  To think that doing yoga must lead to any kind of religious belief system is simply erroneous and frankly a little paranoid.  Doesn't help the cause of atheism at all.  It makes us no better than the conservative Christians who are dismissing it for similar reasons.


Anthony Medel
[address removed]
http://www.anthonymedel.com
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anthonymedel
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On Oct 26, 2012, at 4:11 PM, Raja <[address removed]> wrote:

I think we have drifted far away from the real discussion. It was about the constitutionality of Asthanga Yoga teaching in a public school. Two things that I think is very critical and need serious attention:

1. "Students at half of the Encinitas district’s nine schools started the yoga program last month, and the other campuses will get the classes beginning in January. The effort is being paid for with a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes Ashtanga yoga across the world."

2. "The district is in charge of writing the curriculum and hiring teachers, though the contract stipulated that the instructors must be trained by the Jois Foundation."

First of all, I am not certain how Jois Foudation is a non-profit organization. That needs explanation. Second, apart from the obvious woo woos about this specific yoga style (Ashtanga Yoga) that is suggested as ".... an ancient system that can lead to liberation and greater awareness of our spiritual potential," there is a directly link between this Yoga and Hinduism. On their web site they describe the chanting as:

"Learn the fundamentals of Sanskrit chanting with correct pronunciation and intonation through recitations from texts such as the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. Donations go to the KPJ Trust in Mysore, India. (not my emphasis)"

Bhagavad Gita (and Upanishad too) is essentially the Holy book of Hinduism. I do not think it is too difficult to link Ashtanga Yoga with religion. My point is, do yoga or whatever if you like, but keep it outside public school.


Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] Yoga Lessons in public school
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Fri, 26 Oct[masked]:04:22 -0400

<<AHhh, don’t hit me, Zack. It wasn’t confrontational.>>
I... I pardon you.




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