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an item in the news has left me wondering just what to make of it---"YOGA CLASS SPARKS RELIGIOUS OUTCRY"
It seems that some of the parents of 6- and 7-year-old pupils at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Las Encinitas, CA, said they were concerned that the yoga exercises "might nudge their children closer to the ancient Hindu beliefs."
The mother of a first-grader in the yoga class said "They're not just teaching physical poses, they're teaching how to think and how to make decisions. . . . They're teaching children how to meditate and how to look within for peace and for comfort. . . They're using this as a tool for many things beyond stretching." ( Horrors! learning "how to think and how to make decisions" ! )
Oh, and BTW, nowhere in the news item is it indicated that the yoga instructor, Jackie Bergeron, is an adherent of HInduism, or even a student of it.
The 30-minute yoga class in the gym in the morning had a "notably calming effect on the children", according to the article by Will Carless of The New York Times.
Who knew that a "gym" class in which kids would learn the 'downward dog' and 'chair' and 'warrior' poses (etc.) while repeating confidence-boosting mantras such as "I am strong!" and "I am brave!"' would be 'bad' for their sweet little souls?
Last Edited on: 12/18/12 5:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
If they aren't just teaching the movements and they are teaching the thoughts and meditation, I can understand why the parent may be upset.
But meditation and looking within for comfort (at least from most of the people I've talking to of many, many religions) is mostly universal.
I see the remedy to this as being quite easy if the parent is any kind of religion. They explain to the child that while they are looking within, as suggested in class, they should also listen for God/chosen deity(ies).
Last Edited on: 12/24/12 12:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
How and what you meditate on is crucial. If you are "looking within" for peace you will not find it. Or if you are focused on "energy" that is also something that should make Bible following Christians nervous. Only meditation on God, the Holy Spirit, and His Word would be acceptable in my understanding.
The declarations can be good, but only if they are based in Biblical truth. Otherwise they are lies. Meditation is a great practice, doesn't surprise me that the students are calmer. The only danger would be what you open your spirit to in those meditation times.
For me it would depend on what they were "saying" to the kids. I don't think its necesarily bad to look inward for peace. It teaches them some coping skills to calm themselves down.
I personally don't mind the use of energy in general... because we are energy I believe that we do have energy fields, meredians, and chakras (and probably some other things too) that contribute to our health. In my opinion many thingss can coexist without harming someones Christian beliefs. The big difference that arises is what/who healing power is coming from.
It might be that the yoga classes are not oppositional to the Christian beliefs. I was wary about meditating and had some initial reluctance.. but for me... during the meditation I focus on God and ask that I am protected from anything not from God.
That is what I would tell my kid if they had something like this in school.
I know that in times when I am fearful, reciting The Lord's Prayer in my head. Especially the part about "thy will be done on Earth as it is is Heaven" helps me look at the BIG picture and realise that even if I do die, all is well. (I had to do this several times on a VERY rough overseas plane flight)
I would be intersted to see what they are having the kids think about while meditating. The article didn't provide enough example, only the stances of the oposing parties.