British Columbia school yoga classes slammed

A school program to fight childhood obesity that includes yoga is drawing complaints from some Christian parents in the Quesnel area in B.C.’s Cariboo region.

They say yoga is a religion, and shouldn’t be taught in public schools.

Chelsea Brears, who has two children in the school system, said her son was asked to do different poses and “to put his hands together.”

Yoga

Most westerners are naive to the religious origin and nature of yoga. Many practitioners who do, merely presume that the exercises are harmless if they are not practiced with a spiritual intent. Yoga is a series of exercises and postures (asanas) which are advertised as a way to tone up, reduce stress and experience tranquility. Yoga though is an intrinsic part of Hinduism. Swami Vishnudevananda, well known authority of Yoga, in his book The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga explains the purpose of Yoga, “It is the duty of each developed man to train his body to the highest degree of perfection so that it may be used to pursue spiritual purposes… the aim of all yoga practice is to achieve truth wherein the individual soul identifies itself with the supreme soul of God.”
– Source: Yoga, a Profile by Watchman Fellowship

Brears, a Christian, said she doesn’t want her children exposed to another religion during class time.

“It’s not fair to take prayer out, and yet they’re allowing yoga, which is religion, in our schools.”

Local rancher Audrey Cummings doesn’t believe Christian children should be doing yoga at all.

“There’s God and there’s the devil, and the devil’s not a gentleman. If you give him any kind of an opening, he will take that.”

The two women have complained to the education minister and the Quesnel school board.

But school board chair Caroline Neilsen said the yoga is being taught as a stretching exercise, not as a spiritual practice.

Neilsen also noted that children who don’t want to practise yoga can do different exercises or leave the classroom.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
CBC News, Canada
Jan. 9, 2007
www.cbc.ca

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This post was last updated: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM, Central European Time (CET)