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Author Topic: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?  (Read 1470 times)

River at Night

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Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« on: November 12, 2012, 05:04:32 pm »
Parents in Encinitas, CA are upset over yoga poses and basic meditation being taught to children in the schools, even though the school has worked to remove any religious connotations — students aren't learning Sanskrit, poses have been renamed to "child-friendly" neutral names, etc. — and parents can opt their children out of the program.

Parents (and their lawyer) claim that because yoga is a Hindu practice at its base, it's inappropriate in a school setting.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/07/local/la-me-yoga-20121107

What do you think?

Maps

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 05:44:28 pm »
Quote from: River at Night;80626
Parents in Encinitas, CA are upset over yoga poses and basic meditation being taught to children in the schools, even though the school has worked to remove any religious connotations — students aren't learning Sanskrit, poses have been renamed to "child-friendly" neutral names, etc. — and parents can opt their children out of the program.

Parents (and their lawyer) claim that because yoga is a Hindu practice at its base, it's inappropriate in a school setting.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/07/local/la-me-yoga-20121107

What do you think?

 
Yeah, and running the track is Hellenic paganism in disguise. sigh.

RandallS

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 06:37:25 pm »
Quote from: Maps;80637
Yeah, and running the track is Hellenic paganism in disguise. sigh.

By the logic the family/lawyer seems to be using, that's certainly true.
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Snowdrop

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 09:31:20 pm »
Quote from: River at Night;80626
Parents in Encinitas, CA are upset over yoga poses and basic meditation being taught to children in the schools, even though the school has worked to remove any religious connotations — students aren't learning Sanskrit, poses have been renamed to "child-friendly" neutral names, etc. — and parents can opt their children out of the program.

Parents (and their lawyer) claim that because yoga is a Hindu practice at its base, it's inappropriate in a school setting.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/07/local/la-me-yoga-20121107

What do you think?


Oh dear.  This is sort of of the same school of thought that claims that putting up wind chimes will cause demons to appear, isn't it?  

While I absolutely believe that public school should be as religiously neutral as possible, it's silly to act like the postures in yoga are somehow a "gateway" into the entire system of thought.  Yoga as most Americans practice it (ie, just the postures and maybe meditation) really has nothing to do with yoga as a religious practice.  If your kids don't necessarily even know that the poses originally came from Hinduism, how can they possibly be being indoctrinated into it?

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 10:49:18 pm »
Quote from: River at Night;80626
Parents in Encinitas, CA are upset over yoga poses and basic meditation being taught to children in the schools, even though the school has worked to remove any religious connotations — students aren't learning Sanskrit, poses have been renamed to "child-friendly" neutral names, etc. — and parents can opt their children out of the program.

Parents (and their lawyer) claim that because yoga is a Hindu practice at its base, it's inappropriate in a school setting.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/07/local/la-me-yoga-20121107

What do you think?

 

Idiots.


And even if their kids were learning about Hinduism, you'd think the parents would be pleased that they are expanding their horizons...next thing you know, they won't be allowed to learn other languages or have tacos for lunch on Tuesdays....

Faemon

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 12:33:20 am »
Quote from: River at Night;80626
Parents (and their lawyer) claim that because yoga is a Hindu practice at its base, it's inappropriate in a school setting.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/07/local/la-me-yoga-20121107

What do you think?

I think that trying to find out what is wrong with this situation, is like one of those triangles-forming-a-bigger-triangle-count-the-triangles trick question pictures.

The problem seems to be that parents fear that these children find a gateway, in yoga class, to learning more about the origins of the practice. I think the gateway is only so shiny to its detractors because of unexamined xenophobia, and it's only opened by its supporters because some cultural appropriators went, "ooh shiny!" And the parents fears might be true: the kids might get interested in the origins of the practice, and I think it's a problem that the parents think it's a problem because I believe that spirituality is very personal and not a parents' place to demand that their child conform to. I definitely think it's a problem that parents think it so much of a problem that it's not enough to pull their kid out. They can't even have it on campus!



1. "The school has worked to remove any religious connotations" but "religious connotations" remain because this is appropriated from a religious practice.

(rest of this list of mine quotes from the article linked)

2. "If this were a program letting children sit silently and engage in Christian prayer, the district would never allow it" said the attorney. But, if it were a sex education class that decided contraception was TMI due to values appropriation... I think it would still be considered a completely secular thing to tell the students, "These are the consequences of sex, and most of them are bad. You can avoid many of these bad consequences of sex, by not having sex. Of course when you're older (and married, ahem) your life is mostly your own responsibility, but for now learn this because we and your parents expect you not to suffer these bad consequences under our roofs." This class they object to, could just be about stretching tendons and eating more vegetables. So, another reason that grade school yoga class will get so much heat is because of religious supremacy/privilege: you don't notice how much Christianity you've already got, Broyles.

3. And, again with the xenophobia on top of misappropriation. You don't know how much Hinduism Skiljan already got, it's just that it's such a recent assimilation to White American Life.

4. Parents think they own their kids' souls, and that the boundaries of their control extend to depriving other parents' children of the option to take a yoga class. That option might be problematic, but it isn't problematic and mandatory. It's problematic and optional, and that isn't enough.

5. Are there parents fighting for yoga class at this school they're sending their kids to? If not, and if this is a private school, it might just be a good business strategy to check the reactions of the customers (which, not to contradict #4, are the parents and not the kids.)

6.
Quote
Broyles accuses officials of "circling the wagons" to protect a generous financial grant.
That might be true.

7.
Quote
He said the yoga poses that the teachers are now leading the children in performing are, at their base, prayers to Hindu deities, which makes them an inappropriate addition to the curriculum.
I'm pretty sure this is false. Yoga can be quite far from darshan. I believe it is. This is false.

Quote
"It's hard to know how to respond to someone who says if you touch your toes, you're inviting the devil into your soul," Ruffin said.

I know, right? My head hurts.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 12:42:23 am by Faemon »
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MadZealot

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 02:12:52 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;80675
Yoga can be quite far from darshan. I believe it is.


Yep.  Yoga can easily be a nonreligious practice.  When I was younger I worked at a gym, where yoga classes were held as a physical exercise only.  
Hell, flexibility training and deep breathing might actually be good for you.  What do I know.
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Chatelaine

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 02:56:04 am »
Quote from: River at Night;80626

What do you think?


My little brother's primary school has yoga club on Wednesday early mornings. I wish mine had something similar. But I bet those people would chalk it up to us being degenerate imperials over here. :whis:
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RandallS

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 07:58:09 am »
Quote from: Snowdrop;80658
Oh dear.  This is sort of of the same school of thought that claims that putting up wind chimes will cause demons to appear, isn't it?  

Or all those parents during the 1980s who believed playing D&D taught you real magic.
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River at Night

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 04:11:20 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;80679
Yep.  Yoga can easily be a nonreligious practice.  When I was younger I worked at a gym, where yoga classes were held as a physical exercise only.  
Hell, flexibility training and deep breathing might actually be good for you.  What do I know.

 
Maybe they should have just called it stretching class?

victoreia

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Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 09:28:01 pm »
Quote from: River at Night;80722
Maybe they should have just called it stretching class?

This reminds me of a graduate student I was doing class advising for. She wanted to take a counseling psychology class as an elective (for her criminal justice admin master's), but was concerned because the instructor taught Tai Chi as part of the class. (IIRC, it was on multi-cultural counseling.)

I had to explain it in terms of a form of martial arts/meditation exercise. THEN, I had to reassure her that she didn't have to participate in the Tai Chi part, if she was that bothered by it. :hddesk:
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Dark Midnight

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 02:33:45 am »
Quote from: RandallS;80685
Or all those parents during the 1980s who believed playing D&D taught you real magic.

 
Thanks Randall. Now I have this stuck in my head:-



I'm going to be giggling to myself all day now!
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Faemon

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 02:54:39 am »
Quote from: RandallS
Or all those parents during the 1980s who believed playing D&D taught you real magic.
Quote from: Dark Midnight;80793
Thanks Randall. Now I have this stuck in my head:-



I'm going to be giggling to myself all day now!


"It's their gym teachers' fault. For making them feel outcast when they couldn't do one single pull-up."

It applies now as ever!
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victoreia

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 09:55:34 pm »
Quote from: triple_entendre;80799
"It's their gym teachers' fault. For making them feel outcast when they couldn't do one single pull-up."

It applies now as ever!

 
Wait.....I became pagan because I couldn't complete the two-mile run under twenty minutes for my phys Ed class?!?
:hdsk:
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Faemon

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Re: Is yoga in elementary schools 'religious indoctrination'?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 11:00:34 pm »
Quote from: victoreia;80909
Wait.....I became pagan because I couldn't complete the two-mile run under twenty minutes for my phys Ed class?!?
:hdsk:


I meant a more sardonic parallel. "Our kids are learning Hinduism because of a stretching class!" Ohh, so it's the gym teacher's fault, just like what the parody said pushed your classmates to learn witchcraft via Dungeons and Dragons. The gym teacher's fault. Riiiight." /eyeroll
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