A group of parents are threatening to sue the Encinitas Union School District if they don’t stop the free yoga classes for kids. They say the classes are unconstitutional and use taxpayer resources to promote Hinduism. Some have pulled their children from the classes fearing religious indoctrination.
The program was funded by a grant from the Jois Yoga Foundation, a non- profit organization that promotes Ashtanga Yoga. The school district says there are no religious aspects to the lessons. Their goal was to give kids a healthy workout, a chance to relax, and reduce stress which would help them in their overall education.
What a beautiful world we would live in, if all children could find an outlet to calm themselves and live healthier and happier lives. With all that is wrong with the world why are we spending so much negative energy on something that was supposed to be a gift to children? I’m sad that it has come to this.
While I believe parents have the right to question what they don’t understand and do what they think is best for their children, I don’t agree with trying to get rid of the classes for everyone. I hope that the upset parents would review the program just like any educational program to make sure it is beneficial and serving the children before passing judgement. Don’t we want a world where our children have ways to deal with their stress instead of causing more of it? In our fast-paced and technology driven society we need give our kids more coping skills and positive outlets.
While I don’t take my kids to a formal yoga class, I’ve been practicing with my kids for fun. By practicing I mean doing a few stretches and breathing. I even bought a cool Book/CD that they love, they walk around smiling and singing “Namaste-the light in me sees the light in you.” How beautiful is that? It’s amazing that my super active, never sits still, all boy, 4 year old, can focus and enjoy this with me and his sister. For me yoga makes me calm and centered. What a wonderful gift to share with my children.
What do you think? Yoga-fun exercise, hope for the future or religious indoctrination? Do you practice yoga with your kids?
Our friends over at The Yoga Blog have started a petition to protect yoga in Encinitas schools. Click here for more info.