“We need to direct our attention inward and connect to the breath,” yoga instructor Rachel Brathen writes in her New York Times best-selling bookabout the practice. “Focusing on our breath keeps us present, calms the mind, and allows us to develop the awareness of the body we need to practice with care and compassion.”
Since the ancient discipline with roots in Hinduism and Buddhism became a popular exercise in the West, yogis have inundated popular culture with their pursuit of that elusive “calm” in a rapidly spinning world.
“Mindfulness,” the meditative state associated with yoga, has likewise been adopted as a way to clear the mind.
So when administrators at Bullard Elementary School in Kennesaw, Ga., implemented yoga and other mindfulness practices in the classroom to reduce students’ stress, they probably envisioned peace and relaxation in their future.
Instead, they received a flurry of complaints — from parents who felt yoga represented the encroachment of non-Christian beliefs.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bullard’s principal, Patrice Moore, sent parents an email last week announcing changes to its yoga program.
“I am truly sorry that the mindfulness/ de-stressing practices here at Bullard caused many misconceptions that in turn created a distraction in our school and community,” Moore wrote. “While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some.”
Among the elements of the program that will be eliminated: the Sanskrit greeting “Namaste,” placing hands “to heart center” and coloring pages with the symbol of the Mandala (a spiritual symbol in Indian religions representing the cosmos).
Moore noted that a rumor had also spread about using or teaching “about crystals having healing powers.”
“We will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future,” she said.
Parents were concerned about yoga’s spiritual origins.
“No prayer in schools. Some don’t even say the pledge of allegiance,” Cobb County mother Susan Jaramillo told NBC affiliate WXIA. “Yet they’re pushing ideology on our students. Some of those things are religious practices that we don’t want our children doing in our schools.”
Christopher Smith, whose sons attend Bullard, shared a similar sentiment onFacebook.
“Now we can’t pray in our schools or practice Christianity but they are allowing this Far East mystical religion with crystals and chants to be practiced under the guise of stress release meditation,” he wrote. “This is very scary.”
Smith directed people to “google ‘mindfulness indoctrination.'”
Cheryl Crawford, a yoga instructor who has taught at several Atlanta-area schools (although not Bullard), told the Journal-Constitution that yoga can help calm students who are anxious about their studies or coping with anger and bullying issues.
Are these idiot parents equating Yoga with Islam? LOL! Kooks.What's wrong with creating 'care and compassion'? Those are good traits, no?ReplyDelete
Georgia....where ignorance is celebrated as a virtue.ReplyDelete
LMFAO!!!! Perhaps these Georgia parents should do a little research on why they eat the flesh of Jesus (symbolized by bread) and drink the blood of Jesus ( symbolized by grape juice)once a month in their Christian churches. It has nothing to do with a loving Jewish carpenter who went around performing miracles for anyone who needed it and then had to be brutally tortured by his cosmic father to have his blood sprayed everywhere so that we were saved because of two naked people and one manipulative snake eating apples in a garden. It's origin is pre-Christian from people who worshiped BAAL, Moluk, Satan, Saturn (whatever name you want to use as they are interchangeable) who would sacrifice virgins (code for children by the way) and eat their flesh and drink their blood in order to be granted special favors by this force. Call me crazy, but mindfulness ( focusing on the present moment and calmly acknowledging one's feelings and thoughts.)feels so much better to me then murdering someone and then engaging in cannibalism.ReplyDelete
The agenda here is driven by neocon jews. Introducing an"alternative" to Christianity gets their foot into the doorway. Their goal is destruction of all religions - but most of all the one they hate with a passion, Christianity. It's divide and conquer. All religions need to be defended - since most modern jews are total atheists and are interested only in control (ultimately of the world).ReplyDelete
Are those Americans so afraid their faith would be in danger by joining in other activities than going to a Christian church?ReplyDelete
Do they seriously not understand that there are very ancient ways of practising the body and mind which can be totally separated from any religion?
When those parents who felt yoga represented the encroachment of non-Christian beliefs they should question more and better why their faith is so weak and could become endangered by the littlest period of time and physical and mind or spiritual exercises.