The Great Yoga Debate

WARNING:  This is not a funny post.  I bust one of these out, oh every year or so.  Don’t get used to it, folks!


Maybe you’ve heard about the yoga debate happening in our local schools? From what I understand, this topic has become national news.

Here’s the skinny in SurferWife speak:

-Our local elementary schools were given a $500,000 grant from a local yoga foundation.  (Yay!  No tax payers money!).  With this grant, (at our school) K-6 graders get to participate two times a week for 30 minute sessions.

-A small group of parents in the district oppose this because they believe Hinduism is being forced upon their children.  Yet we have been told that all religious aspects have been completely removed from the program.

-This same group has found an attorney to represent them and have threatened to sue the district if this program is NOT removed from the entire district. (Remember the whole tax payer money thing I cheered about?  Yeah, no.  That doesn’t apply here if this happens)

-Tonight there is a district board meeting and this topic is on the agenda.  I have signed the petition to keep this fantastic program and urge you to sign if you’d like to see it stay as well.  Please head here to sign:   Yoga Petition

In addition to being an advocate for all forms of physical education myself, these are the two reasons I desperately want to see the program remain in tact:

My 5th grade mini Surfer:  He has the Presidential Physical Fitness Assessment this year.  The kid loves his athletics and loves to win awards.  This means my guy wants to excel at this state mandated assessment.  His main concern?  The stretching portion of the test.  He isn’t the most flexible and he told me that the stretching during yoga is helping him to meet the goal needed to pass that portion of the test.  HE’S HAPPY TO LEARN NEW METHODS OF STRETCHING. Go figure.

My 2nd grade mini Blondie:  My little lady loves to put on shows for us.  Anytime the girl has our eyeballs glued to her she is in heaven.  We now get a weekly recap of the new moves and positions she’s learning in her yoga class.  A personal favorite is the pancake where she lays down completely still until she inevitably dissolves into contagious giggles.

My perception?  Not a trace of religion is being brain washed into MY children.  And if I felt like my family’s religion was in jeopardy because of the stretching, relaxation and breathing techniques being taught to my children in school?  I would take that opportunity to re-evaluate WHY I felt threatened.   I’d probably use this as a learning opportunity with my own family and invest my energy on building our own strong religious foundation and teaching my children to separate these much needed breathing and stretching techniques from how we practice our own religion in our home.  Something magical happens in your brain when you take consecutive deep breaths, friends.  I wish more people would take the time to do so and I am ever grateful that my kids have the opportunity to do this between math, science and reading.

Again.  This is me.  These are my thoughts.  And these are my own feelings on why I’d like to see yoga stay put in our schools.  If you agree with any of my words up above, I urge you to sign this petition before tonight.

10 Responses to The Great Yoga Debate
  1. NotJustAnotherJen
    December 4, 2012 | 11:31 am

    And everyone has the option not to participate!

    So to want to spend the time and money into a lawsuit for _A GIFT (A $500K GIFT!!!)_, is to me equally as baffling as it is rude. Going to the EUSD Board Meeting tonight? Want a ride, I’m driving the carpool.

    This conversation stresses me out. I need to go into a downward dog for a couple of breaths.

  2. moncada
    December 4, 2012 | 12:22 pm

    It’s disheartening that some in the community are threatened by such an enriching program that has ALREADY STATED all religious aspects have been taken out of. I guess I just don’t understand it. If it were Sydney’s school, I’d be there tonight in support of yoga! Keep us posted.

  3. MiMi
    December 4, 2012 | 12:24 pm

    Here’s the deal, it’s a YOGA FOUNDATION that gave the money…so what if they want the kids to do Yoga for 45 minutes a WEEK? My guess is the kids will probably get bored anyway.
    Thing is, if you’re so worried that the physical part of yoga is going to turn your kids into a Hindu or something, you’re not doing your job as a “fill in the blank with whatever you believe.”

  4. Sara
    December 4, 2012 | 12:29 pm

    Um, are you sure you’re still in California? This sounds like something that would happen in MY part of the country. Redneck folk get so threatened by stuff like this.
    In any case–I agree with you. Let the kiddos do some downward dog and child poses. That’s good for everybody! Zoe’s preschool class has 15 minutes of yoga time every day and I swear it helps to calm her crazy, crazy head.
    Imma go sign your petition now. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, FRIEND.

  5. Mary Imms
    December 4, 2012 | 12:32 pm

    Bafoons….yoga a religion? They are probably the same parents that freak out if you say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, because, you know, if I doesn’t come from “their” perspective, it doesn’t count. Fight girl!

  6. Kelly Salmon
    December 4, 2012 | 12:41 pm

    Amen sistah!!! These people who are opposing yoga in our schools are so close minded. If they prefer that their kids don’t participate, they have every right to opt out… why go and try to ruin it for the others who embrace it??? Not to mention the money that they will cause taxpayers if they go through with the lawsuit. Frivolous and absolutely ridiculous. Get a life people.

  7. AJ Collins
    December 4, 2012 | 1:15 pm

    Wow! I am appalled. Really. This is ridiculous. Yoga is good for the soul… if you are asked to meditate… think “Jesus thoughts”… not sure what people’s problems are, but these people need to back the heck up.

    My 9 year old stress-aholic needs something like this to calm him.

  8. Maegan
    December 4, 2012 | 3:42 pm

    Poppycock!!! I think it’s ridiculous that there even needs to be a petition about this…
    While the roots of Yoga involve religious aspects, they also involve nutritional aspects – like eat this and don’t eat that. Have these ‘opponents’ even been to a yoga class? Obviously not. They would see that no one is wearing orange drapes and shaving their heads. In the western world, it’s a form of exercise and has abandoned nearly all religious significance.
    One would think that with the financial cuts to education and how many programs (LIKE PE) are being cut, these people would thank their lucky stars they were getting $$$ from somewhere to help their children become more well-rounded. I wish I could cite the numerous resources that show physical exercise is essential to optimal brain functioning, hormone regulation and stress control.
    Do they want dumb, raging, stressed out children running amok in Encinitas?
    Not totally sure what this has to do with religion, then again, I didn’t read their side of the argument.
    I signed the petition – good luck Wifie.

  9. Rebecca
    December 4, 2012 | 7:05 pm

    I agree with you and would try and figure out a way to counter-sue the group trying to sue the school. Yoga here in America is not at all about religion. It’s about exercise and relaxation and studies have shown that test scores increases when children are exposed to yoga!

  10. […] you want an update pertaining to the (un)Great Yoga Debate?  Because I have one for you.  I went to the EUSD board meeting this evening and witnessed the […]

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL