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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:00 PM

California School District Sued Over Yoga Program.

An attorney representing a family bent out of shape over a public school yoga program in the beach city of Encinitas filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop the district-wide classes.

In the lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court, Attorney Dean Broyles argued the twice weekly, 30-minute classes are inherently religious in violation of the separation between church and state.

The plaintiffs are Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their children, who are students in the Encinitas Union School District. . .

The lawsuit notes Harvard-educated religious studies professor Candy Gunther Brown found the district's program is pervasively religious, having its roots in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and metaphysical beliefs and practices. . .

Children who have opted out of the program have been harassed and bullied, the plaintiffs allege. The children who opt out also are missing out on 60 minutes of the 100 minutes of physical activity required by the state, since they usually sit and read during the yoga lessons, the plaintiffs say.

Yoga is now taught at public schools from the rural mountains of West Virginia to the bustling streets of Brooklyn as a way to ease stress in today's pressure-packed world where even kindergartners say they feel tense about keeping up with their busy schedules. But most classes are part of an after-school program, or are offered only at a few schools or by some teachers in a district.


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Reply California School District Sued Over Yoga Program. (Original post)
elleng Feb 2013 OP
patrice Feb 2013 #1
Kolesar Feb 2013 #2
patrice Feb 2013 #5
patrice Feb 2013 #3
elleng Feb 2013 #4
DreamGypsy Feb 2013 #6
Neoma Feb 2013 #7

Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:16 PM

1. Meditation and relaxation exercises are physical; they can be given ANY content an INDIVIDUAL

chooses and they'd work just the same, as long as you do the simple physical techniques that create de-stressing biochemistry in your body.

I used to teach lessons on meditation, yoga, and chanting as part of my psychology curriculum on consciousness, which included, btw, normal waking conscious, and dreaming.

Yoga and meditation and chanting are biological practices that would work the same way if an individual simply chose to visualize a happy memory, or something they enjoy doing. Breathing deeply isn't magic it's biochemistry. If you want to add chanting, a short piece of poetry, or a bit of song lyrics, or a brief prayer, or an affirmation, or even just 1, 2, 3, 4 - will work, because it's a biological technique that synchs up breathing with positive or at least neural thoughts maintained for sustained periods, to prevent worry or anger or fear and all of their negative effects upon your body. To wind all of those anxiety related biological activities down and eventually to free people from the grip of emotions that are hurting them.

It can be religious, ANY religion, if an individual chooses that, or it can use just about anything else that is pleasant as long as the basic biological techniques are followed.

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Response to patrice (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:21 PM

2. That sounds super

I have been meaning to try meditation someday

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:44 PM

5. Me too. I used to do it. Had some awesome teachers from the 3HO Foundation who introduced

a bunch of us in a 2-week intensive workshop back when.

It's a biological and hence biochemical process, even just 15-20 minutes a day is HEALTHY. It can be anything, some athletic coaches use a form of it to get athletes "in the zone".

I would always definitely introduce it within its cultural context and tell people about the traditional chants - especially the translations, so it isn't just abracadabra stuff, but they should understand the underlying BIOLOGICAL mechanisms, so they can use them the way each INDIVIDUAL wants to, which as I said, can be religious, or even just simple counting. The idea of a chant or mantra of somekind, either audible or silent, is to get your brain to ease up on you by holding it in a certain thought pattern that is simple and pleasant. Some people add personal visualization, others don't.

People who have kind of like brain-cyclones know how useful this is, when you're obsessing or if you're overwhelmed with worry or sadness. Meditation and yoga calm everything down.


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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:28 PM

3. Yeah, it's metaphysical, thoughts & feelings are physical so they have physical effects on your body

which is physical too and then you take all of that physical stuff out into the physical world and have physical effects upon other physical beings around you who affect those around them .....

So, superstition is better???

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Response to patrice (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:33 PM

4. Its really not either/or,

but some would rather simplify their lack of understanding.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:54 PM

6. That would be Ashtanga Yoga ...

...not "Asthanga" as misspelled in the article.

The district is believed to be the first in the country to have full-time yoga teachers at every one of its schools. The lessons are funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Asthanga yoga.

The Jois Foundation's website currently consists of a single .jpg here http://kpjoisfoundation.org/.

Information about Krishna Pattabhi Jois, the yogi after whom the foundation is named, is here. An interesting story.

The website for the Ashtanga Institute which was founded by Jois is here.

As is often the case with yoga Ashtanga is a blend of physical activity, alternative medicine, and spiritualism. The blend that one experiences depends almost entirely on the interests, philosophy, and strengths of the teacher/instructor(s) one has.

I think incorporating yoga into a broad spectrum of physical education is an excellent idea, but requires caution in exposing (or certainly in enforcing) any of the spiritual/religious underpinnings.

May all be well with mankind.
May the leaders of the earth protect in every way by keeping to the right path.
May there be goodness for those who know the earth to be sacred.
May all the worlds be happy.

Personally, I would chose a closing prayer suggesting that the leaders of the earth protect by keeping to the left path ... but that's just me.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:41 PM

7. Oh good grief.

I don't consider stretching my hamstrings and balancing on my head to be religious. What the heck...

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