Yoga In Schools: Asking the Wrong People

Yoga In Schools: Asking the Wrong People March 28, 2016

There’s been a rash of articles recently making fun of parents in a Georgia school district (for non-U.S. readers, that’s a state in the “Bible belt”) for being upset about yoga being taught at school. The parents apparently called it “anti-Christian propaganda.” The liberal circles in which I run immediately called them stupid and ignorant.

And while I do agree that yoga is not “anti-Christian” or “propaganda,” I have to wonder why no one in any of these articles has ever asked Hindus what they think about this.

Personally, and I know not all Hindus will agree with me on this, I think the parents have a point. We have a policy of not bringing faith and religion into our schools. Yoga is not “just exercise.” And the eye-rolling about the parents’ concerns tells me that yoga has really and truly been fully co-opted by non-Hindu Americans.

It’s strange to me that the very people who are usually so quick to point out cultural misappropriation don’t notice this blatant case right in front of their eyes.

Yoga is a part of a religion. It was created by Hindus and has a spiritual purpose. I think it is wrong to separate those things. I’m also not okay with the poses being used but calling it something else. Yoga poses were created to align body, mind, and soul. The discipline is meant to develop you spiritually.

So that’s my point of view on it. But again, the biggest problem I’m having is that no one is talking to Hindus about this. Non-Hindu Americans are speaking for yoga and that’s what’s scary to me.

https://unsplash.com/photos/w5SgojGZooI Pic by Patrick Hendry
https://unsplash.com/photos/w5SgojGZooI Pic by Patrick Hendry

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