Apparently sitting on a Yoga mat and going Ommmmmm is the newest threat to christianity in the South. Must be that if you go down that path to self discovery then the last place you will ever want to be is in one of those ultra-evangelical control freak churches.
“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 likely 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 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.