In light of the recent controversy with the question of religion and yoga in the schools, Lisa Flynn, founder of Yoga 4 Classrooms, wrote a thorough response, including recommendations which was then published by Elephant Journal.
“The last few days have brought a new wave of discussions about what has come to be called the “religion question” in the school yoga movement. The recent story picked up by mass media has been powered by some parents in southern California who have slammed the district’s twice-a-week yoga program, accusing it of religious indoctrination.
As yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are gaining popularity in the education system, the importance of clearly defining the relationship between these contemplative practices and religious paradigms is critical. It is apparent that being open, clear, and flexible when addressing this question is the only acceptable way to handle and prevent similar controversies.
Along with other educators and researchers, we strongly believe that it is possible for schools to nurture the hearts and spirits of students, without violating the individual beliefs of families.
“So, let’s be clear, once and for all. At school, yoga and mindfulness education is shared as a secular practice with the purpose of improving learning while supporting the health and well-being of students and educators.”