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Yoga Being Taught at Brighton Elementary School

January 15th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From the D&C comes this story about embracing eastern religions in a public school:

At French Road Elementary School, wellness initiatives — from yoga to nutritious eating — have become part of the classroom.

“We need to look at the whole child — mind, body, balance,” said Carolyn Rabidoux, the school’s assistant principal, during a celebration of the health efforts Friday morning at the school.


A video showed the students’ experience with yoga: Students said “peace breaths” helped them with their homework, and one girl described how yoga poses helped her from panicking when she was stuck with 16 people in an elevator meant to carry 12.

Students also demonstrated their yoga skills “soaring like flamingoes” and “exploding like volcanoes.”

“We were looking for a culture shift,” said Heidi Kaufman, who teaches yoga at the school. “Yoga becomes a tool and life skill.”

Some of you will say, “come on, Ben, Yoga in America is more about exercise and relaxing than it is about religion” to which I say “not so fast, my friend”.  Wikipedia’s summary of Yoga.

Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines that originated in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it refers to one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal towards which that school directs its practices. In Jainism, yoga is the sum total of all activities — mental, verbal and physical.

more on yoga here

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6 Responses to “Yoga Being Taught at Brighton Elementary School”

  1. avatar Bernie says:

    “exploding like volcanoes.”

    That sounds a lot like many of the students I taught!
    I don’t remember too many soaring flamingoes, though. Some of my students looked as if they were soaring and their hair might have been pink but they didn’t look like flamingoes.

    I wonder if they would consider recitation of the Rosary as a meditative exercise -or maybe 15 minutes of the Jesus Prayer?

    I hope the school gets a chance to squeeze-in a little reading and writing in between yoga periods.

    We had a principal who was all in favor of having “mind and body” days every so often.

    Lord! the nonsense that goes on in our schools is sometimes just as bad as what happens in church.

  2. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Now that its in the paper, people will talk and they may have some trouble from parents about this, if they haven’t already. The Brighton population is very diverse. I wonder what the orthodox Jews and the Muslims think about Yoga?

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    In 1989, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter on some aspects of Christian meditation; the letter contrasted Eastern methods such as zen, transcendental meditation, and yoga, with the Christian way to union with God. http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfmed.htm

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pccpcida.htm
    Jesus Christ: Bearer of the Water of Life
    Excellent Document from 2003 regarding the New Age (not so new)

  5. avatar Irondequoit Mom says:

    Yoga or “stretch breaks” are used in elementary schools in West Irondequoit. The children are taught certain moves via VCR – I only witnessed the tail end of it once, and was disturbed. It is a practice that parents dont know about unless they visit the school in a helper capacity. The West Iron. School Board is useless and sees no reason to intervene. Thank goodness we no longer send our children there.

  6. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Irondequoit Mom,
    where do you send your kids now?


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