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#1 Jan 09 2013 at 8:07 AM Rating: Default
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There's a city in CA that teaches Yoga in it's public school system.

They use Ashtanga yoga - it's pretty deeply rooted in Hinduism.

While I don't think this California school system is attempting to indoctrinate kids into Hinduism, I do think it's possible and even probable that they're promoting one religion over another.

It seems like you could take the positive or secular components from any particular exercise program and leave behind all that is spiritual. And it seems that if you wanted to have this program in a school, the educators would go out of their way to insure the program was free from any statement of faith. But maybe not, maybe the physical aspects are too tied into the mental to be able to separate them out and still have an effective wellness program using yoga???

At any rate this particular town didn't seem too concerned about secularizing their in-school yoga program. Not only that but the program is being funded by the KP Jois Foundation (KP Jois was the founder of the american Ashtanga style of Yoga)

What do you think...
Should yoga be taught in public schools?
Yes:25 (83.3%)
No :0 (0.0%)
Other:5 (16.7%)
Total:30
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#2 Jan 09 2013 at 8:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:

It seems like you could take the positive or secular components from any particular exercise program and leave behind all that is spiritual. And it seems that if you wanted to have this program in a school, the educators would go out of their way to insure the program was free from any statement of faith. But maybe not, maybe the physical aspects are too tied into the mental to be able to separate them out and still have an effective wellness program using yoga???

I agree that the spiritual stuff can and should be left out. The concepts of life flows or spirit and whatnot are entirely based on faith and have no scientific backing.

P90X, when I was doing it, had a yoga workout on one of the days; it was probably the hardest workout in my opinion, and went for almost 90 minutes. But the only thing remotely "spiritual" about it was the "Om" at the end, and the instructor even went out of his way to emphasize that it was used only for relaxation and had no religious or spiritual connection.
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#3 Jan 09 2013 at 8:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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I said "Yes" but with the understanding that it would be primarily a stretching/balance and perhaps meditative exercise versus anything spiritual. You can meditate without it being faith-based, mental health counselors teach it all the time (i.e., "find your happy place").
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#4 Jan 09 2013 at 8:56 AM Rating: Excellent
I have no problem with Yoga being taught in schools.
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#5 Jan 09 2013 at 8:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have no problem with Yoga being taught in schools with a higher girl to boy ratio.
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#6 Jan 09 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Good
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
I have no problem with Yoga being taught in schools.
Whatever it takes to get some form of PE into these kids.
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#7 Jan 09 2013 at 9:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Meh. Some places tend to treat their football program with more religious fervor than actual religions.
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#8 Jan 09 2013 at 9:48 AM Rating: Good
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Meh. Some places tend to treat their football program with more religious fervor than actual religions.
Touchdowns for God.
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#9 Jan 09 2013 at 9:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sounds good to me. It's a pretty common college elective anyway.
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#10 Jan 09 2013 at 9:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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What's wrong for exposing kids to the spiritual? I know this is a slippery slope to indoctrination, but I think this is a real problem in our society. I'd wager that more and more often kids experience zero spirituality at home, so what is wrong with it if we are using it to teach kids to better themselves?

Quote:
The concepts of life flows or spirit and whatnot are entirely based on faith and have no scientific backing.


Methinks this might be part of our problem. I personally believe it's very ignorant to think that there is no spirit involved with life. We've all been indoctrinated already to believe that the "spirit" is either the "holy spirit" that knocked up Mary or that thing that leaves your body and goes to heaven or **** when you die. To not acknowledge the "spirit" or "life force" or whatever stupid thing you want to call it that embodies the purpose of life, well, is living in a very dark world. Sometimes we get so blinded by the "magic" of technology that we forget to see the "magic" that actually does exist in the real world.
#11 Jan 09 2013 at 10:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:
What's wrong for exposing kids to the spiritual? I know this is a slippery slope to indoctrination, but I think this is a real problem in our society. I'd wager that more and more often kids experience zero spirituality at home, so what is wrong with it if we are using it to teach kids to better themselves?


People will **** if we teach them the wrong kind of spiritual stuff and we don't have enough money to cover all the different kinds.
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#12 Jan 09 2013 at 10:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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I heard this story on NPR.

It's actually Christian parents **** that their kids are being taught Hinduism.

Frankly, unless they've got a little statue of Shiva with six arms and the kids are being forced to kneel in front of it, they're overreacting. One specific complaint was that the sun salutation series the kids do involves thanking the sun for providing them warmth. They're not being told to pray to the sun god or anything.
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#13 Jan 09 2013 at 10:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:
Sometimes we get so blinded by the "magic" of technology that we forget to see the "magic" that actually does exist in the real world.

If you were hung up on teaching the wonders and magic of the living world or something, I'd suggest the best place for doing so would be in the arts, not physical education.

Granted arts education budgets are being cut all over but that's a separate conversation.
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#14 Jan 09 2013 at 10:17 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Guenny wrote:
What's wrong for exposing kids to the spiritual? I know this is a slippery slope to indoctrination, but I think this is a real problem in our society. I'd wager that more and more often kids experience zero spirituality at home, so what is wrong with it if we are using it to teach kids to better themselves?


People will **** if we teach them the wrong kind of spiritual stuff and we don't have enough money to cover all the different kinds.

Teaching about religion and spirituality in the context of human history is important. Making any factual or truth-based statement about the existence of a spirit or a god or spirituality is no long providing an education that is free of religion indoctrination.

The 'wrong stuff' is a matter of opinion, as is the 'right stuff' - people should **** if their public schools are providing spiritual guidance.
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#15 Jan 09 2013 at 10:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
Guenny wrote:
What's wrong for exposing kids to the spiritual? I know this is a slippery slope to indoctrination, but I think this is a real problem in our society. I'd wager that more and more often kids experience zero spirituality at home, so what is wrong with it if we are using it to teach kids to better themselves?


People will **** if we teach them the wrong kind of spiritual stuff and we don't have enough money to cover all the different kinds.

Teaching about religion and spirituality in the context of human history is important. Making any factual or truth-based statement about the existence of a spirit or a god or spirituality is no long providing an education that is free of religion indoctrination.

The 'wrong stuff' is a matter of opinion, as is the 'right stuff' - people should **** if their public schools are providing spiritual guidance.

What Elinda said.

I have no problem with people holding spiritual beliefs, but it is not the place of a public school to teach children about some non-scientific and controversial concept of spirituality. (outside of, say, a world religions class).

Quote:
I personally believe it's very ignorant to think that there is no spirit involved with life... To not acknowledge the "spirit" or "life force" or whatever stupid thing you want to call it that embodies the purpose of life, well, is living in a very dark world.


I'm an atheist (or an agnostic atheist, if you want to be technical about it), and while I respect your personal belief that there's some kind of unidentifiable, invisible yet omnipresent spirit, I don't think your personal belief should be taught in school. I also would like to point out that not "acknowledging" your concept of a spirit or some divine purpose to life hasn't made the world dark at all; on the contrary, it means we have hope of eventually understanding our universe and that's frankly exciting to me Smiley: grin
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#16 Jan 09 2013 at 10:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Teaching about religion and spirituality in the context of human history is important. Making any factual or truth-based statement about the existence of a spirit or a god or spirituality is no long providing an education that is free of religion indoctrination.

The 'wrong stuff' is a matter of opinion, as is the 'right stuff' - people should **** if their public schools are providing spiritual guidance.

Couldn't agree more, but it doesn't seem to work that way, and I'd rather they spend the money hiring a couple more teachers than fighting some stupid lawsuit. School budgets are tight enough without the self-inflicted problems.
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#17 Jan 09 2013 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Just call it "Eastern Kinesthetics" or something to mollify the xenophobes.


Edited, Jan 9th 2013 11:49am by trickybeck
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#18 Jan 09 2013 at 12:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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trickybeck wrote:
Just call it "Eastern Kinesthetics" or something to mollify the xenophobes.

Liberty Stretches.
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#19 Jan 09 2013 at 12:28 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
trickybeck wrote:
Just call it "Eastern Kinesthetics" or something to mollify the xenophobes.

Liberty Stretches.

Sounds like something you'd catch giving birth to a politician.
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#20 Jan 09 2013 at 1:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why is there no "Who gives a **** option in the poll? I want that one.
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#21 Jan 09 2013 at 1:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Then don't vote. Duh.
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#22 Jan 09 2013 at 1:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Why is there no "Who gives a @#%^?" option in the poll? I want that one.

You sound tense; that's what happens when you don't do your Liberty Stretches. Smiley: disappointed

The proper reaction is to just click 'other' and then quietly down-rate everyone in the thread out of spite. Or so I've heard... Smiley: um

Edited, Jan 9th 2013 11:24am by someproteinguy
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#23 Jan 09 2013 at 1:21 PM Rating: Good
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Then don't vote. Duh.


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#24 Jan 09 2013 at 1:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Then don't vote. Duh.
But where's the fun in that?
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#25 Jan 09 2013 at 1:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Then don't vote. Duh.

Not voting is the same as voting for Obama yoga! Smiley: eek
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#26 Jan 09 2013 at 2:04 PM Rating: Good
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And of course, it is the same people who complain about keeping the Christ in Christmas in our public schools who are moaning about yoga being too otherly spiritual... Blerg. In other words, sky is blue, earth is round and nothing ever changes.

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#27 Jan 09 2013 at 3:53 PM Rating: Decent
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I went with other, teaching the movements and posture is great. Just no chakra aligning, multicoloured healing light nonsense.
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#28 Jan 09 2013 at 4:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Is this a mandatory class? An elective? Is it just a group who gets together? In HS we had a Christian group get together every mornining and do their thing. My sophmore year I helped a Wiccan friend, I was not and am not Wiccan, start up a group. It got met with alot of opposition but eventually the school either allowed us to meet or they had to forbid all other such groups.

That isn't really the point though. If it is an elective then no student or teacher can complain as the ones choosing to take it are either okay with the spiritual part or just are not bothered by it. You don't like peanut butter then don't eat a reeses.
#29 Jan 09 2013 at 4:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Zymunn wrote:
If it is an elective then no student or teacher can complain as the ones choosing to take it are either okay with the spiritual part or just are not bothered by it.

Public school. That's not how it works. And extra-curricular activities are different.

Edited, Jan 9th 2013 4:24pm by Jophiel
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#30 Jan 09 2013 at 4:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Zymunn wrote:
If it is an elective then no student or teacher can complain as the ones choosing to take it are either okay with the spiritual part or just are not bothered by it.

Public school. That's not how it works. And extra-curricular activities are different.

Edited, Jan 9th 2013 4:24pm by Jophiel


I went to public school. Never said, and did not mean to imply, that is how it works. I did not take German because I did not want to learn or take part in that. I knew what was part of the curriculum and since I did not like it did not opt to take the class. I might have missed it in a later post but did not see a link to this specficily. At work and if it interest me enough later will google it.

Are you saying this is an extra-curricular activity Joph? If so, why is it a problem? No one cries that the Christians have their prayer groups, how is this any different? Want yoga purely for the physical aspects then students can ask a teacher to do "American" yoga class. Without the spiritual (not religous) health component.

To try to make it a bit more clear, I say spiritual as in who we are. the emotional, chemical and physical experiences that mold us. This is my personal definition.
#31 Jan 09 2013 at 4:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Zymunn wrote:
No one cries that the Christians have their prayer groups


Smiley: dubious
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#32 Jan 09 2013 at 4:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
There's a city in CA that teaches Yoga in it's public school system.

They use Ashtanga yoga - it's pretty deeply rooted in Hinduism.

While I don't think this California school system is attempting to indoctrinate kids into Hinduism, I do think it's possible and even probable that they're promoting one religion over another.

It seems like you could take the positive or secular components from any particular exercise program and leave behind all that is spiritual. And it seems that if you wanted to have this program in a school, the educators would go out of their way to insure the program was free from any statement of faith. But maybe not, maybe the physical aspects are too tied into the mental to be able to separate them out and still have an effective wellness program using yoga???

At any rate this particular town didn't seem too concerned about secularizing their in-school yoga program. Not only that but the program is being funded by the KP Jois Foundation (KP Jois was the founder of the american Ashtanga style of Yoga)

What do you think...
Poll Removed: No more than one per thread, please!


This city in Southern California is actually in Encinitas, which is a mile away from where I work. And this is such a hot button issue right now. There have been half a dozen meetings between school administrators and parents about the yoga class. The yoga instructor has stated that she's not teaching anything spiritual, she's even changing the names of the positions to make them fun for the kids (downward dog is puppy triangle). I watched one of the demonstrations and in no way is there a faith or spiritual component. It's about getting the kids some physical activity and flexibility. It's not even about getting them to focus because if a kid doesn't want to do the pose called out, the teacher lets that kid do whatever pose the kid is in the mood for that moment.

Encinitas/Cardiff is such a laidback beach town that I was surprised that parents in this area were getting upset about this. It's a very "live and let live and to each his own" attitude in this area. But someone told that most of the parents that were upset were parents who have their kids choiced into this area school because they don't want their kids going to their own neighborhood's school.
#33 Jan 09 2013 at 4:43 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Zymunn wrote:
No one cries that the Christians have their prayer groups


Smiley: dubious


Okay so 16 years ago when I started HS no one cried about it the way Christians; before then, then and now, do about the littlest precieved infringement. Also I never cared about the politics in or around school. Don't have children so to this day still don't care.
#34 Jan 09 2013 at 4:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Zymunn wrote:
If it is an elective then no student or teacher can complain as the ones choosing to take it are either okay with the spiritual part or just are not bothered by it.

In the NPR article it doesn't say anything about ages, but there is a picture of elementary kids doing the yoga. So, it's something the whole class participates in.

This is one mother's quote from when she visited the classroom....
Quote:

"They were being taught to thank the sun for their lives and the warmth that it brought, the life that it brought to the earth and they were told to do that right before they did their sun salutation exercises,"
.

Taken without context that's pretty mundane and innocuous. But considering the context - performing yoga, a practice developed almost entirely as part of a religion, it raises my eyebrow - one of them. I'd allow my kid to do - **** I've probably said sh*t like that to my kids. But, because schools have to be utterly cognizant of guiding kids in faith maybe they should tone it down.

I have no doubt some bit of structured and progressive bit of physical exercise in the classroom is beneficial, and yoga specially forces you to control your breathing and your movements and what not. It sounds like the classes that have been doing it will be reporting over-all better educational success with the kids.

We used to have to stand at the side of our desk and do exercises. Arm circles sucked.



Edited, Jan 9th 2013 11:54pm by Elinda
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#35 Jan 09 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Taken without context that's pretty mundane and innocuous. But considering the context - performing yoga, a practice developed almost entirely as part of a religion, it raises my eyebrow - one of them. I'd allow my kid to do - **** I've probably said sh*t like that to my kids. But, because schools have to be utterly cognizant of guiding kids in faith maybe they should tone it down.

I have no doubt some bit of structured and progressive bit of physical exercise in the classroom is beneficial, and yoga specially forces you to control your breathing and your movements and what not. It sounds like the classes that have been doing it will be reporting over-all better educational success with the kids.


I grew up Catholic. Had a hard time understanding and accepting alot of the ideas and practices behind Eastern style Martial Arts. It is a greater Spiritual (semi-religious imo) practice then most Americans realize. No it is not a worship but it conflicted with alot I then thought I understood about Catholicism. Step back and take a look at what it teaches rather then the preconceived notions we have.

Quote:
We used to have to stand at the side of our desk and do exercises. Arm circles sucked.


I remember this in 1st grade. Gave me a reason and chance to smack other kids though. Until I got put in the corner.
#36 Jan 09 2013 at 5:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yoga as we know it was actually more or less invented by gymnasts and contortionists in the last two hundred years. It was adopted by the religious folks after the fact, because it's good exercise, good meditation, and meshed with the religions nicely anyway.

It's a big lie that yoga is thousands of years old.

Source: My atheist yoga instructor friend Smiley: tongue
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#37 Jan 09 2013 at 5:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yoga should be a mandatory interlude between Practical Communism classes and group memorisation of Weird Al Yankowic lyrics.

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#38 Jan 09 2013 at 6:26 PM Rating: Good
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group memorisation of Weird Al Yankowic lyrics.


I at first read that as group menstruation Smiley: laugh
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#39 Jan 09 2013 at 6:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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This topic is getting way too much attention.
#40 Jan 09 2013 at 8:43 PM Rating: Good
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Zymunn wrote:
Are you saying this is an extra-curricular activity Joph?

No, I'm saying that it's not extra-curricular therefore your comparison to your little friend's Wicca Club doesn't wash. As part of the actual PE curriculum, it's under greater scrutiny for violation of the separation of Church & State. Even if it were an elective class, it would be tax-payer funded and under such scrutiny and therefore "Well, just don't take it" isn't an appropriate response.
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#41 Jan 09 2013 at 8:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Yoga should be a mandatory interlude between Practical Communism classes and group memorisation of Weird Al Yankowic lyrics.

Or as we call it in the states, second year at Yale.
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#42 Jan 10 2013 at 3:21 AM Rating: Good
Thanking the sun offends people? Really!? Give me a freaking break... I get that these are kids, so this makes things a little tricky, but come on.

Yoga does not have to be spiritual. It is up to the individual performing the poses to make it spiritual or not. And the great thing about it, is that if you want it to be spiritual you don't have to make it Hinduism spiritual. I am Wiccan, and I have had at least one deeply moving spiritual moment while doing yoga. If these parents have an issue with the spiritual nature of Yoga, they can tell their kids to think about baby Jesus while doing their poses, it's not that difficult of a problem.
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#43 Jan 10 2013 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:

Yoga does not have to be spiritual. It is up to the individual performing the poses to make it spiritual or not.
Way to miss the great big throbbing point, genius.

Kids are in a class being instructed. Nothing is up to them.

They're thanking the sun for their lives Monday thru Friday and on Sunday mornings they go to church and thank God for their lives. That could be a bit contradictory to some, pure blasphemy to others.

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#44 Jan 10 2013 at 8:48 AM Rating: Good
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Yoga does not have to be spiritual. It is up to the individual performing the poses to make it spiritual or not. And the great thing about it, is that if you want it to be spiritual you don't have to make it Hinduism spiritual. I am Wiccan

Of course you are. Wouldn't it be simpler to buy a tee shirt that had "look at me! Everyone look at me!" in large font?
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#45 Jan 10 2013 at 9:06 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
They're thanking the sun for their lives Monday thru Friday and on Sunday mornings they go to church and thank God for their lives. That could be a bit contradictory to some, pure blasphemy to others.


I understand your point, but this is what I'm talking about. What the f*ck is wrong with thanking the sun? The sun is much more real, obvious, scientific, and omnipresent than any concept of "god". It is literally provable that no life on earth would exist without the sun. Why do adults prefer our kids ignorant about these things?

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I'm an atheist (or an agnostic atheist, if you want to be technical about it), and while I respect your personal belief that there's some kind of unidentifiable, invisible yet omnipresent spirit, I don't think your personal belief should be taught in school. I also would like to point out that not "acknowledging" your concept of a spirit or some divine purpose to life hasn't made the world dark at all; on the contrary, it means we have hope of eventually understanding our universe and that's frankly exciting to me Smiley: grin


You're obviously scarred and traumatized by the constant barrage of Christian doctrine that you've experienced in your life. I understand. Personally, I think that we will absolutely never understand our world (or universe, but I'd like to start with the humans that I can touch) without acknowledging the unexplainable or paranormal. Proving science is boring and easy.
#46 Jan 10 2013 at 9:16 AM Rating: Good
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Guenny wrote:
I understand your point, but this is what I'm talking about. What the f*ck is wrong with thanking the sun?

The fact that it's non-sentient and doesn't give a shit whether you "thank" it or not?
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Why do adults prefer our kids ignorant about these things?

The same scientific process that led us to decide the sun is real also led us to realize that a giant sphere of fusion energy and plasma doesn't need you to "thank" it. What exactly are the kids remaining ignorant about if they're not singing the praises of the sun?

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 9:18am by Jophiel
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#47 Jan 10 2013 at 9:17 AM Rating: Decent
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I understand your point, but this is what I'm talking about. What the f*ck is wrong with thanking the sun? The sun is much more real, obvious, scientific, and omnipresent than any concept of "god". It is literally provable that no life on earth would exist without the sun. Why do adults prefer our kids ignorant about these things?

Woah, easy there. Anthropomorphising something and "thanking" it isn't magically removed from supernatural connotation because that thing happens to be a real object. The Sun isn't capable of receiving thanks, get it? If they were learning pantomime coal shoveling and thanking coal for their electricity, that would be equally weird.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#48 Jan 10 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Without the Sun, who else would pour two scoops of raisins into my cereal?
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Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#49 Jan 10 2013 at 9:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Without the Sun, who else would pour two scoops of raisins into my cereal?

My understanding is that Marvin Gaye Jr. does that now that he's dead. After he's finished with the sexual healing, obviously.
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#50 Jan 10 2013 at 9:23 AM Rating: Decent
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Guenny wrote:
Quote:
They're thanking the sun for their lives Monday thru Friday and on Sunday mornings they go to church and thank God for their lives. That could be a bit contradictory to some, pure blasphemy to others.


I understand your point, but this is what I'm talking about. What the f*ck is wrong with thanking the sun?
Um, It's inanimate. Is the sun going to treat you better, maybe bless you with robust pigment if you tell it 'thank you' every morning?

What is there to gain in thanking the sun?

Edit - so much for multi-tasking.....

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 4:24pm by Elinda
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#51 Jan 10 2013 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
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Desert travel would certainly be easier.
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