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....
"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