Yoga in Schools vs. Ashram-State Separation

Whatever happened to Separation of Ashram and State?

$500,000 from Guruji Jois’ Ashtanga Foundation speaks.

 

Yoga in Schools with Guruji - nothing to see here folks, keep moving. arrgh.


“Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)”
Notice Ganesha, the Hindu Elephant god in foreground.

“Guruji” Jois at right.

Yoga in Schools: I am honored to be able to share with you an eyewitness account of the ruling that went forth today in the case against yoga in the Encinitas Union School District in San Diego County, CA. For understandable reasons, this person prefers to remain anonymous. To read background on this case, please see my posts: Parents May Sue over Yoga in Schools and CA School District Sued over Yoga

Encinitas Judge Ruled in Favor of Yoga over Suit brought by Parents

Just think–when Johnny and Susie grow up and are invited to the Ashtanga yoga class, or see the book on Kundalini yoga, they will associate it with the harmless little yoga classes they took as their PE classes in school.

Be aware that the yoga agenda is to be in EVERY public school in America – not just these nine (and it already is in many schools from rural West Virginia to metropolitan New York City to well, Encinitas).

Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga. (Professor Subhas Tuwari, Hindu University of America, HinduismToday.com – 9/1-3/09)

“Criss-Cross Applesauce”

Do you detect a note of sarcasm and belittlement in the following opening words to Sophia Rosenbaum’s article from today’s NBC News?

“A San Diego judge ruled Monday that yoga poses like downward dog and ‘criss-cross applesauce’ are not religious, allowing a yoga program to continue in a Southern California school district.”

She goes on to share: “Yoga instructor Jennifer Nicole Brown, who demonstrated some of the yoga positions in court, said when parents complained about their children chanting, she removed it from the lesson.”

Isn’t that good that, for now anyway, chanting is not a part of the Physical Education class?

An Anonymous Eyewitness Account of the Trial

I have honored this eyewitness’ desire to remain anonymous. This person has followed the trial since its beginning.

“The judge (who practices Bikram yoga!) attacked the character of the people who started the lawsuit, speculating that they were leaders of a ‘conspiracy theory.’ He threw every single parent testimony out one-by-one, and even threw out the expert by stating she was not credible as ‘she saw everything religious.’

“He admitted yoga was religious in nature, but said that wasn’t the case here. Huh?

“It was surreal watching him wrap 10 non-truth ‘facts’ around his ruling. For example, all teachers were Jois-certified, a fact affirmed by the superintendent, one of the teachers, the FAQ, and even the grant required it – but during the last testimony of the Asst. Superintendent, he claimed they weren’t all Jois-certified and the judge took his word over all the other testimonies.

“Unbelievable, unless you know the spiritual warfare around this case. People can be blind-folded sometimes (spiritually speaking).

“I trust God has a plan and this is either part of it, or this is not the battle He wanted to win (We KNOW the war is already won!—Laurette).

“One of the people involved said, ‘I know we will be persecuted. This was supposed to have been done. It’s not easy to be ridiculed by the public, or to get the nasty emails, but Jesus hung on a cross for me so this is nothing. Amen.’”

A Silly Parallel

Teacher: “Come, children! Let’s do our Christ-o-Flex exercises! Bring your left foot back. Bend both knees slightly. Now bring the fingers of your right hand to your forehead, and now to your heart, and now to each shoulder. Again, hold. Breathe deeply and relax. Does anyone want a little water for their fingers? It really cools the forehead when you do this.”

Student: “Um, Mrs. Winkie? Isn’t that genuflecting like they do in the Catholic Church—using ‘holy water’? I’m Muslim. My parents don’t let me make the sign of the cross on my body.”

Teacher: “Oh, come now! Don’t be paranoid! These are just exercises!!! Okay, everyone! Off to the pool for our Bapti-dunk class. It’s sooooo relaxing and really has cut down on bullying.”

We would never allow such foolishness, of course, but we can see the parallel when one considers that to Hindus, yoga is very much a part of their religion.

How about a yoga class which promises to be completely devoid of all religious aspects? Well, do they call it “yoga”? Why is it not just called “Stretch and Tone” class or something similar?

 

A little deception, please.

NBC News’ Rosenbaum writes: “The foundation’s website says it is looking to promote wellness, health and achievement for youth, especially those in under-served communities.”

Yes. That is how “Guruji” Jois’ website looks NOW, but for an eye-opener, take a look at how the website looked last October when I took this screen shot (click on the image to enlarge).

The light green lettering reads:

“Founded 2008, in loving dedication to Guruji, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, whose Asthanga Yoga teachings have catalyzed a worldwide revival of yoga.”  Page identifier–“About Jois: Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji)”

– See more at: http://praisemoves.com/blog/#sthash.hJJe8QMc.dpuf

The light green lettering reads:

“Founded 2008, in loving dedication to Guruji, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, whose Asthanga Yoga teachings have catalyzed a worldwide revival of yoga.”  Page identifier–“About Jois: Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji)”

– See more at: http://praisemoves.com/blog/#sthash.hJJe8QMc.dpuf

The light green lettering reads:

“Founded 2008, in loving dedication to Guruji, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, whose Asthanga Yoga teachings have catalyzed a worldwide revival of yoga.”  Page identifier–“About Jois: Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji)”

– See more at: http://praisemoves.com/blog/#sthash.hJJe8QMc.dpuf

The light green lettering reads:

“Founded 2008, in loving dedication to Guruji, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, whose Asthanga Yoga teachings have catalyzed a worldwide revival of yoga.”  Page identifier–“About Jois: Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji)”

“Guruji” means “teacher,” and more closely “beloved teacher.”

Interestingly, this page is no longer visible anywhere associated with Jois Foundation (except on the PraiseMoves website here: Yoga in Schools).

Are You Yoking?

Think yoga is a good idea in public schools? Stretching is great – so why not just call them “Stretching Classes”?

There is no physical yoga and spiritual yoga.  If it is exclusively physical, it won’t be yoga.  Yoga is dealing with the entirety; it is a union.” – Prashant Iyengar, son of B.K.S Iyengar

Yoga means “union” or more correctly “yoke” in Sanskrit. But yoked to what…or to whom?

What is the goal of yoga? 

Patanjali (first century B.C. compiler of the Yoga Sutras) describes the goal of Yoga as chitta-vritti-nirodha or “the cessation of mental fluctuations.” As in “empty the mind,” which I used to hear in my yoga classes and taught as a yoga instructor when I was a New Ager (ages 7 to 29).

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2). We are transformed by FILLING our minds on the Word of the Living God from the Bible, not by “emptying” our minds.

Subduing the mind is a core concept also found in Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita: “Thus always absorbing one’s self in yoga, the yogi, whose mind is subdued, achieves peace that culminates in the highest state of Nirvana, which rests in me [Lord Krishna/Brahman/Supreme Reality].”

It’s a Different Yoke

Jesus the true Prince of Peace said, Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

To discover the “Lord of Yoga” and other disturbing truths which prove yoga is so much more than “just exercise,” please see my comprehensive article with scriptural references, quotes from Hindus and Christian apologists here: “Why a Christian ALTERNATIVE to Yoga?

Yoga in your public school?

Concerned that yoga is indeed “more than just exercise”? Believe in “Separation of Ashram-and-State” (likewise Temple-and-State, Church-and-State, etc.)? 

Get the FACTS about yoga and present them to your School Principal, Superintendent, Curriculum Director, Parent-Teacher Organization — anyone who will listen to you.

Say “NO” to Yoga in Schools. If you would like information about a secular alternative which has been adopted by public schools throughout the US and Canada since 2006, take a look at the PowerMoves Kids Character Education-and-Fitness Program , whose slogan is “Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity — with CHARACTER.” (www.PowerMovesKids.com).

Pray that those things which lie in darkness are being revealed–all to the glory of God. He is faithful and true.

Newsflash! 7/2/13 update

Yoga-in-Schools Case Winner Changes Name!

“Guruji” Jois Ashtanga Yoga Foundation HAS CHANGED ITS NAME!

Now it’s the Sonima Foundation – after its founders Sonia Jones (wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II – think he may be responsible for the $500,000 grant?), and friend Salima Ruffin, to reflect its broader mission.

“There was an allegation that we are a religious organization,” said Ruffin. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary interest is health and wellness for children.”

At right, is Sonia Jones with portrait of “Guruji” Jois, watching over (in a non-religious way, of course).

Tied up with a neat little bow? “Not hardly” – see 2 Corinthians 2:11.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW. THANK YOU!


Excerpts taken from “Yoga poses no risk to church-state separation, says judge,” NBC News.com.

Yoga in Schools

= Religious Activity

The light green lettering reads:

“Founded 2008, in loving dedication to Guruji, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, whose Asthanga Yoga teachings have catalyzed a worldwide revival of yoga.”  Page identifier–“About Jois: Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji)”

– See more at: http://praisemoves.com/blog/#sthash.hJJe8QMc.dpuf

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9 Responses to "Yoga in Schools vs. Ashram-State Separation"

  1. Annette says:

    Hi Laurette,
    Wow, thank you for PraiseMoves!
    What a huge blessing!
    Thank you for speaking the truth and sharing your wisdom and experience about yoga!
    I live in San Diego, and am so concerned about the Encinitas school district and schools around the world.
    Will continue to pray for you and your beautiful efforts to spread the healthy truth.
    I spoke with you a few years back, would love to speak with you again.
    Blessings in Health,
    Annette

  2. Mike Shreve says:

    I applaud Laurette’s stand on this issue. Though her view may not be the “politically correct” one, it is the “spiritually correct” one. Yoga in our school systems is a Trojan Horse that contains “hidden” danger. Outwardly it may look harmless; internally it is very corruptive spiritually. I have an article on one of my websites (www.thetruelight.net) titled FIVE REASONS I NO LONGER PRACTICE HATHA YOGA that gives sound reasons why this is a dangerous practice. You may ask what credentials I have—before becoming a Christian minister, in 1970, I was a teacher of Kundalini Yoga at four Florida universities—so I know first hand what yoga leads to, and believe me it is NOT GOOD and it is NOT GOD!

    • Laurette Willis says:

      Thank you, Mike. You and I both have an extensive background and many years of dedication to yoga and the New Age movement, so we know whereof we speak. Your website http://www.TheTrueLight.net challenges every seeker of truth. I especially love how welcoming you are to people of all faiths. Thank you for being a light in this world!

  3. Denise says:

    Laurette, thank you for bringing this to the attention of parents everywhere. I hear so many people talk about the benefits of yoga for children’s anxiety and to reduce stress, and I don’t know how to respond. I know it’s wrong, but I’m not sure how to approach it (especially when the person suggesting it may not be a Christian or may believe in the Eastern religions.

    • Laurette Willis says:

      Thank you, Denise – I think asking if they support “separation of church-and-state” is a good place to start. When you can point to the evidence that yoga IS religious in nature (citing quotes from Hindus, not cah-razee Christians like us!), you have some firm footing upon which to stand.

  4. nolajeanne says:

    Thank you, Laurette, for SPEAKING OUT! I like the idea of using the PowerMoves Kids program as an alternative to Yoga in the public schools. It is all about character and fitness. Teachers can easily us it in the classroom with any of their subjects or as little short unifying activities while changing from one subject to another. There is no issue of religion with PowerMoves Kids!

    Even if the teacher takes the chant out of the poses, the fact remains that each pose is worship to some Hindu idol/god. (yuk!) I would not want my children doing that. I would want them to do PowerMoves Kids and learn about good character and behavior while getting fit!

    I’m praying for eyes to be opened to see the truth about all this.

  5. Thank you for standing for the Lord and freedoms for all people!

  6. Julia O'Sullivan says:

    Laurette, how wonderful that you have let us know of this travesty. How sad that you needed to.

    You are an ongoing inspiration, God bless and keep you for all the good you do!! Onward, Christian solders! 😉

    Julia

  7. James says:

    Talk about a confused (or just out to deceive) judge. He says, “Yoga is a religion, but that is not the way it is taught.” Uh? So, he is saying be dishonest. He is also a student of Bikram Yoga, and this guy is being sued for sexual misconduct. The lawyers really missed out on this one and hope they appeal. Why don’t Christians all get together and fight this thing?

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