New Age Play? Stretching the definition
Some think it could be blurring the lines between church and state to have yoga at school, given its origins, but others see it as a way to calm students with ADD and issues with focusing, and also help with childhood obesity problems. Will yoga become another type of play or even a substitute in the school systems? That's not really being suggested here or by Tara Gruber, the creator of Yoga Ed. But it's an interesting prospect to see it take its place in the school system. Gruber has figured out a way to implement teaching yoga in some schools. There are now more than 300 physical education teachers trained to instruct her program, and more than 100 schools in 26 states from coast to coast have implemented it.
How did she get past the church and state issue? She took everything that resembled spirituality or religion out of the program and changed the Sanskrit to kid-friendly English. This meant changing things such as Yogic panting to "bunny breathing" and meditation to "time in." Grants through the federal government are available to gym teachers who complete a teacher training course in yoga.
Studies of the test scores of students at the Accelerated School in Los Angeles where they practiced yoga showed a direct connection between yoga and better behavior and grades. These students were also fitter than the district average from the California Physical Fitness Test.
There are still "nay-sayers" on the subject, who claim yoga is still religiously based no matter how you slice it and that it has no place in public schools. It will be interesting to see how the debate unfolds in the future. Comments? Submit them below.