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Georgia parents offended by ‘Yoga,’ get ‘Namaste’ banned from schools



yoga-for-kidsATLANTA (Diya TV) — A group of parents at a Cobb County elementary school are upset over the school’s use of yoga and other mindfulness practices for students, claiming it endorses and promotes a non-Christian belief system.

In response, school leaders at Bullard Elementary recently held a meeting with parents to address the “many misconceptions” over the belief that yoga had “created a distraction in our school and community,” according to an email to parents from Bullard principal Patrice Moore.

“While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some,” the email states.

However large the misconceptions, the school is making direct changes.

When students participate and use yoga moves in the classroom, they will not say the word “namaste” nor put their hands by their hearts, according to the email. The term and gesture are often used as a greeting in Hindu custom. Additionally, when students are coloring during teaching breaks, they will not be allowed to color mandalas, spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism.


The principal also wrote that teachers have “never used nor taught about crystals having healing powers during these breaks, we understand it has become a belief. Therefore we will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future.”

Moore could not be reached for comment, but in her email asked parents to be part of a new committee to gauge input on a variety of topics, including mindfulness and curriculum practices. For the past decade a growing number of schools across the U.S. have begun employing yoga and other mindful practices in their curriculum, in an effort to help students deal with stress and increase the focus on academics.

In some high schools, yoga-based activities are offered on an elective basis. But at lower grade levels, students often participate in yoga breathing exercises in their physical education classes.

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