Yoga: Physical exercise or religious spirituality? Legal or illegal? Those are some questions that the State Senate Committee needs to consider with regards to practicing or not practicing yoga in Alabama schools K-12. The Alabama Administrative Code (AAC), Rule 290-040-040-.2 that bans the practice of yoga and meditation in its public school system has been in place for over twenty-seven years. It was for good reason this was passed due to the intrinsic and inseparable relationship of yoga and Hinduism. In addition there is the issue of the establishment clause of religion in the First Amendment.
One thing I learned in researching into various educational curricula over the last few decades is how subtly the religious practices including yoga and meditation were introduced. For example, Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy and a pioneer of infiltrating New Age philosophy and practices into education said over thirty years ago that in order to have a new society, you have to change the education of the younger generation. She stated that in surveying the Aquarian Conspirators, more were shown to be involved in education than any other work. Indeed, she admitted that “subtle forces were at work, forces that are not likely to be seen in banner headlines” that would promote the New Age philosophy in education.
Another among many examples of such subtlety was back in 1986, by New Age leader and activist Dick Sutphen, stating, “One of the biggest advantages we have as New Agers is, once the occult, metaphysical and New Age terminology is removed, we have concepts and techniques that are very acceptable to the general public. So we can change the names and demonstrate the power. In so doing, we can open the door to millions who normally would not be receptive.”
These subtleties have been making their way into this issue of education mostly because people do not understand Eastern mystical beliefs and practices, i.e., yoga and meditation. This is more so when original meaning is shifted to a replacement meaning in disguise.
Knowingly or unknowingly, the proponents of a new bill to allow yoga are doing the same thing by trying to distance the practice of yoga away from its religious origin, attempting to redefine it with a secular basis, again devoid of its true meaning. The question should be asked, “What gives us the right to that”? Just wanting a different meaning is not a legitimate reason. Intent does not change meaning.
The new bill, HB 235 sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray (D) of Opelika, Ala., to lift the ban on yoga practice, attempts to change yoga’s meaning. It has already passed the Alabama House and is on its way to the Senate for a vote sometime in the near future. In order to get things passed on the House floor, Gray admitted to the Montgomery Advertiser, “I had to make it where it’s more about stretching, breathing, and meditation as opposed to embodying the whole concept of yoga”. In other words, he had to make something that is religious by nature be translated into something that is only physical. Notice he used the words stretching and breathing, but he also included meditation, which the “in place” rule prohibits because of its Eastern religious connotation and its dissociative nature. Gray, again, affirmed that meditation was included when on February 5th of this year through his Facebook account, “Fix the man, fix the world.” #InsideJob, he posted, “It was a great honor and privilege to talk to the at-risk teenagers at ‘Second Chance’ this morning about the importance of implementing yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and control breathing into their daily routine.”
While consciously trying to relegate yoga to just the physical, he unconsciously proved by his words that it cannot be separated from its religious meditative practices which involve the controlled breathing and stretching that Gray speaks of. These are also known as progressive relaxation techniques which the “in place” bill prohibits because of meditation’s dissociative nature.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Clete Hux