Then there was a flurry of religious types who were worried that their kids were being secretly converted by public schools into heathens. Why? Because those heathen school-teachers were teaching kids to do yoga.
Oh no! Down dog in the classroom. Tree pose in the gym. Half-moons in the hallways.
What’s next? Bloody sacrifices in the principal’s office? Perhaps cannibalistic rites of eating flesh and drinking blood?
Hardly. Getting kids moving in a non-violent, self-centered way makes for better kids, better community, and better learning.
Then what’s the problem?
The problem is that there’s nothing in those articles that comes out and says exactly what a religion should contain, such that yoga is NOT religious.
Sure, the Christian types refer to saviors and gods and the such, but as we have pointed out a while ago, religion doesn’t have to have these things. A religion is a shared set of behaviors that helps keep a group together for a long time.
That means if you’re going to a yoga class with a bunch of people you like, with an instructor you like, and this goes on for a long time, you truly CAN consider yourself part of a religion.
The whole point of this exercise, and indeed, the whole point of us studying ourselves, is learning where to draw the line. How long is a long time? How many people should we include in our “bunch?”
A bunch of bananas is easy; Nature defines that for us. But as people we appear to be super-natural. So drawing those lines isn’t going to be as easy as if we were bananas. Although there are many people I feel may be bananas. But that’s another story.