Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yoga Classes in Manitou Springs

This morning's editorial in the Gazette dealt with a city councilman in Manitou Springs asking to use some of the city's space to offer free yoga classes. The editorial insisted that it consists of religious content and either the city council should not allow it or open up to offerings from other religions.

Hatha yoga is a physical discipline, and combined with several other types of yogas, make up a Hindu religious practice. Taken apart from the other practices, yoga is a good way to stretch and tone the muscles of your body. Along with tai chi, it helps to identify when the body is stressed out, and gives a way to relieve that stress. You become a calmer person, more in touch with the emotional processes as they happen within the body. A calmer person is able to focus better and for longer periods of time, leading to better work and interpersonal skills.

I think our society would be better served if practices such as yoga and meditation were taught in more situations at work, at home, at church, and in government. I would love to see martial arts and belly dancing taught, beginning at the elementary level. More social dances and exposure to world music, work our way past the Brittanys and Beyonce.

The problem with the rise of home schooling and charter schools is that they seem to be developing a narrower focus on the world with less divergent opinions, creating some very naive children lacking critical thinking skills. I've seen the best and the worst products produced, and have met some very intelligent teenage kids who were home schooled. I have also seen the horrible other end where the mother kept her kid out of school because he wasn't learning very well, and her home schooling method was to read him a chapter out of the Bible every couple of weeks and to avoid any testing.

Our world is growing smaller thanks to technology, people migrate to places all over the globe, making any country a melting pot of cultures. We have always had a tradition of isolationism in our country, yet more and more we seek to influence and impose our way of life on the rest of the world. Instead of condemning yoga classes because of its non-Christian roots, we need to look at its universal applications and be more accepting of the beneficial practices from other cultures. I had thought that this argument was resolved after the 1970's, and find it weird cropping up in Colorado Springs in 2008.

- yiquan


  1. There is already a karate program offered at Manitou Springs Elementary School. Not only do the kids develop self-confidence, self-discipline, physical fitness, and better grades, but the program is a fund-raiser for the PTA and generated almost $1000 last year alone!

  2. Grumpy Old Man, you missed the point. the point of the editrial is that if you are going to sponsor one rleigous practice, you sponsor them all. Otherwise is establishment of religion.

  3. Actually, I didn't miss the point. The editorial said that yoga was a religious practice, but they are wrong, it is not as practiced in the US. Just because they say it's so doesn't make it true, it's an opinion.

    The more valid point I didn't address is if they are going to let one group use the city's space for free, why not let others. They are being preferential because a city councilman is involved, and that shows the unfairness of politics. The nice thing about America is that we can whine about these inequities all we want and not get arrested, unless we do it at a Bush or McCain rally...

  4. ... or a John Kerry rally, in whcich cae they taser you first then arrest you! :)

    I agree with you that Yoga is not a religion, nor should it be treated as such. I also agree that it is nice to be able to debate without fear of sensorship or retribution!


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