“But,” she continued, “if you ask the question differently: Are you going to see more controversies over yoga and meditation? I think we’re going to see an increase rather than a decrease, and it’s precisely because they’re becoming more popular. ”
Under the proposed law, the introduction of yoga would be at the discretion of local school systems. It would be stripped of its spiritual aspects and non-English terminology. So while various stretching poses would be allowed, “namaste” would remain verboten, as would using chants or mantras.
“Sometimes you have to have a steppingstone,” Mr. Gray said of the compromises that led to the limitations.
But critics argue. that altering terminology means little because yoga is inherently a religious practice. We think we can take anything and remake it to fit our lifestyle, ”said the Rev. Clete Hux, the director of the Apologetics Resource Center in Birmingham, Ala., And a teacher at the Birmingham Theological Seminary.
“They’re trying to separate yoga from Hinduism, or separate it from its religious roots,” Mr. Hux said. “But according to Hinduism, you can’t’t do that. Basically, there is no Hinduism without yoga and no yoga without Hinduism. ”
Yoga, which involves breathing techniques, exercises and meditation, is based on thousands of years of ancient Indian texts and traditions, with connections to Hinduism and Buddhism.
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