Sunday, December 14, 2008

New York school allows yoga by another name

New York school allows yoga by another name

The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MASSENA, New York: A high school in the state of New York has won approval to offer students a voluntary yoga program — as long as it's not called yoga.

Some local parents complained last month that a yoga program would promote Hinduism and violate the doctrine separating church and state, so Massena High School officials say they will now refer to the practice as "relaxation."

"It is still yoga. If opponents feel a name change solves the dilemma, I'm all for that," Board of Education President Julie Reagan said Wednesday. "We are basically doing the same thing, we're just calling it something different."

The compromise was reached during a meeting between Superintendent Roger Clough and several parents. Clough said parents agreed to change the name of the in-class program to "Raider Relaxation" and set up an after-school club to give interested students a deeper understanding of yoga. The school's mascot is a raider.

Two teachers began using yoga in their classrooms last year to relieve stress before exams and had approached the school board this fall about letting other teachers use breathing and relaxation techniques in their classes.

One hundred schools in 26 states use yoga in the classroom to relieve stress, Reagan said.

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