US school banned ‘namaste’ in yoga after parents complained it of promoting non-christian beliefs.
Bullard Elementary School in Kennesaw, Georgia, US, has removed the Sanskrit greeting ‘namaste’ and coloring pages with the symbol of the ‘Mandala’, which represents the cosmos, from their curriculum of yoga and other mindfulness practices. The move was owing to parents reportedly complaining that yoga was propagating non-Christian beliefs, reported by The Washington Post.
The school principal Patrice Moore wrote an e-mail to the parents announcing the changes in the yoga practice.
Moore said in the letter, “I am truly sorry that the mindfulness/ de-stressing practices here at Bullard caused many misconceptions that in turn created a distraction in our school and community. While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some.”
One of the parents, Christopher Smith shared his views on Facebook that
“Now we can’t pray in our schools or practice Christianity but they are allowing this Far East mystical religion with crystals and chants to be practiced under the guise of stress release meditation,”. “This is very scary.”
According to a yoga instructor, Cheryl Crawford, who has taught at several schools in Georgia, says that yoga can help calm students who are anxious about their studies or coping with anger and bullying issues, it doesn’t endorse any faith.