Yoga-as-religion debate heats up in India - New York News

Yoga-as-religion debate heats up in India

Updated:

By: Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Does yoga have a religious element to it?

That's the question the Supreme Court of India is trying to solve, as it is looking at whether schools should teach the physical and mental practice, according to Religion News Service.

RNS reported that two petitioners are calling for all federally run or funded schools to offer yoga as a class subject for those between first and eighth grade. The petitioners said the 2005 National Curriculum Framework, which offers the structure for making syllabi, textbooks and teaching practices for India's schools, says yoga "is vital for health and physical education," RNS reported.

Jagdish Chander Seth, a lawyer who is one of the petitioners, told RNS that yoga helps build character and strength, which is important in today's materialistic society.

But the court might not support the petitioners, seeing as yoga might have a religious component to it, RNS reported.

"Can we be asking all the schools to have one period for yoga classes everyday when certain minority institutions may have reservations against it?” asked the court, according to The Indian Express.

Opponents of the move include some Muslims and Christians, who say yoga has religious ties that don't belong in education, RNS reported.

“Yoga, as it is currently practiced in India, is not merely a physical exercise. It has a strong component of faith to it,” said John Dayal, a Christian leader and member of the National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education, to RNS.

This isn't the first time yoga's religiosity has been called into question.

Recently, the Turkish Interior Ministry asked the country's Directorate of Religious Affairs whether or not Yoga is forbidden by Islam, according to Al-Monitor, which covers news from the Middle East. The DRA said “as long as yoga was practiced as a sport activity it was permissible, but if it has a ‘religious mission' it could be objectionable.”

Earlier this year, a California judge ruled “that while yoga can be religious, it is taught … as simply a way to promote strength, flexibility and balance,” according to a Deseret News story. Parents who considered practicing yoga to be an infringement on kids' religious freedom raised the case, Deseret News reported. The court asked the San Diego schools to rename the positions, though, according to RNS.

Yoga in education isn't the sole focus of India's concerns with the physical form of discipline. The Indian government is also worried about yoga's commercialization, which is a $5 billion industry in the United States, according to BBC. The BBC detailed the history of the practice, which has been in existence for about 2,500 years.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:30:48 GMT
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:20:19 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:48:14 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices