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Wingnut: Yoga makes kids whack jobs

OK. I’ve taken restorative yoga, and I don’t know what the flying fig this guy is talking about. Is Satan infiltrating you while you’re in down dog or shivasana? The AmTaliban has way too much time on its hands.

An award-winning medical journalist and Christian author is expressing concern that some American schools are introducing students to yoga, a practice that he maintains has spiritual as well as physical implications.

Three Pittsburgh area schools are taking part in a 16-week pilot program called “Yoga in Schools,” designed to calm elementary and middle school students and improve their physical and mental health. But Dr. Walt Larimore, author of such books as Super Sized Kids and Alternative Medicine: A Christian Handbook, says people of any spiritual tradition need to be aware of yoga’s religious background.

“Yoga has spiritual roots,” Larimore points out, noting its integral connection to Hindu religion and its popularity among many proponents of New Age spirituality. “Adherents of yoga claim that it leads to spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine,” he explains. “In fact, the pinnacle of that is called Kundalini arousal; and I’ve got some real concerns about the spiritual roots — especially when yoga is being sold to people and those roots are hidden.”

The author also says intense involvement with Eastern spiritual practices is known to cause psychological and emotional problems in some people. And since yoga has religious roots, he adds, one could argue that promoting it in schools violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, or the so-called separation of church and state.

…Larimore insists that schools and parents seeking to help kids attain the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of exercise have many options without resorting to yoga. Conversely, he warns that the “deeply religious practice” of yoga, with its roots in Eastern mysticism, may put kids in a position to be influenced by elements that are not at all healthy.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding