Yoga According to Youth

Paloma Chavez

blackyogaimage.jpg“After a while, this Yoga gives us control over ourselves. It helps cut through those feelings of not knowing who you really are.”
– Pat, Y.O.G.A. for Youth

Our young people today are fearlessly and enthusiastically seeking alternative solutions to their concerns through yoga. The above comment is an example of their willingness to try something new and is outside of the options that are typically available to them.

So why are we seeing a rash of news stories about parents, religious communities or school boards that are trying to keep yoga out of churches and schools? Why are they equating the practice of yoga with religion?

From the Y.O.G.A. for Youth site,(also see blog post Troubled Youth Discover Yoga) the question is asked, “Is yoga a religion?” Their answer, “Yoga is not a religion. It is an art and science of self and self-development. Therefore, people from all paths, beliefs and walks of life are able to practice yoga openly and freely without any conflict with their religious affiliations”

Just recently, the Camden-Rockport school board won a challenging victory. They approved a one-year pilot program that will teach yoga to sixth-graders. Although some Board members were against the idea due to a perceived “religious nature” of the practice, the first classes will begin in November.

We are thrilled to know that there are young yoga students who are active in their communities, are thinking globally about conservation and are taking an interest in their role in creating an abundant future. They are building websites, newsletters, writing poetry, practicing at home, in classrooms, in juvenile detention centers and raising funds for other youth to enjoy the benefits of a practice. So why would anyone deny them their encouragement and support?

It is our intention to highlight their journeys by bringing you their personal accounts and voices. Please join us in this effort by sending us your experience with a youth or teen that has seen a difference in their lives through the practice of yoga.

[tags]youth and yoga, yoga practice, yoga and religion[/tags]

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