For the last 2 months a national debate has been raging in America as to whether Yoga is religious or not! This debate has entered our collective consciousness ever since Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their two children sued the Encinitas school district earlier this year for teaching yoga in the schools. They claimed that yoga was religious and could not be forced on kids. However, everyone else felt that the basic physical form of yoga prevalent in America had no religious implications and would only benefit kids physically as well as in terms of focus. Finally today, the judge ruled in favour of yoga! It seems a major stigma has been removed from yoga itself.
“Yoga as it has developed in the last 20 years is rooted in American culture, not Indian culture,” San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer said. “It is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon. A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas school district yoga advances or promotes religion.”
This is certainly a watershed moment in the early develpment of post-modern yoga and in its new avatar as a global phenomenon and as a physical-mental discipline (sans the spiritual elements). Hopefully more people will have a chance to practice yoga now!