Yoga Education VIII

Yoga Education – “In court today, Dean Broyles argued that “to attempt to strip religion from objectively religious rituals, to try to separate the metaphysical from the physical, is a fool’s errand.” “Take for example a catholic mass, which involves standing and kneeling, bowing in prayer, making the sign of the cross, and taking communion (Eucharist). Would the Establishment Clause allow that a catholic mass is an acceptable replacement for P.E, if given in Latin or silently, and if relabeled ‘calisthenics’ or if its communion portion is called ‘snack time,’ or if the program were relabeled ‘EUSD Mass?’ Absolutely not! Neither should yoga’s formal Hindu rituals be taught in public schools.”

Conversation continues on May 27, 2015:

Jeannine Plaiche ‘So grateful for this thread!!! I feel like i was just handed a sacred manuscript. I’m sure I speak for many when I say thank you for this engaging conversation! I feel like a drop in an ocean when I read the depth of knowledge and insight everyone here has. It’s food for my soul. I have so much to say but no where to start so I’ll just humbly bow, Namaste /|

Virochana Khalsa This kind of cheap shot of bringing in the ‘new age’ term as some of put down, and interest in who is setup, yogiraj, etc, etc, is I guess just where people are at, understandably, but not much elevation.

My purpose in entering this thread was to feel if there is any consciousness.

One of my traditions is the kriya yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya, but my main lineage is really just the masters within that presence. In this tradition, it is the nectar, the qualities of that presence that brings great benefit. This is not a vision, or a fleeting feeling, it is something you can touch at times. We can even swap bodies.

Troy Harris On further reflection, “bastardisation” does not even start to describe the situation that’s going down here.

Eric Seaton I’m not sure it’s that complex per se, I think our way of thinking and speaking is complex. I’m haunted by Patanjali, one less syllable was the birth of a son. The yogi doesn’t have the blessings to give in the first place, it’s the Mother Goddess who gives prosperity. Our challenge is to identify where commercialism snuck into our speech, identify it, which will bring us closer to the river of speech flowing clearly. -*- The shorter Speech, the Longer Reach!

Eric Seaton I’m as guilty as anyone, but we could all use half the amount of syllables. Connecting faster, and clearer, raising our consciousness in all situations.

Gideon Enz Ha! “Yes I do pretend to be a yoga teacher”. Nice!

Todd Daniels I don’t practice. How do you practice life? Its kind of happening right now..I am not a cat chasing its own tail

Pankaj Seth That word ‘practice’ has become a real bane. From there, we get movements like ‘Yoga off the mat’, because ‘Yoga practice’ supposedly pertains to doing gymnastics type activity on the mat, but is found wanting. One blindness leads to another. Then, we have to solve the problem of how do you do these exercises in a ‘spiritual’ way. And on and on. Things are so dumbed down at this point that the usual superlatives fail.

Todd Daniels That one thinks because they can lick their own balls they have attained something is beyond me…. actually maybe they have

Pankaj Seth This is a very cogent report from Gideon Enz… “But learning hatha yoga from yogis in India was a lot more difficult than one would think. This was because the yogas of the sadhus and renunciates in India have been primarily variations on meditative methods, the most popular of which was Bhakti yoga, or the yoga of devotion. During my years in India, I made it a point to seek out places that were out of the way; in other words, places where Westerners weren’t. My goal was to taste and learn from authentic practitioners, which I had learned, were usually the quiet ones in out of the way places. What I found was that very few yogis had much of an asana practice at all. When it became known to them that I practiced Hatha yoga, I was often looked at with a combination of pity and disdain, or warned against the practice, or both.”—

Gideon Enz on the Great Traditions of Asia

This blog is just one piece of a much larger…


Todd Daniels i am sharing this

Humphrey Barclay “Practice” should be something that just happens – to practice with the expectation of some result is misguided. However, to sit nicely, back straight, for some time is very delightful. Pranayama is very delightful, as can be asana – when one feels like it. It is about shedding the stuff that we don’t need, not some kind of achievement – but I think we all know this.

Eric Seaton Virochana, you said, “I can’t believe how complex this thread has gotten and yet end on “There are masters who in manifesting a form, their presence is a yoga.” Isn’t there a chance, deconstructing yoga is coming from an Authority?

Virochana Khalsa Hi Eric,

In manifesting a form, I assume that is understood as a body.

I am not sure what you mean by deconstructing yoga from an authority?

As I see it religions and outer structures can be created, destroyed, and distorted, but yoga as the inner science is an innate wisdom.

Eric Seaton What I was saying is, there’s a Master whose yoga presence is deconstructing yoga, and he happens to be on the thread!

Virochana Khalsa Hi Eric,

The only being I feel in that space from the energy of this thread is Baba Rampuri, warm, caring and a touch machevious. I do not know him, but is why I said few instead of none.

If by deconstructing yoga, you mean concepts, then yes. You know consciousness can sit back and bring in others, and watch the play.

Eric Seaton Like a good teacher he shows each person where there strength and weakness lies. He’ll point out when we’ve gone astray or where we’ve been accurate. None of us are maharajas, so take our struggling with a grain of salt.

Todd Daniels John, nice way to hammer the point home. I clearly “got” what you meant from my own understanding. I also think that through all the mass of words the end result is simpler than it seems, its just we make it hard.

Todd Daniels I think a a lot of spiritual jargon just binds the mind in confusion and can be just more of a problem than a solution… I always liked the acronym KISS…Keep, It, Simple, Stupid. This discussion would go way over a lot of peoples heads and they would drop interest and leave which loses its intent to help. I am enjoying it immensely but some would get bored. This is not a criticism its just society and its technologies have created minds that only work in sound bites so to get the point across we need to learn how to work within that, otherwise we just lose people in words.

Baba Rampuri Todd, I don’t think this is a conversation for the masses.

Todd Daniels valid point.. very..

Kaushiki Ma The use of words is always to go beyond words to the truth. Perhaps some have gone beyond words or at least see that the words will lead beyond themselves and are not that interested in the discussion. It is not so life and death as we think it is. The hallmark of a master who has become liberated is that he becomes quiet and loses the taste for endless discussion. Unfortunately that is all that can be done here.

Jan Baggerud Larsen but which words to go beyond? How will the masses know how to go beyond words?

Gideon Enz Kaushiki Ma, at last a female presence. We men do like closeness through words. It appears as divisive on the surface, but is actually a very productive and masculine relationship. And we are building networks of likeminded people. Men are strange creatures… but beautiful.

Jan Baggerud Larsen I am not sure if you all know about it already but there was an “Encinitas Public School Yoga Trial” back in 2013 and it continued in March this year. It seems relevant to our discussion. I followed this closely as I used to practice asana (specifically what is called Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and some of what was taught in the school was apparently based on that).

From the link below:

“Superior Court Judge John Meyer had to decide whether the EUSD yoga program violates the religious establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment by advancing or inhibiting religion or entangling government with religion.

Meyer determined that “yoga,” including “Ashtanga” yoga, “is religious.” Nevertheless, he allowed EUSD’s yoga program to continue, since he did not think children would perceive the program as advancing or inhibiting religion. The judge found the Jois Foundation partnership “troublesome,” but did not rule that it excessively entangled government with religion.”

  • See more at:…/is-yoga-religious-encitas…/…

Is yoga religious? Understanding the Encinitas Public School Yoga Trial | OUPblog


Ekabhumi Charles Ellik This reminds me of a famous quote from Iyengar, and also of an earlier thread about Yoga being a “Trojan Horse,” namely that: ‘You can’t take the God out of Yoga.’ Here is an excerpt from an interview with a senior Iyengar instructor, Manouso Manos:

Bob: A lot of people have come to yoga by way of ‘health’ clubs. In many cases, only the physical aspects of yoga will be presented. What do you think of that consumerist packaging?

M: The Iyengar system is well-versed in this problem. Mr. Iyengar had accepted an invitation by the British government to develop a national adult education program. Moments before he’s about to teach, public officials urged that as part of nationalized industry, he should refrain from talk about religious or spiritual practices. Despite his reply that “You cannot remove God from yoga,” you’ll see that over those years Iyengar seems to be teaching only from the body…

One student told me that Iyengar’s was the most devious of all the yogas. The nature of improving the body with that type of awareness starts to carry itself throughout one’s life. It starts to manifest into one’s sense of interaction with other human beings, with one’s spiritual side, with one’s sense of what GOD is or isn’t. It comes on its own.

During a philosophical discussion with BKS Iyengar on this subject, he commented, “Manouso, we do not teach religion. But we deal with people and their religiosity.” With their senses of their interaction of what religion is. Because it should be accessible for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists.

Light on Iyengar Yoga: An Interview with Manouso Manos Manouso Manos’ annual workshop has helped…


Jan Baggerud Larsen Does that imply that the asana postures themselves carry some kind of divine connection or that simply increased body awareness is a step towards realizing yoga?

Ekabhumi Charles Ellik Well, I have my own opinion, but I don’t know about Iyengar.

Ekabhumi Charles Ellik IMHO, it’s not Yoga if there is no sense of the individual self as being part of and hosted by a universal self. AKA God.

Jan Baggerud Larsen and now the trial continues:…/encinitas-yoga…/

Encinitas yoga trial: ‘Tired rhetoric’ vs. ‘precedent-setting litigation’ I suppose you could call this a tale of two courtrooms….


Jan Baggerud Larsen “In court today, Dean Broyles argued that “to attempt to strip religion from objectively religious rituals, to try to separate the metaphysical from the physical, is a fool’s errand.” “Take for example a catholic mass, which involves standing and kneeling, bowing in prayer, making the sign of the cross, and taking communion (Eucharist). Would the Establishment Clause allow that a catholic mass is an acceptable replacement for P.E, if given in Latin or silently, and if relabeled ‘calisthenics’ or if its communion portion is called ‘snack time,’ or if the program were relabeled ‘EUSD Mass?’ Absolutely not! Neither should yoga’s formal Hindu rituals be taught in public schools.”

“If permitted, this will open up a religious Pandora ’s Box,” declared Broyles after the hearing. If the courts allow these Hindu liturgies to continue, we will see of flood of religious organizations mimicking the Sonima Foundation’s approach, attempting to purchase access to young impressionable public school students, while at the same time deceptively concealing their religious beliefs and practices.””

Baba Rampuri It would behoove the USA and indeed the entire world if they would focus on giving the kids a better education as the USA is on the bottom of the rankings in the modern world, rather than having Wall Street trying to figure out how to sneak branded yoga into public schools.

Jan Baggerud Larsen Babaji, it seems to me that more than ever kids are almost incapable of sitting still and focusing on any type of regular education. I believe doing simple breathing execises and asana-like stretches could help with focus and concentration but I believe it would be better introduced from within the school system itself and not from an outside organization with all kinds of possible motives.

Baba Rampuri Yes.

John Cronen but Baba , if we give these kids an education there will be nobody to put in our jails ^^ … gosh if we gave them an education things might improve an the wage slaves and welfare slaves wont be there to line the middle mens pockets … our world woul…See More

Jan Baggerud Larsen I have a hard time seeing the foundation completely separating their school yoga program from their background and beliefs from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. From my background in ashtanga vinyasa (asana) yoga I know that most of the people who practice this type of asana as a daily practice for many years do become very interested in the other limbs of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and in yoga philoposhy in general. However it might be and probably is a problem that they for this information tend to mainly rely on sources from within their own community. So mostly what the “serious” practitioners continue to learn outside of their asana practice is already withing the context of their existing beliefs.

I know that the (rich) people behind the foundation have been “serious” practitioners for many years and they may have “good” intentions with their program. Anyway no matter what their real intentions are I don’t see how some of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga-ism cannot be automatically be introduced via the yoga program.

Humphrey Barclay What is definitely subversive is the possibility that even simple practices might encourage kids to see things as they are, rather than as they are told. Identifying as witness, developed as a habit, can have this effect. From that perspective, those addicted to authoritarian perspectives may be right to worry! And this has nothing to do with religion at all…

Kathleen Reynolds Since it would seem authority here stems from direct experience and knowledge of a subject, I would like to know how many of you have taught in public schools and can thus speak with authority as to the nuances and myriad of systemic issues surrounding the quality (or lack thereof) in our public schools? Or perhaps have children attending public school in say, an under-resourced area? Anyone?

Jan Baggerud Larsen And I just read that they “won”yesterday and get to keep doing the program in school: “After more than two years of litigation, and consecutive victories for YES! and EUSD, the battle to preserve the District yoga program is over. The kids have won!”

YES! Yoga for Encinitas Students

A community of EUSD parents


Continue to the next page: Patanjali, Cognition and Yoga IX