MASSENA, NEW YORK, October 15, 2008: A high school in the state of New York has won approval to offer students a voluntary yoga program–as long as it’s not called yoga.

Some local parents had voiced fears that a “yoga program” would promote Hinduism and thereby violate the doctrine separating church and state; but they have agreed to let the Massena High School present the program as “relaxation.” The compromise allows the school to set up an after-school club to give interested students to practice yogic postures and gain a deeper understanding of… “relaxation.”

“It is still yoga. If the parents who oppose it feel a name change solves the dilemma, I’m all for that,” Board of Education President Julie Reagan said Wednesday. “We are basically doing the same thing, we’re just calling it something different.”

More than one hundred schools in 26 states use yoga in the classroom to relieve stress, Reagan said.


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