A school program to fight childhood obesity that includes yoga is drawing complaints from some Christian parents in the Quesnel area in B.C.'s Cariboo region. They say yoga is a religion, and shouldn't be taught in public schools. Chelsea Brears, who has two children in the school system, said her son was asked to do different poses and "to put his hands together." Brears, a Christian, said she doesn't want her children exposed to another religion during class time. "It's not fair to take prayer out, and yet they're allowing yoga, which is religion, in our schools." Local rancher Audrey Cummings doesn't believe Christian children should be doing yoga at all. "There's God and there's the devil, and the devil's not a gentleman. If you give him any kind of an opening, he will take that." The two women have complained to the education minister and the Quesnel school board. But school board chair Caroline Neilsen said the yoga is being taught as a stretching exercise, not as a spiritual practice. Neilsen also noted that children who don't want to practise yoga can do different exercises or leave the classroom.
What we do is enough. You don't need to add too much to it.... All forms of yoga [have] the ability to...change the consciousness of the people doing it. You get a chance to step outside yourself.
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