Yoga is now a secular practice

YUP - Down DogVarious traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and it is practised as a spiritual and ascetic discipline. It is of course for many still an integral part of their religion. Yet, yoga has been embraced across the Western world and by people of all races, cultures and most religions. Across the West, yoga with its breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

There are many hidden benefits with yoga such as improved concentration, posture and improved strength and flexibility. With YogaBugs unique use of storytelling and adventures told through the medium of yoga there are other benefits to children from when they can walk until the age of 12. These include concentration, core skill development and improved social development.

In the West for the vast majority yoga is totally secular. It is not a medium for teaching religious beliefs. But across the globe yoga instructors have come up against vocal and determined opposition. This was recently highlighted in the United States. The issue of yoga in schools reached a boiling point in California this summer when a family filed a suit against the Encinitas Unified School District after the start of a pilot yoga program in an elementary school. As Reuters notes, a judge refused to block the teaching in July, ruling that ‘yoga at it’s roots is religious.’ but its modern practice is secular and “a distinctly American cultural phenomenon.”

In the USA yoga practitioners simply dismiss such criticisms as a  ’concern of the far right’.  In the UK whilst yoga rarely has to fight such prejudice on religious grounds it is still viewed by some with scepticism. This is despite recommendations from many health organisations including the NHS.

YogaBugs has a crucial role to play going forward. Whilst it uses traditional yoga  postures it inspires children to be physically active and use their imagination. Yoga has simply become a medium of play with many benefits, hidden from the children because they are having great fun. It is learning by stealth. Anyone who ever watches or participates in a YogaBugs class instantly changes their preconceptions and marvels at how the classes work. The children really enjoy them and over time when they attend regularly parents see measurable benefits to their children’s life skills.

The only way for yoga to overcome the negative preconceptions is for companies like YogaBugs to drive the message forward. As a business opportunity YogaBugs has everything you could need to be a success. With 10 years franchising experience YogaBugs are the leading children’s activity franchisor. Whilst YogaBugs have franchisees making a difference across the country we are always looking for the right people to spread the message. If you would like to find out more about the YogaBugs franchise opportunity click here www.yogafranchises.co.uk

Many of our franchise owners are not yoga teachers themselves but were attracted by the nature of the business. YogaBugs has such a distinct offering that there is nothing else quite like it. It inspires children to be both physically and emotionally active. It ticks all the boxes and encourages children to think for themselves, which means ultimately they will one day be able to form their own beliefs. This can only be a good thing.

 

Educational Underclass is an unacceptable label

Every child deserves an equal chance

Every child deserves a chance

 New research from the Orwellian sounding Centre for Social Justice has stated that children from the poorest homes risk becoming an educational underclass. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) study was produced by a panel of educationalists, chaired by Sir Robin Bosher of the Harris academy federation. The report damningly states that ‘an abysmal start leaves children unready for school.’ The report goes on to demonstrate this by stating that some children arrive at school in nappies and behaving like toddlers. The Think Tank Director Christian Guy drew his conclusions from the report identifying that ”White, working-class boys are in danger of becoming an educational underclass,”

The report which is heavily critical of parents identifies broken homes and disengaged parenting as the cause of this ‘educational underclass’. The study talks of the impact of family breakdown on children and how much they can be damaged by instability in their home life. The lack of a male role model in families is also described as a factor affecting pupils’ behaviour. ”Emotional neglect” from disengaged parents is also a damaging factor for children’s development, says the study.

So lets say a big well done to the Centre for Social Justice for identifying there is a problem that school’s already knew was there. So what have they done about it. Put pressure on the government. Started campaigns targeted to inspire these parents who they are blaming? No. They have created a label. A label that now writes children off at the age of 4.

This phrase educational underclass is truly damaging. I am not saying that there are not issues that need addressing and that parents have no responsibility for ensuring their child is toilet trained, can communicate and concentrate when they start school. The report identifies that there are  700,000 children living with parents who are “dependent drinkers” and 335,000 with “dependent drug users”. This is scary and action must be taken. However, this is not the fault of the children, yet it is the children that are being socially labelled in such a negative way.

Sometimes semantics are really important. Britain historically divides itself through class. Surely the Centre for Social Justice have a responsibility to take this into consideration, and word their reports with more social sensitivity. Their phrasing of educational underclass immediately creates barriers to improvement as marks children out as being different.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “This government is taking decisive action to support disadvantaged pupils and close the unacceptable attainment gap between them and their peers. We are increasing the pupil premium to £2.5bn a year and doubling the number of disadvantaged two-year-olds eligible for free nursery places to 260,000.” I think this can only be a good thing as we cannot ever provide to much funding to our children. Yet, no amount of funding in the world can recover the damage if a child is labelled so negatively.

But this educational underclass has already been created and labelled. Sadly it is here. At YogaBugs we never write children off. We know that within just 10 weeks we can make a big impact and bring about positive change with every child. Over the course of a school year, our ‘Impact & Change’ programme would lift every child out of this disgustingly labelled educational underclass.

So Sir Robin Bosher and Christian Guy, perhaps you need to get in touch with YogaBugs because we will not allow an educational underclass.