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Yoga Instructor Weighs In On Religious Protests

A school-sanctioned children's yoga class in the San Diego area was in the headlines recently (Yoga Class Draws a Religious Protest) because of protests by a small but vocal group of parents who likened the classes to religious indoctrination. 

Shannon Cole, owner of Shannon's Yoga & Fitness in Algoma, says she feels the protests are misguided.

Cole says she is starting to offer kids-only classes for ages 5 through 12 and says last week they talked about what makes a good friend.

"And we had a little story about one of the Hindu characters -- because they are characters -- from the Hindu mythology -- because it is mythology -- and used that as something that the kids could relate to on being a good friend," she says.

Cole says she thinks much of the fervor is borne out of fear and not knowing what yoga is really about.

Cole says yoga has its roots in the East but has been modified to teach in the West.

"In the West we focus a lot more on the postures, a lot more on the stretching aspect of it," says Cole. "But really it's about being a good person -- how to take care of yourself and how to appreciate others."


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