Dear Editor:

In response to a recent letter about yoga in schools: While there is much wrong with the statements made by the concerned citizen about yoga in general and the optional class offered to an after school club, it would not be beneficial to combat each of their statements here, nor would it likely sway their obviously closed mindset on the matter.

Instead, I invite this citizen to speak directly to those they so publicly choose to ridicule and harm with their words. It is highly irresponsible to make uninformed statements, as this citizen has, without allowing those being directly affected to respond. I encourage you to ask questions about topics you have little to no knowledge of and educate yourself with modern research about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness — as opposed to making assumptions, publicly accusing and ostracizing the yoga community.

Every single time I teach yoga and mindfulness to kids, including the one you spoke of in your letter, my focus is not on poses or breath work, but on fostering compassion, kindness, empathy and joy in young people so that they can go out and spread it into this world — without judgement. I encourage them to keep their minds open because they just might learn something!

I invite this citizen to ask anyone who practices yoga what they get from it and I promise you it won’t be “occult transformation” or “spiritual deception”...it will be love, peace, acceptance and gratitude. Perhaps they can share some of that with you.

Jamie Sparks

Sedalia

Owner & Instructor at The Breathing Room

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