Capitol Alert

Yoga in every California school? Don’t hold your breath

Members of the Yoga Seed Collective at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.
Members of the Yoga Seed Collective at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. rbenton@sacbee.com

Reading, Writing and … Reclining Hero Pose?

Forget dodgeball. Yoga will remain part of the curriculum for school kids near San Diego, with the Encinitas Union School District voting this week to approve a health and wellness program that includes at least one day per week of yoga instruction. The vote extends a program had been funded with grant money.

A Q&A on the district’s website touts upsides that include “beneficial effects on cognition,” like augmented attention and memory, “decreased anger” and “improved resilience.”

Some parents expressed unhappiness at where the money was going, per local news reports, but a decidedly more positive take came from Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed.

In a statement, Zed urged Gov. Jerry Brown and state education officials to follow the Encinitas example and incorporate yoga into the curriculum in all California public schools.

It doesn’t look like he’ll have much luck there. A spokesman for the California Department of Education noted it was a decision for local school districts.

Brown has also embraced autonomy for schools, regularly speaking about the “principle of subsidiarity” as he pushed a plan to overhaul education financing. Not that he has anything against Eastern practices. As mayor of Oakland, he established a “We the People” center offering yoga and tai chi.

Dianna Welsh of Solfire Yoga in Sacramento on Aug. 18, 2015, demonstrates three poses you can do to stretch out while on a road trip. Researchers find long road trips can help preserve mental well-being. A San Diego school district is teaching yog

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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