Barack Obama White House Embraces Yoga Amid Conservative Contortions


WASHINGTON, U.S., April 1, 2013 (Economic Times): The White House has wholeheartedly embraced Yoga as a worthy physical activity at a time some schools in America are railing against the ancient Indian practice, saying it promotes Hinduism.

The White House announced last week that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will include a yoga garden for children and their parents who attend the traditional Easter Egg Roll festivities on Monday. “Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors,” the White House exhorted thousands of workaday Americans parents and their kids from across the country who will troop into the Presidential lawns, reminding participants that the event’s theme is “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!”

It is not the first time that Obama’s residence has hosted a yoga garden for Easter, but this year’s event is significant because of an ongoing lawsuit in California challenging the teaching of yoga in schools. At the heart of the case is the argument by some parents that yoga is inherently religious, a contention most Americans, including the judge, seem to disagree with. Judge Meyer is reported to be a practitioner of Bikram Yoga, likening it to simple stretching exercises.

The White House meanwhile is stretching every muscle and sinew to get Americans, including children, to get more concerned about the decline in the nation’s overall well-being and its soaring healthcare bill. The drive is led by Michelle Obama, a health and fitness advocate, and herself a yoga enthusiast.

“Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many lines of religion and cultures,” the White House said without any reference to the ongoing controversies and lawsuit. “Every day, millions of people practice yoga to improve their health and overall well-being. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take part in PALA (Presidential Active Lifestyle Award), so show your support for yoga and answer the challenge.”

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