ENCINITAS — At least one group is celebrating the Encinitas Union School District’s recent decision to continue funding its yoga program — Hindus.
Calling it a step in the positive direction, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada last week, applauded EUSD Trustees for coming forward and providing an opportunity for students to avail the multiple benefits yoga offered.
The EUSD school board on June 21 voted 4-1 on a compromise measure to spend $416,000 on the district’s yoga program, and that each of the district’s nine schools will have to have at least one day of yoga.
The vote, includes $384,000 to help pay for enrichment teachers at the schools, which currently are paid for through donations and fundraising by parent groups.
The district aimed to strike a compromise with parents after they loudly criticized an initial budget proposal to pay $800,000 to keep the district’s yoga program alive.
The Sonima Foundation had previously paid for the first four years of the district’s yoga program, awarding the district more than $4 million in grant funds over that time before telling district officials this year that it would no longer fund the program.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Gov. Jerry Brown, state Board of Education President Michael Kirst and state school Superintendent Tom Torlakson to work towards formally introducing yoga as a part of curriculum in all the public schools of the state.
Zed pointed out that yoga, which he called “a living fossil,” was a mental and physical discipline that has been around more than 4,000 years.