Improving flexibility and reducing the risk of injury are an insidious plot to undermine Christianity, according to one New Mexico legislator who reportedly demanded to know whether "stretching on a mat to warm up before physical exercise constitute yoga" in public schools.
Republican state Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, doing his best to channel Virginia Republican and anti-yoga crusader E.W. Jackson, posed the question at a recent legislative committee meeting. One physical education teacher testified that "she refers to her exercises as 'stretching or mat work' rather than yoga," and that "religion is not discussed or even mentioned in class. The only reason for the exercises is to increase flexibility and help maintain good health."
But that wasn't good enough for Baldonado, who reportedly warned that "yoga is linked to Eastern religions, he said, specifically Buddhism and Hinduism," and therefore, stretching before P.E. "could be seen as a gateway to Eastern religion."