You’d think that anything that helps a person to destress, zone out and feel less anxious would be a good thing but according to the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, that is not the case.
In a letter to the staff of schools across the country, Bishop Cullinan outlines his fears regarding the practice and teaching of yoga and mindfulness in schools.
Said to my wife: “The Bishop of Waterford sent a letter to schools warning about yoga and mindfulness”. Genuinely puzzled she asked: “What? Recently or a hundred years ago?” https://t.co/DkAAnRvLrm
— John Purcell (@esuohedarap) October 18, 2019
Warning that “yoga is not of Christian origin” and is therefore not a suitable endeavour for children in a parish school, the Bishop goes on to quote a homily by Pope Francis.
Claiming that he has been asked by “several people” to say a word on yoga and mindfulness, he ponders whether they will “bring us closer to Christ or replace Him?”
The letter concludes with Bishop Cullinan encouraging the public to pray the rosary and to “help the children to spend time with Jesus in adoration”.
Twitter had a lot to say in response to the Bishop's musings:
I totally disagree with this bishop. He obviously has not reaped the benefits of a yoga or mindfulness practise. Maybe he should try it before he dictates what the schools of Co Waterford offer their students. There are many ways to ‘open your heart’. #yoga #Mindfulness
— Maria FitzGerald (@mariaebelle) October 18, 2019
As a student teacher who has seen 1st hand how effective mindfulness & yoga can be in a classroom,I really hate this article! In an age where anxiety is becoming more prevalent in children’s lives it really is time for an updated P.S curriculum https://t.co/NWgSvc3xtT
— Niamh✨ (@neevcost_) October 18, 2019
The Bishop is so far off the mark here! There is huge value in both yoga and mindfulness in helping people maintain physical and mental wellness! https://t.co/PHuIxWcxw2
— Brian J. Higgins (@brianjhiggins) October 18, 2019
My three year old loves yoga at her pre school. Nothing cuter than her showing us her moves.
Nothing to do with God, everything to do with a healthy body and mind.
— Laura Durcan (@Rheum2improve) October 18, 2019
Sounds like the makings of an elaborate Father Ted plot to me.