Vol. 17, No. 17 A Newspaper of General Circulation April 25, 2017
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Kansas Catholic college making changes to yoga classes
A Catholic college in northeast Kansas plans to rename a yoga classes and change the content to ensure the class focuses only on physical exercise and not spiritual or cultural elements.  
Benedictine College in Atchison plans to rename its yoga classes in its physical education division to Lifestyle Fitness, which will stress stretching and breathing exercises. The change will take place in the fall in response to concerns from students, alumni and faculty.  
``We'll continue the classes so they're still offering the physical challenges and benefits of yoga, but we're changing the name in the catalog so it's a class without spiritually and culturally sensitive content,'' said college spokesman Steve Johnson. ``The content was never religious in nature, but some people took it that way, I guess. That's where the confusion came.''  
The Rev. John Riley, chancellor for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, said in an email that yoga is more than just exercises, breathing and meditation.  
``It is a mind and body practice developed under Hinduism, the goal of which is spiritual purification that will lead to a higher level of understanding and eventually union with the divine,'' Riley said. ``It is for these reasons that Catholics are alerted to the dangers of the practice of yoga and are encouraged to look for other exercise alternatives that do not incorporate a spiritual dimension.''  
Riley recommended that Catholics seeking a spiritual alternative to yoga should try something like Pietra Fitness, which incorporates Christian prayer and meditation with stretching and strengthening.  
The college's student newspaper, The Circuit, first reported the college's decision to change the classes. ľAP  
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