Breathe deeply: Yoga ready to go | AspenTimes.com

Breathe deeply: Yoga ready to go

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Supporters of the recently approved Aspen Elementary yoga program hope to have a revised curriculum completed and classes ready to go as early as next week.

Betsy Fifield, speaking for yoga program sponsors at the Aspen Center for New Medicine, said Tuesday that a small group is working “24-7” to clear the Yoga Ed. curriculum of the references that sparked a local controversy. The group, which includes the creators of the California-based Yoga. Ed., are on the lookout for material that some Aspen parents viewed as too religious for the classroom.

“I’m sure we can make modifications to the Yoga Ed. program that will satisfy the administration within a week’s time. We’ve already begun making modifications to the program,” Fifield said. “We’re estimating that we’ll have it in the proper hands by next Monday.”

The group will be editing questionable material, shortening the lengthy curriculum guide, and including physical education standards set by the state in their revisions.

Fifield reported that her editing group is “looking at the language” that might need rewriting to ease parental concerns.

“We’re taking out anything that can be misconstrued as religious. … We don’t want any confusion about the vocabulary,” she said. “We’re just editing the material in general so it’s shorter and more workable for teachers. We realized through the process that the book was two inches thick and too big. Also, we’re reorganizing it so it’s more user friendly.”

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The editing process is a top priority for the Aspen Center for New Medicine, Fifield said, as the group hopes to complete a review process set by the Aspen School Board Monday night. In a 3-1 vote ? Vice President Jill Uris abstained ? school board members approved Yoga Ed. for Aspen Elementary, as long as school district attorney Chris Gdowski gives it his legal OK.

The board and elementary administrators did not discuss how quickly the curriculum could clear the review process. However, Fifield reported that, assuming Gdowski gives the district the thumbs up early next week, Yoga Ed. could be introduced to the elementary school’s first through fourth grades within days.

Teachers who have shown interest in the program have already received training, and local yoga instructors who hope to assist with the program are on alert, Fifield said.

“The teachers are ready, so we could get started as early as Wednesday,” she said.

[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is jenniferd@aspentimes.com]