KATHMANDU, NEPAL, March 16, 2020 (NY Times): Yoga will soon be more than an extracurricular activity in Nepal. Next month, when the new academic term begins, this small Himalayan country will become the first in the world to make it a required subject nationwide. Hundreds of thousands of elementary and junior high students will enroll in a new, weekly yoga course. Along with math, science, the Nepali language and English, the revised curriculum will teach students about the history of yogic thought, along with lessons on Ayurveda and naturopathy, a kind of alternative medicine that promotes self-healing. “Yoga is our ancient science,” Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, Nepal’s education minister, said in an interview. “We want students to learn it, and we think this is the right time.”

School yoga programs have caught on around the world. In the United States, hundreds of public schools allot time for students to practice deep-breathing techniques and stress reduction exercises. In India some colleges and government schools already require students to take such courses, though it is not a national policy. Nepal’s Muslim activists said they would protest the mandatory yoga course if students were required to do the sun salutation, a sequence of 12 poses dedicated to the Hindu God Surya, which government officials said was part of the new curriculum. And school administrators said they were still trying to figure out how the course would work in practice. Nepali officials noted that only students in grades four through eight would be required to take the yoga class, and they said its focus was on promoting an active lifestyle. Older students can take the course as an elective.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/world/asia/nepal-yoga.html