Judge Ruling If Yoga Is Tied To Religious Practice, Allowed In Public Schools

Remember my mention of conflict over secular yoga in the classroom? While I can’t speak to whether or not the yoga used with these students has religious roots, I can identify with the observation by teachers that students were calmer and using breathing exercises on their own during tests. Regardless of whether people support the use of yoga when identified as yoga, there is a clear need for quiet reflection, stillness, stretching, and breathing in the classroom. Kindergarteners should not report feeling stressed. Neither should the fourth and fifth graders in my room. Obviously this points to even larger systematic concerns in how we’re teaching our kids in high-pressure environments, but at least the non-religious elements of yoga help to alleviate some of the stress.

CBS13 | CBS Sacramento

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge is expected to issue a ruling Monday on whether yoga is a religious practice that shouldn’t be allowed to be taught in public schools.

An attorney representing a family bent out of shape over the public school program in the beach city of Encinitas filed a lawsuit in February to stop the district-wide classes. In the lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court, attorney Dean Broyles argued that the twice weekly, 30-minute classes are inherently religious, in violation of the separation between church and state.

Judge John S. Meyer is expected to issue his ruling in the case that went to trial.

The Encinitas Union School District is believed to be the first in the country to have full-time yoga teachers at every one of its schools. The lessons are funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that…

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2 thoughts on “Judge Ruling If Yoga Is Tied To Religious Practice, Allowed In Public Schools

  1. jeffo says:

    I don’t practice yoga, I know almost nothing about it, and I also don’t know how it’s being presented in this setting. I suspect, however, these people (the plaintiffs) are knee-jerking to what they *think* it is, rather than what it actually is.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Agreed. It sounds like the school system went out of their way to rename poses, (lotus became criss cross apple sauce…), but I’m sure there might have been some minor remnants of yoga’s other roots left behind. Today the court ruled it wasn’t being taught in a religious manner, good news for me even if I keep calling it something else…

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