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Parents In An Uproar Over Yoga Being Taught in Public Schools

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Once again, parents are kicking up a fuss over keeping any sort of religious material out of their schools. But this time, it’s not Christianity being attacked (for once).

Parents are threatening to sue a California school district for offering yoga lessons in elementary schools. According to attorneys, the parents are concerned that the yoga classes might be indoctrinating their children into a Hindu religion.

A group of parents who say that yoga lessons being taught in the Encinitas Union School District are a form of religious indoctrination are considering legal action against the district if the classes don’t stop, an attorney for the group said.

In an Oct. 12 email sent to Superintendent Tim Baird, attorney Dean Broyles, called the program unconstitutional and warned that he may initiate “a legal course of action” if the district doesn’t end it.

Broyles declined last week to discuss what the group has in mind, but said it’s considering all legal options.

“There’s a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices,” Broyles said.

Students at half of the Encinitas district’s nine schools started the yoga program last month, and the other campuses will get the classes beginning in January. The effort is being paid for with a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes Ashtanga yoga across the world.

The school district insists that they have removed the religious components from the yoga classes, but a number of parents have already pulled their children from the yoga class.

I remember taking yoga in college, and I can’t remember there being any sort of religious overtone, Hindu or otherwise. All I saw was a great way to de-stress and work on my flexibility at the same time.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with teaching yoga to kids, and these parents who are freaking out over their kids supposedly being brainwashed into religion need to relax. Might I suggest trying out some yoga yourselves?

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