Quote# 107632

Yoga classes do not violate students' religious rights, Californian court rules
Appeals court upholds ruling against lawsuit brought by family who claimed yoga promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity.
Yoga taught in a public school is not a gateway to Hinduism and does not violate the religious rights of students or their parents, a California appeals court has ruled.

An appeal court in San Diego upheld a lower court ruling that tossed out a family’s lawsuit that tried to block Encinitas Union school district from teaching yoga as an alternative to traditional gym classes.

“While the practice of yoga may be religious in some contexts, yoga classes as taught in the district are, as the trial court determined, ‘devoid of any religious, mystical, or spiritual trappings,’” the court wrote in a 3-0 opinion.
Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their two children had brought the lawsuit claiming yoga promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity. They were disappointed with the ruling and considering their options.

“No other court in the past 50 years has allowed public school officials to lead children in formal religious rituals like the Hindu liturgy of praying to, bowing to, and worshipping the sun god,” attorney Dean Broyles said in a statement.

Paul V Carelli IV, a lawyer for the district, said there were no rituals occurring in the classroom and no one was worshipping the sun or leading Hindu rites. The district said the practice was taught in a secular way to promote strength, flexibility and balance.

Yoga is now taught at schools across the US, but the district is believed to be the first with full-time yoga teachers at all schools.

A three-year grant from the KP Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Ashtanga yoga, provides twice-weekly, 30-minute classes to the district’s 5,600 students.

About 30 families opted out of the classes begun in 2011.

Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, theguardian.com 18 Comments [4/6/2015 3:36:00 AM]
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Mister Spak

Wait till they hear there's a Harry Potter course in school.

4/6/2015 4:14:58 AM

What'd I Do

Next on the agenda: Eliminating math as undue worship of the gods of deductive reasoning.

4/6/2015 5:13:24 AM


It's stretching and breathing. That the routine might also be used in religious practices no more makes the routine religious in itself than the fact that the Bible is a book makes reading a religious practice. Would they like to just blanketly eliminate physical education as a whole? I mean I certainly would have appreciated that when I was in school -- I fucking hated the mandatory track class. I'd ask if they'd also just like to eliminate reading as well but history shows that most of them probably would.

Damn fundies. They just can't help but claim every object and concept they see, whether for their own cult or a rival's.

4/6/2015 5:40:55 AM

Doubting Thomas

I don't see what the problem is here, since the Right has been trying to get religion into schools for years.

Oh right, not that religion.

4/6/2015 5:51:54 AM


If christianity is the 'ultimate truth', as you people tend to claim (ad infinitum, ad nauseum), then how can it be at all inhibited by Yoga or anything else?

Thou protesteth overmuch.

4/6/2015 5:55:28 AM


"They were disappointed with the ruling and considering their options"

AKA. How can we continue to be a pain in the neck. I'd love to know who's putting up the cash for this nonsense.

4/6/2015 7:18:57 AM


Are they also opposing all those sports which were part of the pagan Olympic games?

4/6/2015 8:54:44 AM


While its true Yoga has its roots in Hinduism, most yoga that's practiced in the US is secular in nature. You might get a new-age group here and there, but I think its safe to say that the school is teaching yoga for its physical benefits rather than any spiritual ideas.

4/6/2015 9:48:15 AM

Yossarian Lives

You better get signing that petition against archery; you don't want the participants to get washed into a deadly Apollo linked practice.

4/6/2015 10:04:09 AM


“No other court in the past 50 years has allowed public school officials to lead children in formal religious rituals like the Hindu liturgy of praying to, bowing to, and worshipping the sun god,” attorney Dean Broyles said in a statement.

If the school were actually doing that, the judge wouldn't have ruled that it was OK; so the attorney is full of it. He had the chance to offer evidence and he didn't. Now he wants to use the press to make a public case without rebuttal.

4/6/2015 11:40:44 AM


If your faith can be promoted, so can others. And yoga does not promote Hinduism.

4/6/2015 12:08:11 PM

Old Viking

Next the Sedlocks are going after Algebra.

4/6/2015 1:19:14 PM

Man Called True

Look, Sedlocks, just because there's a yoga stance called "Salute the Sun" (or some variant on that, depending on how you translate the name) doesn't mean that yoga practice is a form of sun worship.

Anyone else think they'd demand Wii Fit be pulled off the shelves if they thought they could get away with it?

4/6/2015 3:06:48 PM

Goomy pls

If you think yoga violates your religious liberties, wait until you see some of the creationists' proposed "science" curricula.

4/6/2015 3:23:17 PM


Good for the courts! I'm glad they basically told those holy-rollers that they're full of phlegm and should take a hike.

Also, Hatha Yoga (in the form we know of with all those poses) was actually invented by the 19th century Indian military and just sort of got sucked into Dharmic spirituality. It's like taking the Israeli military's Krav Maga and making it part of Judeo-Christian religious practice.

There are many kinds of Yoga practices that are indeed ancient & spiritual and perhaps even some basic, genuine, ancient Hindu Hatha Yoga postures but "Hatha Yoga Exercise" as we know it today was basically an exercise regimen of the Indian military. One may as well blame The British Empire of old for modern-day Hatha Yoga than Hinduism.

If one's faith is so weak that they see an exercise regimen from another culture as a danger to their faith then their faith wasn't "all that" to begin with.

IMHO, Jesus was a yogi par-excellence....a holy man in the Spirit & Power of Vishnu. Jesus would think this family is full of crap.

4/6/2015 9:26:56 PM


What about Greco-Roman wrestling? Does it promote Zeus/Jupiter worship? Or Lacrosse, after all it was invented by these heathen Native Americans.

4/7/2015 1:05:00 AM


And yet, they have no problem appropriating holidays from other religions, and then making them the most important holidays of their religion. One of the many problems of this is that they try to get rid of halloween because it's a ''Pagan Holiday'', despite taking pagan holidays and making them the most important ones of their religion. Also, I don't fucking care what it came from, it's just bending your body. It's not going to offend your damn religion! Unless your religion is sitting-in-a-chair-being-lazy-and-not-wanting-to-stretch-ianity, in which case it probably will.

4/7/2015 5:43:22 AM

The Yoga is just stretches and is playing a secular role. It is not inhibiting Christianity

7/29/2017 7:03:49 AM

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