A Family Is Suing a California School District Over Its Yoga Program, Citing That the Classes Are Inherently Religious and in Violation of Separation Between Church and State. Do You Agree?

ABC News U.S. 2013/02/21 23:00:00
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What was intended as a fun addition to physical education in a California school district has sparked controversy among parents who feel Ashtanga yoga infringes on their religious beliefs.

The National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP) is representing a family that is suing the Encinitas Union School District for "civil rights violations resulting from its inherently and pervasively religious Ashtanga yoga program."

"If you research yoga and Hinduism, most people would say Hinduism is yoga and yoga is Hinduism," Dean Broyles, an attorney representing the family, told ABC News. "It's a situation where the state is endorsing religious beliefs and practices, which is forbidden under California and federal law."

news situation endorsing religious beliefs practices forbidden california federal law

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/US/yoga-lawsuit-encinitas-un...

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  • kir 2013/02/22 22:43:28
    It really depends on how it's practiced. Hatha yoga is a physical practice. It's original purpose was to prepare the body so that one can then continue on to the spiritual aspects of yoga. However taking Hatha Yoga as simply physical practices with immense health benefits is easy.

    The idiot families that are suing are taking away from their children one of the most powerful "medicines" in the world because of their own close-mindedness.

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  • Brad1064 2013/03/07 12:10:13
    I voted Yes, but could have just as easily voted No. There needs to be an Undecided option for those apparently few of us not content to just express some predisposed "reflex". Though I have a predisposition, based partially on my own admittedly incomplete awareness of the topic, to discount the value/validity of such things as Eastern Religion/New Ageism/Post Modern Philosophy/Alternative Health Approaches, and such, I also want to fill the gaps in my awareness rather than committing to some final kind of opinion/position. No, I will never embrace any of the above for myself. But, for example, my suspicions regarding stuff like Yoga, (the exercise part of it I mean) mainly serving as an easy way to recruit more western interest in Yoga the religion, I want to find out what I need to learn in order to bring it all into tighter focus, so that I may factually, either, confirm my hunch or dispel it.
  • codie.paul 2013/03/06 18:29:26
    Ok that has to be one of the stupidest things i have ever heard. Yoga is not religious. Its a workout. Well not by my definition. But apparently it is. And only that. Why would anyone in their right mind think otherwise? Makes no sense.
  • Ramona Tucci 2013/03/04 17:26:36
    Ramona Tucci
    Socity it self is founded on religion.
  • Brad1064 Ramona ... 2013/03/07 13:05:43
    Yes, this is quite true. But society has also been enslaved by religion. And I say that as someone who has a faith he believes in (but without naming or describing my faith here) I will share that in my own faith oriented world view, most of what is called religion in the world has long been, and still is erroneous gobbledygook. Oh yes there are golden threads of goodness and pearls wisdom and of truth somewhere mixed in there to be sure. But -to borrow an expression that has faded in use in recent decades- (paraphrased) the mixing of truth and error has only the effect of strengthening the influence of the error, while weakening that of the truth. Therefore...
  • coolguy 2013/03/03 17:55:47
    Ahh yes californa where family's are killed because of there being no guns.where games will be banned because of retarded people who buy these games for their Kids.what I am saying,can californa please be a different country?where there is more crime than chicago
  • roxie 2013/03/03 01:55:31
    Sue Happy Bigots!
  • ☆stillthe12c☆ 2013/03/02 23:02:13
    It really depends on how you look at it and how it is being presented. If I never tell you that it is yoga it is just exercise as long as I do not get into the philosophy behind it..
  • dbrodzik 2013/03/02 21:08:18
    This is absurd. Yoga is a great form of exercise.
  • hajkorten dbrodzik 2013/03/03 23:29:28
  • T A 2013/03/01 06:34:07
    T A
    I agree that the families should be able to decide for themselves if they wish their children to participate. I disagree that physical movement is by itself religious indoctrination. I don't care if the school has it or not. I am extremely bothered that those parents that don't want it must pay for it anyway, as must all other people living in the district (and state...and country (though most of that is unemployment checks in the form of make work for bureaucrats).

    I am rather curious about the statement in the background that "Yoga cultivates character" though. I can only read one of the 8.5x11's on that board and it said "caring". Stretching doesn't promote caring.
  • hajkorten 2013/02/28 23:51:11
  • Rits 2013/02/28 20:02:38
    Thats should not be considered religious
  • hajkorten Rits 2013/03/01 00:04:40
  • bt sedlock 2013/02/28 19:53:54
    bt sedlock
    Yoga doesn't have to be religious.
  • hajkorten bt sedlock 2013/02/28 23:58:45
  • bt sedlock hajkorten 2013/03/05 20:32:34
    bt sedlock
    So you believe that it's alright for yoga programs to be taught in publice school.
  • Brad1064 bt sedlock 2013/03/04 07:43:43
    Well that is now a legal matter to be challenged/defended in a California court. But I agree... It's like just going to church doesn't have to be religious. And I don't mean that with any sarcasm. It's true, think about it. But the question still stands, is there a breach of the principle, of separation of church and state, occurring in instances of Yoga is being taught in state run schools? If it truly is only, as I've heard it characterized, "Yoga with the religion taken out of it", then I have to ask, is it okay then to teach any "ism" in public schools, ostensibly as long as "the religion has been taken out of it" ? It's like, what does that even mean? I know you didn't say that yourself, but I hear this kind of statement more than occasionally in the fashionable support of incorporating simplified Yoga ideas and beliefs into mainstream mental health therapies.
  • bt sedlock Brad1064 2013/03/05 20:30:37
    bt sedlock
  • bt sedlock Brad1064 2013/03/05 20:33:49
    bt sedlock
    I don't see the problem with this.
  • Opal Marie 2013/02/28 17:17:23
    Opal Marie
    wow this is funny! call it pilates
  • Brad1064 Opal Marie 2013/03/04 08:04:52
    I've done Pilates. I realize the term comes from Yoga. But there's nothing distinctly Yogic about doing these. They are, in non-fashionista terminology, really just isotonic exercises. So however did we come to refer to them as, pilates? It has something to do with the 1960s counter culture movement coinciding nicely with the enduring rise, just beginning then, of consumer interest in personal fitness.
  • Fashionable60s 2013/02/28 04:07:17
    Not anymore than a tai chi, judo, tai kwon do and other Asian-origin exercises. Much ado about nothing.
  • bt sedlock Fashion... 2013/02/28 19:59:59
    bt sedlock
    Tai kwon do is more martial arts than religion. Yoga is more of a peaceful relaxation technique.
  • Fashion... bt sedlock 2013/02/28 23:54:31 (edited)
    Agreed but someone may believe that all Asian origins forms of exercise could be a cult or religious in nature. A demagogue will start something out of nothing. It is that kind of an atmosphere right now, right vs. left, libs vs. conservatives, atheists vs. religions, black vs. white. As to yoga is a form of a religion? I am a yogini for the past 20 years or so, nothing could be further from the truth.
  • bt sedlock Fashion... 2013/03/05 20:34:56
    bt sedlock
    You're not religious?
  • Fashion... bt sedlock 2013/03/06 00:04:00 (edited)
    I am extremely spiritual and religious. Besides keeping myself limber and fit, yoga also helps center myself when I am tense or upset. The breathing exercises, i.e., kapalabathi is very useful in lowering my blood pressure.
  • bt sedlock Fashion... 2013/04/03 04:12:05
    bt sedlock
    Good for you. But what's kapalabathi?
  • Fashion... bt sedlock 2013/04/03 04:13:42
    It is called bellow breaths. Inhale and exhale noisily through your nose (like a bellow) for about five minutes. It would lower your blood pressure.
  • Cynthia Wolf 2013/02/28 03:50:44 (edited)
    Cynthia Wolf
    Ignorance!! Yoga is a fantastic exercise. I substitute a "thank you, Jesus" for "namaste". I am confused by the words & no one should have to say them unless they are full translated and areligious. But the centering exercises both mind & body wonderfully!!
  • ur XLNC-PWCM 2013/02/28 03:11:12
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    Yoga is EXERCISE.....albeit, low impact, but exercise for the body and the soul. Religious....look at its origins. Buddhism sprang up as an off-shoot of Hinduism. Hinduism has atheists, deists, monotheists, polytheists. It's live and let live. It's organized chaos and it works!
  • Jaime 2013/02/28 01:54:33
    Yoga may have originally been based on religious beliefs but for some it's just a daily practice for good health. I believe we don't have school on Sundays because of original religious beliefs. Perhaps we should start the school week on Sundays rather than Mondays. OH WAIT!... perhaps in schools we should start calling our days of the week something else since those words are originally based on religious beliefs as well.
  • Joachim 2013/02/28 01:46:05
    I would like to answer "Maybe" or "Undecided," but that option isn't available. There's not a lot of information given here or in the articles I've been able to find on the lawsuit, but if the school is teaching Ashtanga yoga, the information I've been able to find on that suggests that it probably is a religious practice.




    religious practice httpwww ashtangayoga info httpwww ashtangayoga info httpkpjoisfoundation org
  • Brad1064 Joachim 2013/03/04 08:18:51
    A previous article on this issue stated that students in the Yoga classes were being instructed, "to say thank you to the sun for giving us life". Now I'm sure some people have ongoing conversations with the sun, and that's their business. But I can understand how some parents would be concerned if this is in fact just a sample of the kind of Yoga being taught their children in the public school system.
  • Steamtrain 2013/02/28 01:43:30
    They could have called it by another name and no one would have noticed.
  • Dawn 2013/02/27 22:58:08
    Yoga is healthy. If the school is doing it for that reason and NOT for religion, then they're fine.
    Physiological benefits: blood pressure decreases, cardiovascular efficiency increases, endocrine function normalizes, excretory functions improve, joint range of motion increases, dexterity skills & reaction time improve, posture & sleep improves, and musculoskeletal flexibility & joint range of motion increase.
    Psychological Benefits: anxiety & depression & hostility decreases, concentration improves, it improves your mood, attention, concentration, and memory.
  • WGN 2013/02/27 21:06:37
    Yoga had its origins in religion, but it has no religious dogma these days.

    The parents are full of the usual religious BS.
  • bt sedlock WGN 2013/02/28 20:05:06
    bt sedlock
    This family is stupid and bigoted.
  • WGN bt sedlock 2013/02/28 23:06:51
    It would seem so, not to mention ignorant of exactly what "yoga" means in this country!
  • bt sedlock WGN 2013/03/05 20:35:59
    bt sedlock
    stupid and bigoted and yet I'm very conservative and philosophical beliefs.
  • WGN bt sedlock 2013/03/05 21:08:34 (edited)
    So what, that does not mean that you know which end is up!
    Nor that you can write in a complete sentence!
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