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San Diego judge rules yoga classes at public schools can continue

July 1, 2013 at 6:38 PM   |   Comments

SAN DIEGO, July 1 (UPI) -- A San Diego Superior Court judge Monday ruled yoga instruction at the Encinitas Union School District is not inherently religious in nature and can continue.

After lengthy closing statements in the suit filed by some parents who said the classes were religious and therefore unconstitutional, Judge John Meyer ruled in favor of the school district, saying all religious aspects of the practice had been successfully stripped, U-T San Diego reported.

The K.P. Jois Foundation last year provided a $533,000 grant to the district to cover the cost of adding yoga to its physical education curriculum.

Plaintiffs' attorney Dean Broyles spent 5 hours Tuesday summarizing his case, calling the program "a horrible precedent for other religious organizations to buy influence."

He added the foundation has "transparently religious goals," noting the school program is based on Ashtanga yoga, which he described as the most religious form of yoga.

Defense attorneys have said the yoga exercises are nothing more than stretching and breathing.

Meyer, who told the court in April he is a practitioner of yoga, questioned whether Broyles' remarks were based on testimony in the case, saying, "There's not one witness [from the school] who said that."

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