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Yoga not religious and can be taught in school, judge rules

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Yoga is not necessarily religious, and teaching it in schools does not violate laws separating church and state, a Superior Court judge in California ruled.

Judge John Meyer issued the ruling in response to Encinitas Union School District parents who filed a lawsuit to put a halt to yoga class in school, according to the Associated Press. Yoga, the parents argued, is an ancient practice based on religious teachings in India.

The judge, however, disagreed. He said yoga can be taught as an exercise class on strength, flexibility and balance.

In an explanation that lasted almost two hours, the judge said that yoga didn't necessary have to be taught as a religion and that the school district had been careful to take out any references that could be construed as religious. For instance, instead of referring to the lotus position, the school told students to try "crisscross applesauce."

On top of that, the judge said the parents' concerns were based on Internet research of yoga — and such "trial by Wikipedia" was contrary to the court's sense.

An attorney for the parents says he will likely appeal, Associated Press reported.

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