‘This will be an interesting case’: Yoga trial opens

The trial into whether the Jois Yoga-backed children’s exercise courses in the Encinitas Union School District started on Monday, and according to the U-T San Diego, it did so with an unusual question:

“What is religion?” asked San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer, who is overseeing the proceedings. He also began the day by saying “this will be an interesting case.”

No answer to that little brain teaser came during day one.

Here’s what seems to have been the key happenings:

In his opening statement, Broyles said the early version of the district’s program referred specifically to Ashtanga yoga, a style promoted by the foundation. He read from a foundation brochure that said this method of yoga can “lead to great awareness of our spiritual potential.” He also described children in the program sitting cross-legged in a lotus position, with their arms outstretched, fingers encircled and pinkies extended in what he described as a prayer pose.

Attorney David Peck, who has joined the case on behalf of parents in the group Yoga for Encinitas Students, said in his opening statement that there may have been “missteps” when the curriculum was introduced but what matters now is that all religious references have been removed.

I think we’ve suggested the “missteps” issue early on when this story first started. (A few people, I know, would argue that Jois Yoga has made some other blunders along the way.)

Encinitas’ superintendent also picked up the theme highlighted heading into the opening day of the trial: what they are offering is more exercise program than yoga. It should be called “EUSD Yoga,” he said.

The trial is scheduled to continue on Tuesday.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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