Encinitas yoga trial: Case on hiatus until June without resolution

So much for any blockbuster decision.

The trial in the lawsuit to stop the Encinitas Union School District from teaching a Jois Foundation-backed yoga course to students concluded Wednesday without concluding. Both sides had been promised it would go just two or three days, and when those three days were up without a resolution, the trial got put on hiatus until at least June, according to reports.

As we posted earlier, teacher Jennifer Brown testified on Wednesday, and she even demonstrated a few poses. (Our post links to video of that.)

Both the U-T San Diego has stories (here and here) as does the Coast News, right here.

Both sides plan to call additional witnesses when the trial resumes (with the district finally getting its chance), so expect another two or three days when things get going again.

The focus on Wednesday was Jennifer Brown (as opposed to the opponent’s main witness, religious studies professor Candy Brown, no relation), who teaches in the program. Keep in mind, she was subpoenaed by the program opponents; she wasn’t there as a witness for the district. (She may come back as one, we’ll see.) Here is what the U-T reports:

While acknowledging that she has read to students part of the book “Myths of the Asanas,” which some have described as a religious text, Brown said it’s more of a collection of stories on the origin of yoga poses. She also said she leaves out the word “God” whenever it appears because she doesn’t think it’s appropriate for a classroom.

The Coast probably has the more thorough coverage today, although I am sure a few folks will roll their eyes at this sentence: “She added that she doesn’t worship Hinduism.” But other than that:

Not long after, Broyles caused a stir in the courtroom by asking Brown to exhibit a series of poses. Upon returning to the witness stand, Broyles inquired whether the series references Hinduism. Brown answered that the order of the sequence is the best way to “warm up the body.” As taught, the series doesn’t have any spiritual or religious significance.

Brown noted one fourth grader expressed her mom’s concerns with the program.

“She shared with me that her mom asked if we were going to be talking about the Buddha,” Brown said.

“I assured her — no, we’re not going to be talking the Buddha,” Brown said. “We’re going to breathe; we’re going to move; we’re going to relax.”

If I get a chance later today, I’ll try to track down court records and determine who, exactly, might be on the witness list — as some have asked. I’m not 100% sure it will be the same folks who filed briefs.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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