Opponents testify in Encinitas yoga trial; changes to Mysore schedule again

The trial of the Encinitas schools yoga program restarted Monday with testimony from parents, including those who brought the suit and believe that the program is violating the First Amendment.

First-line coverage from San Diego TV:

District officials said before the program started, instructors removed images of yoga Sanskrit and changed the names of poses.

But Monday plaintiffs argued that this wasn’t the case.

“We expressed our concern again after hearing about our 7-year-old daughter at class talking about Sanskrit names for her limbs that she was taught in school,” said Stephen.

He also said he became worried after reading an article that suggested yoga may not be safe for children. His wife, Jennifer, said the yoga program went against the first and second commandment of the Bible.

During cross examination, the plaintiffs revealed that their daughter has never participated in a yoga class at the school, instead she learned Sanskrit in art class, not yoga.

After testimony, the judge said he had a “difficult call to make.”

That sounds like a bit of a hole in the opponents’ argument. We’ll see if there is more clarity from additional coverage. Closing arguments are expected Tuesday. As if you need reminding, the Jois Foundation backed the program and helped develop it.

On a separate front, the first month of Sharath’s teaching in Mysore is already booked. From the Mysore site:

Sharath’s class is now full for OCTOBER 2013. We will not accept any more registration forms for that month. Kindly register from November 6th onward.

There are some other changes to the studies. They aren’t going to force everyone to start on the 6th of every month:

Online registration for his class is now open, but kindly submit this form 2-4 months in advance of your arrival date. Students will not be allowed to practice in the shala if their form is received within 2 months (60 days). Forms received beyond 4 months will also not be accepted.

We will resume rolling admissions, instead of month-long batches. This means that students may start any day of the month. However, students coming to practice with Sharath are expected to stay for a minimum of 1 month and for not longer than 3 months of study per trip. There will be no exceptions to this rule.

Those bolds are theirs, by the way.

Update: A second bit of coverage focuses on a school principal’s reaction to the yoga classes:

An elementary school principal in the Encinitas Union School District testified Monday that she saw no religious overtones in yoga classes taught on her campus.

Carrie Brown of El Camino Creek Elementary School said she saw only “stretching and breathing” when she observed the yoga class, over which a couple has sued the district because of its alleged religious influences.

That’ll be all the updates until Tuesday morning, our time on the West Coast.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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