The L.A. Times reports:
Dean Broyles, president and attorney for the Escondido-based National Center for Law and Policy, had filed a lawsuit on behalf of a couple with two children in the [Encinitas Union School District]. The suit sought to have the program ousted as a violation of state law prohibiting the teaching of religion in public schools….
Students attend two 30-minute yoga sessions each week. The yoga program has been supported by a $533,000 grant from a local studio that teaches Ashtanga yoga.
The studio is linked to the Jois Foundation, supported by hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II and his wife, Sonia, who were followers of yoga teacher Krishna Pattabhi Jois. Jois, whose devotees included Madonna and Sting, stayed briefly in Encinitas.
Encinitas schools Supt. Tim Baird has said that the program is worthwhile in teaching healthy exercise and eating habits. He said he hopes that teaching yoga to students will decrease instances of fighting and bullying….
Here’s the judge’s reasoning from a minute order in Sedlock v. Baird, No. 37-2013-00035910-CU-MC-CTL (San Diego County Super. Ct. July 1, 2013):
The court states the issue is the first amendment and no other things. The court states that its question is “Is yoga a religious activity?” The court states that the district says it is not and the court needs to make a determination if it is or is not.
The court reads excerpts from case law and Dr. Brown’s testimony. The court determines yoga is religious. The court then needs to determine if EUSD (Encinitas Unified School District) yoga is to be taught in the school district.
The court states that the seminal case is the Lemon case. The court states that the “Lemon Test” is a three pronged test. The first prong is to determine whether