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Downward dogma? California judge weighs whether yoga is a religion

Is yoga a religion?

That's what a California judge must decide as a lawsuit regarding teaching yoga in public schools goes to trial.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of parents Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, who contend that yoga is religious in nature and that opting out of the program in public schools would cost their children time that should be devoted to physical education, reports.

Ashtanga yoga is currently offered in place of physical education in the Encinitas County school district.

"If you asked me what's the most religious form of yoga, I would pick Ashtanga as my No. 1," expert witness Dr. Candy Brown testified.

Brown testified she believes there's a conspiracy at work to trick students into a spiritual practice through yoga, reports.

The yoga classes began after the KP Jois Foundations gave the school district $500,000 to fund the health and wellness program. The foundation says its curriculum "uses the techniques of yoga, meditation and proper nutrition to create a positive lifestyle change" for students.

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