RELIGION

California appeals court rules that yoga in schools doesn't bend rules on religious freedom

  • FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2012 file photo, Yoga instructor Kristen McCloskey, right, leads a class of third graders at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. A California appeals court says yoga taught in San Diego County schools doesn’t violate religious freedom. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2012 file photo, Yoga instructor Kristen McCloskey, right, leads a class of third graders at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. A California appeals court says yoga taught in San Diego County schools doesn’t violate religious freedom. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2012 file photo, students hold their position during a yoga class at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. A California appeals court says yoga taught in San Diego County schools doesn’t violate religious freedom. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2012 file photo, students hold their position during a yoga class at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. A California appeals court says yoga taught in San Diego County schools doesn’t violate religious freedom. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)  (The Associated Press)

A California appeals court says yoga taught in San Diego County schools doesn't violate religious freedom.

The 4th District Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a trial court ruling that rejected a lawsuit by parents who tried to block Encinitas schools from teaching yoga.

The court says that while yoga may be religious in some contexts, there's no evidence the program at Encinitas Union School District has religious, mystical or spiritual trappings.

The lawsuit was brought by parents of two students who claimed the practice promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity.

The school district says the practice is taught in a secular way to promote strength, flexibility and balance.

Yoga is now taught at schools across the country, though it is often part of an after-school program.