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Yoga in P.E.: Exercise or Violation of Religious Freedom?

Yoga has become a popular form of exercise for many Americans in the past decade. Some school districts, such as the Encinitas School District in Southern California, have chosen to add yoga to their physical education program. But some parents view this as a violation of the separation of Church and State, given yoga’s root in Hindu religious practices. The Encinitas School District has assured parents that the focus of the yoga class will be on stretching and physical fitness, not on the religious aspects of yoga. However, the parents are still concerned.

What are your thoughts? Is yoga class a religious exercise, or just plain exercise?

Lance D Youd is a Salem, Oregon attorney.

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