A civil trial resumes June 24 in California, where a deeply
religiously form of yoga is under scrutiny.
Dean Broyles of the National Center for Law and Policy says the
court heard from Candy Gunther Brown, a religious studies
professor, who described Ashtanga yoga that is being taught in a
physical education class.
Broyles said Brown "did a
fantastic job during the trial explaining how yoga is rooted in
Hindiusm and is pervasively religious."
Brown, who holds a doctorate from Harvard, testified about
Ashtanga yoga's connection with Hinduism, Buddhism and Western
metaphysical beliefs. She is a professor at Indiana University.
An NBC affiliate in San Diego reported that Brown was called as
an expert witness and said on the witness stand that all forms of
yoga "share a religious goal, and that goal is human
The school's curriculum includes the same opening, poses and
closing as Ashtanga, the professor testified.
"That frames this as something more than exercise," she told the
The lawsuit comes after the Encinitas Union School District
accepted more than $500,000 from the K.P. Jois Foundation to teach
the yoga classes.