A family has brought a law suit against the Encinitas, Ca school district over a yoga program. You can read the AP article here.
The lawsuit claims that these classes violate the separation between church and state. Why? Because yoga’s origins come from Hinduism; and this is true.
So, the question is this: are the teachers proselytizing Hinduism? Are they promoting the religious tenets of Hinduism?
According to the article, they are not. Teachers are simply teaching the children the movements of yoga, but not talking about Hinduism at all (which is the case with almost all Western yoga classes).
Based off that, it doesn’t seem to violate the separation of church and state, but we’ll see where the case goes. If this family is Christian (and the article does not state that), I suspect the problem they have with yoga is the belief that doing the movements means you are worshipping Hindu gods, thus sinning against the biblical God (or whatever god they worship).
My opinion, of course, is that movements cannot injure the pride of a god that does not exist. However, if the case rules that the yoga classes are legal, children whose parents don’t like the class will have to sit it out, like they have done since the classes started, apparently. But the parents complained that their kids weren’t getting the required amount of exercise set by the state. In that case, I suggest they do an alternative form of physical activity during the classes (such as walking around the school or something) with another teacher.