The case dealing with an elementary school district’s yoga program, Sedlock, et al v. Baird, et al, was argued before a three-judge panel of California’s 4th District Court of Appeal on March 11, 2015 in San Diego. Plaintiffs claim that an elective yoga program offered by the Encinitas Union School District violated students’ constitutional right to religious freedom because yoga is inherently religious. A trial court upheld the yoga program and plaintiffs appealed.
Yoga Alliance® submitted an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in October 2014 to the court of appeal, arguing the decision should be affirmed not only because the school district’s yoga program is not religious, but also because yoga itself is not inherently religious.
During the March 11 oral argument, the three-judge panel directed most of their questions to plaintiffs’ counsel, asking whether it was plaintiffs’ position that yoga is inherently religious. The judges seemed skeptical of plaintiffs’ argument that the yoga program endorsed Hindu religious beliefs.
The court of appeal is expected to issue a written ruling by June 9. A copy of YA’s amicus brief is available here, and coverage of the appeal by the San Diego Union-Tribune is available here.
Yoga Alliance to Support Encinitas Yoga Program in Court of Appeals – September 17, 2014
Yoga Alliance® will submit an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief this October in support of the Encinitas Union School District's physical education program that includes yoga as an optional alternative to traditional physical education...read more
Judge rules in favor of yoga program in Encinitas schools – July 10, 2013
Yoga and children were the big winners last week when a judge ruled that the Encinitas Union School District’s (EUSD) yoga-in-school program doesn’t violate the constitutional prohibition against mixing church and state...read more
Yoga trial without resolution – May 23, 2013
The trial for Sedlock v Baird continued Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and will go on hiatus until June, as reported by the U-T San Diego...read more
Questioning the definition of "religion" as the trial begins – May 21, 2013
Yesterday, the trial began in Encinitas, Calif. where two parents are challenging a yoga program in schools. The judge initiated the debate by asking, “what is religion?”…read more
Yoga Alliance helps defend yoga in schools – May 16, 2013
On Monday, the case of Sedlock v. Baird is scheduled to go to trial. Parents of a child in Encinitas, Calif. are challenging the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) on the accusation that yoga sessions taught in school…read more