Parents May Sue Over Yoga Lessons in Public Schools


"On the wall there was a poster that showed the Ashtanga. There are words showing what the limbs are," he said. "The ultimate goal is to be absorbed into the universe, which is called Samadhi. They had a poster depicting that. Fundamentally it is a Hindu religion being taught through Ashtanga yoga."

Baird told ABC News that there are no Hindu figures on the wall.

Children are also being taught eastern meditation techniques to calm themselves, where one clears the mind of all thoughts, poses that were imparted by Hindu deities, and in one class were trained in drawing mandalas, according to Broyles.

Parents also raised specific concerns about the program aside from the religious aspects, saying that the fact that kids are taking 60 minutes of the 100 minutes per week allotted for physical education to do yoga is inappropriate. Broyles said that for 40 minutes per week the kids are not getting PE, and that they're not offering anything for kids that are opting out of the program.

Baird told ABC News that only 3 to 4 families at each school have opted their child out of the program, and that those students are using the time for a variety of other activities that differs from school to school.

Broyles says that there are some yoga enthusiasts in favor of the program; he says that people in the district don't really understand eastern mysticism, yoga's roots in Hinduism, and what's being taught.

"If we were introducing Christian worship of bowing, there would be outcry in the community," he said. "Allowing our public schools to actively promote the beliefs and practices of one religion over others to young impressionable children sets a dangerous precedent."

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