Parents of children attending Encinitas Union School District say schools are teaching their children Eastern mysticism during physical education. Parents are concerned that the school district is using taxpayer funds to promote Ashtana yoga and Hinduism. The parents expressed their concern during a school board meeting.
"Unfortunately, in San Diego County, schools have replaced about 60 percent of their P.E. program with Ashtana yoga," he says. "Ashtana yoga is a deeply religious form of yoga that has its roots and formation in Eastern mysticism, specifically Hinduism."
School officials say they have removed religious practices out of the classroom, but Broyles told reporters that the yoga incorporates many religious elements.
"There have been meditations going on, to our understanding," he explains. "They're also being taught to say Hindu sayings to each other, like 'Namaste,' which means, loosely translated, 'The divine in me,' or acknowledges 'the divine in you.'
"They've been drawing mandalas in art class, which is a Hindu symbol; they've been doing a lot of the Hindu poses, which are understood to be worship or prayer."
Parents say they fear their children will not get the physical exercise they need if they opt their children out of the yoga classes.