“What is Yoga?” Or how about, “What is religion?” These are the questions waiting to be answered at the trial of the yogallennium where parents are suing their children’s school over free yoga classes claiming it is unconstitutional religious indoctrination. Oh, the growing pains of society.
Opening remarks on Monday came from San Diego Superior Court Judge (and coincidental yoga practitioner) John Meyer overseeing the proceedings who asked, “What is religion?”
It’s a smart, or at least interesting (necessary?) way to begin, as we will likely see painstaking struggles to define both yoga and religion, their connection and separation, in this trial as we spiral down the rabbit hole.
“Are you an expert on how to define religion?” plaintiff attorney Dean Broyles asked the defendant, superintendant Timothy Baird who was first to the stand. Baird admitted he was not, to which Broyles proceeded by questioning how he could then define the school’s program as nonreligious.
The trial continued with the first expert witness, Indiana University professor and religious scholar Dr. Candy Brown who was reported to have provided a “complex” definition of religion, but a rather simple answer about her views on Asthanga.
“If you asked me what’s the most religious form of yoga, I would pick Ashtanga as my No. 1,” expert witness Dr. Candy Brown testified.
Brown also testified that she believes there’s a “conspiracy at work to trick students into a spiritual practice through yoga,” Fox5SanDiego.com reports.
And that, ladies and genteels, is how this case is going to go, simultaneously blowing our minds while we tear all our hair out.
The trial is expected to continue this week and perhaps into the next century. Read more about pre-trial declarations from experts for both sides and further details of the lawsuit.