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Parents Upset Over CA School Teaching Yoga

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St. Louis, MO (KPLR)  A San Diego, CA school district is teaching yoga to young students, but the program, funded by a private grant, has prompted complaints from some parents During the last class of the day at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary,students work on their balance, flexibility and strength. The yoga class is one of many being offered across the Encinitas School District, thanks to a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, an Encinitas-based group that promotes the practice of yoga. District officials said it is part of a larger initiative to help students be more healthy and active“We are always looking for ways to help kids be more active,” said District Superintendent Tim Baird. The program has received overwhelming approval from parents, but not everyone is happy. Some parents have pulled their children out of the yoga lessons, claiming its a religious course in Hinduism.“While the roots of the exercise are religious, we as Americans do it not for religious reasons, but to gain the physical and mental benefits of it and that’s what we are offering our students,” said McCloskey, who has been practicing yoga for 13 years. But parents in opposition aren’t buying McCloskey’s message. “The money used for these classes could go to other areas like math or science,” said one parent who didn’t want to be identified. For now, district officials say the health benefits of the classes outweigh the criticism. “We believe the yoga program will actually have academic benefits, and in fact there is research out there that shows that,” Baird said.