Sedlock v. BairdAnnotate this Case
The issue before the Court of Appeal in this case was one of yoga: whether a school district's implementation of a yoga program as a component of its physical education curriculum was an impermissible establishment of religion in violation of the California Constitution. Appellants Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock (and their two minor children), filed suit against the Encinitas Union School District, the school's superintendent and the District's five governing board members, alleging that an Ashtanga yoga program violated various religious freedom provisions of the Constitution. The Sedlocks sought a writ of mandate and brought claims for injunctive and declaratory relief in which they requested that the court enjoin the District from continuing to implement its yoga program and declare the program unconstitutional. The Sedlocks were ultimately unsuccessful in having yoga declared unconstitutional, and they appealed that judgment. "While the practice of yoga may be religious in some contexts, yoga classes as taught in the District are, as the trial court determined, 'devoid of any religious, mystical, or spiritual trappings.'" The Court of Appeal concluded that the trial court properly determined the District's yoga program did not constitute an establishment of religion in violation of article I, section 4 of the California Constitution.