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Yoga instructer Kristen McCloskey, right, leads a class of third graders at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif. Administrators of the Encinitas Union School District are treading softly as they pioneer what is believed to be the first district-wide yoga program of its kind, while trying to avoid a legal dispute over whether yoga is just exercise or an intrinsically spiritual practice.

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School yoga tries to avoid religious controversy

Public school yoga instructor Katie Campbell proudly looks out at 23 first graders as they contain their squirming in a kid-friendly version of the lotus position.

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