The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill that will enable K-12 school systems to teach Yoga if they so desire. Until now, there has been a ban on Yoga and meditation along with hypnosis in the state since 1993. The bill was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives with a vote of 73-25.
However, the use of chanting, Mantras and teaching “Namaste” would still be forbidden. The bill was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jeremy Gray of Opelika. “I’ve been in yoga for seven years. I know the benefits of yoga, so it was very dear to my heart, and I think Alabama will be better for it,” he said.
Gray said that some gym teachers had already been teaching Yoga without realizing that it was banned. He said that others wanted to offer it too. The current bill says that the poses taught to students must have English names exclusively.
Gray said that some members “got a lot emails about it being part of Hinduism.” “Some people’s minds you can never change. If you have to vote your district, I understand it,” he said.
The Alabama Board of Education had voted to ban Yoga in public school classrooms in 1993. The ban was precipitated by pressure from Conservative groups. The bill will now move on to the state Senate.