Alabama Will Now Allow Yoga In Its Public Schools (But Students Can't Say 'Namaste')
Category: OtherVia: hallux • 4 weeks ago • 9 comments
By: Bill Chappell - NPR
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill to allow public schools to offer yoga, ending a ban that stood for nearly 30 years. Christian conservatives who back the ban said yoga would open the door for people to be converted to Hinduism.
The new law allows yoga to be offered as an elective, for grades K-12. While it erases a ban that, over the years, some schools had not realized existed, it also imposes restrictions on how yoga should be taught. Students won't be allowed to say "Namaste," for instance. Meditation is not allowed.
"Chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, and namaste greetings shall be expressly prohibited," the bill states . It also requires English names be used for all poses and exercises. And before any students try a tree pose, they'll need a parent's permission slip.
Alabama adopted its yoga ban in schools in 1993 — one of many fronts in the culture wars in the U.S. And it was a fight to undo the ban: State Rep. Jeremy Gray, a Democrat, first introduced a bill to revoke the yoga taboo more than a year ago. His new bill got final approval on Monday — the last day of the legislative session.