Hindu leader calls on Alabama governor to end state’s ban on yoga in public schools
© Getty Images

A Hindu leader from Nevada is calling on GOP Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and other state education officials to end a decades-long ban on yoga in public schools.

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, called the ban “highly insensitive” and said it is “doing a disservice” to students in the state.

"Yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all," Zed said in a statement Friday. 


The Alabama Board of Education has banned yoga in the state’s classrooms since 1993, describing it as a "Hindu philosophy and method of religious training in which eastern meditation and contemplation are joined with physical exercises, allegedly to facilitate the development of body, mind, spirit."

Yoga has increasingly been incorporated into physical education and mindfulness curriculums at schools in the U.S., though it has faced some religious opposition.

The Hill has reached out to Ivey’s office for comment.