Alabama governor signs legislation to allow yoga in public schools

Alabama governor signs legislation to allow yoga in public schools
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Alabama's governor signed legislation that will allow public schools to offer yoga as an elective class after it was banned in 1993 for its ties to Hinduism.

Republican Gov. Kay IveyKay IveyDemocrats question GOP shift on vaccines Overnight Health Care: St. Louis reimposes mask mandate | Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry White House on unvaccinated Americans: Our role is not to 'place blame' MORE signed the bill into law on Thursday, two days after the legislature approved the bill on the last day of the legislative session, Advance Local Alabama reported.

There are caveats to how yoga can be taught, with chanting, mantras, mudras and use of mandalas being banned. The poses are also only allowed to have English descriptive names.

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Another amendment was added at the end saying, “School personnel may not use any techniques that involve hypnosis, the induction of a dissociative mental state, guided imagery, meditation, or any aspect of Eastern philosophy and religious training.”

Yoga is limited to stretching, poses and exercises by the bill.

“A lot of the stuff you don’t do anyway. You don’t hypnotize people,” said Democratic Rep. Jeremy Gray, who introduced the bill, according to Advance Local Alabama. “I just didn’t like the amendments because we spent so much time making it very clean so that everybody could be on board with it.”

Conservative groups opposed the bill due to its religious roots, saying the practice of yoga could be outside a parent’s worldview.

An amendment was added so parents have to sign a permission slip that notes the roots of yoga in Hinduism for their child to participate in yoga.

Gray wants to take out the parts of the bill he considers unnecessary next legislative session.