Posts Tagged ‘Heart o’ Dixie’

Alabama Ends School Yoga Ban

May 26, 2021

Alabama Ends School Yoga Ban

“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 Will Now Allow Yoga In Its Public Schools (But Students Can’t Say ‘Namaste’),” Bill Chappell, NPR News

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Image (“Zoom Yoga, after a 19th century Joga Pradīpikā manuscript”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Alabama Doesn’t Decriminalize School Yoga

April 20, 2021
Alabama Doesn't Decriminalize School Yoga

Zoom Yoga Lesson

In 1993 the state of Alabama outlawed yoga classes in public schools, fearing the exercizes would turn young Christian children into Hindus. School regulations specifically prohibit use of the greeting “Namaste.” If only students had started class by saying “How-do, y’all ….”

State Rep. Jeremy Gray, who also teaches Yoga, recently introduced a bill to legalize K-12 Yoga, and the Alabama House of Representatives approved it last month. The bill went to Alabama’s upper house, but state senators upheld the ban.


“Alabama fails to reverse ban on school yoga as conservatives say they fear rise in Hinduism,” Akshita Jain, The Independent

“Yoga can leave you injured, psychotic and a Hindu, Christian groups claim,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Short link:

Image (“Zoom Yoga, after a 19th century Joga Pradīpikā manuscript”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,