Stretches like the tree pose and plank are something that Alabama students have been forbidden to take part in as part of their school day. But now a bill brought forward by Representative Jeremy Gray may lift a yoga ban on all schools in Alabama, allowing students to practice the stretching exercises.
The Guardian reports about the new bill that would lift the school yoga ban that was put in place decades ago in 1993 after parents complained the exercise practice promotes a “non-Christian belief system”. It is now being argued that while the practice has its roots in Hinduism, yoga has become common practice across the world - including in Alabama gyms and many public schools across the country.
As a former college athlete, Representative Gray credits yoga in helping him stay focused throughout the years and explains how many athletes have adopted yoga as a practice. Gray says of his personal experience with yoga, “It also helps me with my discipline and being able to focus and to accomplish my goals.”
Gray’s bill would give schools the decision over whether their physical education department would want to incorporate yoga stretches in their curriculum. The bill also stipulates that all yoga exercises must be taught with English names and “namaste” remains banned.
What do you think of Alabama bringing the yoga practice back to schools?
Do you think yoga is a good way to get kids active in schools?
I love that yoga is now available in Alabama schools. As a resident of Alabama and a mother of two, this is wonderful news.
Yoga is a good way for anyone to maintain and improve their health, and is not necessarily a religious activity. If schools want to include it, they should.
Iactually had yoga as part of my physical education class in high school, and there was absolutely no religious component to it. I ended up liking it, and continued yoga at a studio. There was never any sort of religious pressure.
I also wonder if Alabama would be opposed if yoga was a part of the Christian tradition? Is it religion in general they want to separate from school, or just the non Christian ones?