Alabama's 28-year ban on yoga in schools over fears it would 'convert students to Hinduism' stalls after lawmakers reach a tie-vote in senate

 A bill meant to lift the decades-long ban on yoga in Alabama public schools has stalled in the state senate as it continues to face opposition from Christian conservative groups who believe the practice will promote Hinduism. 

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee failed to overturn the ban after a vote on the bill ended in a tie on Wednesday. The ban has been in place for 28 years.

Despite the setback, committee chairman Senator Tom Whatley said he would bring the bill back for another vote when more members are present.  

Yoga, a Hindu health practice which typically includes meditation, stretching and breath control, has been banned in Alabama public schools since 1993

Yoga, a Hindu health practice which typically includes meditation, stretching and breath control, has been banned in Alabama public schools since 1993

On Wednesday, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee failed to pass a bill that would allow yoga to be taught in Alabama schools when the vote on the bill ended in a tie

On Wednesday, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee failed to pass a bill that would allow yoga to be taught in Alabama schools when the vote on the bill ended in a tie


Yoga, a Hindu health practice which typically includes meditation, stretching and breath control, has been banned in Alabama public schools since 1993.

According to the Associated Press, the Alabama Board of Education voted in 1993 to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms. The ban was pushed by conservative groups.

Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray, a former football player turned yoga instructor,  introduced a bill to lift the yoga ban to the State Senate in February, AP reports. 

But conservative Christian groups still oppose the practice nearly three decades later-arguing allowing yoga in schools would push Hinduism onto students.

'Yoga is a very big part of the Hindu religion,' Becky Gerritson, director of Eagle Forum of Alabama, told the committee in a public hearing. 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Gerritson argued to the committee that yoga would impose views that may not match the children's parents' onto students.  

'If this bill passes, then instructors will be able to come into classrooms as young as kindergarten and bring these children through guided imagery, which is a spiritual exercise, and it's outside their parents' view. And we just believe that this is not appropriate.' she said. 

If passed, the bill would allow yoga to be taught as an elective to students- but there would still be restrictions, particularly on the language and poses.

'All poses shall be limited exclusively to sitting, standing, reclining, twisting, and balancing. All poses, exercises, and stretching techniques shall have exclusively English descriptive names,' the bill said.

'Chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, and namaste greetings shall be expressly prohibited,' the bill specifies. 

Alabama's 28-year ban on yoga in schools over fears it would 'convert students to Hinduism' stalls after lawmakers reach a tie-vote in senate Alabama's 28-year ban on yoga in schools over fears it would 'convert students to Hinduism' stalls after lawmakers reach a tie-vote in senate Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:03 Rating: 5

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