Alabama Legislature Blocks Bill to Lift Ban on Yoga in Schools Over Hinduism Concerns
An Alabama state legislature bill to lift the ban on yoga in K-12 schools over concerns that yoga encourages Hindu practices has stalled.
Conservative groups opposed the measure in a public hearing, saying yoga is a religious practice and promotes Hinduism, The Associated Press reported.
The state Senate Judiciary Committee has voted not to move the bill forward, but will bring the measure back for another committee vote when more members are there to vote.
The bill, which allows schools to allow yoga, was passed by the State House in March by 73 votes to 25. the bill provides strict rules for schools to teach yoga, saying the practice should be limited “exclusively for poses, exercises and stretching techniques.
The name of the poses in yoga should be “descriptive names exclusively English” and “chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas and the 11 namaste greetings are expressly prohibited”.
“This whole idea that if you do yoga you will become a Hindu – I’ve been doing yoga for 10 years and going to church and I’m very Christian,” said Democratic Rep. Jeremy Gray, who presented the bill, reported the AP.
Becky Gerritson, director of conservative group Eagle Forum of Alabama, criticized the bill during the public hearing.
“If this bill passes, teachers will be able to enter classrooms as early as kindergarten and bring these children through guided imagery, which is a spiritual exercise, and it is out of their parents’ sight. And we just think it’s not appropriate, ”she said, according to the AP.