Alabama governor signs bill lifting yoga ban in K-12 schools

By: | May 21, 2021

Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill allowing K-12 schools to offer elective yoga classes to students, ending a nearly three-decade ban on the practice in the state’s public schools.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, will allow local boards of education to decide whether to offer yoga in public schools. The bill requires yoga exercises to be limited to stretches and poses; requires English descriptions for poses, and forbids the use of namaste.

Gray’s bill was amended in the Senate to add a requirement for parents to sign a permission slip, and adding existing bans on hypnosis, dissociative mental states, or “any aspect of Eastern philosophy and religious training.” Gray disliked the Senate amendments, but accepted them to get the bill passed.

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