Bill allowing yoga in Alabama public schools stalls in committee

The Alabama Statehouse
The Alabama Statehouse(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bill to allow yoga as an elective class in public schools stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

This bill would reverse the current ban on yoga in K-12 public schools. It outlines that yoga instruction would be limited only to poses, exercises, and stretching techniques. Chanting and mantras would also not be allowed.

A few people spoke against the bill at a public hearing Wednesday. They said there were concerns about the spiritual aspects associated with yoga.

“If this bill passes, then instructors will be able to come in classrooms as young as kindergarten and bring these children through guided imagery, which is a spiritual exercise and it’s outside of their parents view,” said Becky Gerritson who spoke at the hearing.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, said this bill is only about stretching.

”To the kind of person who does yoga, they do it for the physical benefits and the mental benefits,” Gray said. “It is so imbedded into what we do as Americans here.”

It was a tie vote in the Senate committee so it did not pass. But with two lawmakers absent who most likely would have voted yes, the committee approved a motion to have the bill brought back up at a later date.

Gray said he expects the yoga bill to come back up for consideration next week.

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