Yoga Is No Longer Illegal In Alabama Public Schools, But Saying 'Namaste' Still Is

And pistols are perfectly acceptable for those with permits.

After a nearly 30-year fight, it’s finally legal for students to practice yoga in Alabama’s public schools.

But it’s still forbidden for them to utter the traditional Sanskrit salutation “namaste.” Nor is meditation — or the sound “om” — allowed.

“Chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, and namaste greetings shall be expressly prohibited,” states the new measure that was signed into law Thursday by GOP Gov. Kay Ivey.

The law, which goes into effect in August, also requires that English names be used for all poses and exercises. And to practice yoga at school students will need a parent’s permission slip saying they understand it’s linked to Hinduism.

The state banned yoga in 1993 after a massive battle against it by conservative Christians who claimed it was a gateway to conversion to Hinduism. Some of the same overheated rhetoric was lobbed at the new measure, but failed to block it.

Ironically, teachers and staff with permits can pack concealed firearms in public schools, but haven’t been able to roll out a yoga mat until now.

Gobsmacked critics blasted the “hopelessly stupid” legislation.

Go To Homepage

Before You Go

Popular in the Community