Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray introduced a bill that would allow yoga to be practiced voluntarily at public schools. But the state legislature upheld the ban against yoga, which has been strictly prohibited since 1993. If you are wondering why, the answer is "Alabama." It is, of course, the only state in the country that bans yoga.
The text of the ban says "school personnel shall be prohibited from using any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, meditation or yoga" and additionally banned the use of the word "namaste."
At issue is whether the practice of yoga promotes Hinduism — a claim several conservative Christian groups say is a problem.
Because yoga is rooted in Hinduism, Eric Johnston, a legal adviser for the Alabama Citizens Action Program, told The New York Times, "it does not need to be taught to small children in public schools."
"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," Betsy Garrison of the Eagle Forum of Alabama, argued in session.
For some reason, Alabamans who like to complain about the government taking away muhfreedoms are curiously silent on this example of egregious government control.