Yoga may be part of the Alabama Legislative agenda as lawmakers begin the new session today. State Representative Jeremy Gray says he plans to propose a new physical education option for the state’s public schools.
In the early 90s, the Alabama State Department of Education banned yoga in public schools. The code outlines that any techniques that include hypnosis, meditation, or yoga are prohibited.
Representative Gray says yoga would be very useful for students who may be dealing with stress. He says this would help the mental health of students and would provide an alternative to how students approach physical fitness.
“It helps you be able to cope with stress, anxiety, those day to day things that our kids in impoverished neighborhoods face everyday,” Rep. Gray said.
“And you think about you not having the resources to go see your mental health specialists or just get the help you need when you talk about K-12 public schools. A lot of impoverished kids go through that system so why not have yoga available for them.”
Gray introduced the bill last year, but it did not pass. He says he is not proposing yoga be required in schools. The bill would give discretion to local school boards.