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Alabama lifts the ban on instructing yoga within the classroom … however not with out whitewashing it

After a Ban that lasted more than 25 yearsAlabama has chosen to teach yoga in public schools. GOP officials initiated the ban in 1993, claiming that yoga’s historical relationship with Hinduism would be harmful to children. They basically implied that practicing yoga would force children into Hinduism. But while the ban has been lifted and schools can teach yoga, it is not without conditions.

While the schools can decide individually whether or not to offer yoga to children, the instructors are not allowed to use words like “namaste” and “om”, nor are they allowed to practice meditation or singing. The New York Times reported. Additionally, English descriptions must be used for poses as opposed to the original Sanskrit names. Evidence of parental permission is required from students who wish to attend, and the evidence confirms that the parents understand the connection yoga has to Hinduism. “I understand that yoga is part of the religion of Hinduism. I give my child permission to take yoga classes at school, ”the bill says.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill Thursday. The ruling will take effect on August 1 for the 2021-2022 school year. The ban first began when conservatives argued that yoga could not be separated from the religion from which it originated. Because they saw it as “promoting religion,” they did not think it appropriate to practice in schools. Oddly enough, schools have holiday celebrations that include Christmas celebrations, but these have never been challenged in terms of promoting the religion.

“Schools should not be able to endorse possible altered states of consciousness,” said Rev. Clete Hux of the Apologetics Resource Center and Birmingham Theological Seminary. wrote online in April. “Nor should lawmakers risk violating the establishment clause of Amendment 1 by promoting religion.”

Rep. Jeremy Gray spoke out against it and concentrated the statement on the physical health benefits of yoga: “I can give you a ton of reasons why yoga is useful, and those reasons are backed by studies and data. To the best of my knowledge, there is no study that suggests that yoga practice converts people to Hinduism “said he told CBS News In April. Gray has been unsuccessful introduced Legislation to lift the ban on two previous occasions, arguing that allowing yoga could help the state promote physical and mental health at school. By restricting the use of certain languages ​​in the recent bill, Gray believed it would go smoothly through the state assembly, although he did not believe the language was linked to religion.

“Since the evangelicals and this is a biblical condition, they felt it was a threat to Christianity,” said Gray on Thursday Times. “Even 30 years later, you still have the same feelings.”

Here is a look at the text and the limitations of the bill:

(3) Every yoga class is limited to poses, exercises and stretching techniques.

(4) All poses are limited to sitting, standing, lying, turning and balancing.

(5) All poses, exercises and stretching techniques may only have descriptive names in English.

(6) Singing, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery and Namaste greetings are expressly prohibited.

Yoga and the Sanskrit terms associated with it may not necessarily have a religious connection, but they are very cultural. For this reason, the practice of yoga and whitewashing is deprecated in the South Asian community. By swapping the Sanskrit terms for their English alternatives, Alabama is essentially a whitewash yoga. While this is a win for Alabama in lifting a nearly three-decade ban, removing the conditions attached to the practice will be rightly frowned upon. You can’t choose which aspects of a culture to adopt.

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