By Morgan Bryce
Opelika native and District 83 Rep. Jeremy Gray scored a major legislative victory last week, as the Alabama House of Representatives voted 84-17 to approve a bill that would lift prohibition on yoga being taught at state public schools. The bill will move on to the Senate for their approval.
An outspoken health advocate, Gray’s bill that received significant bipartisan support reverses a longtime ban placed on yoga instruction in 1993 by the Alabama State Board of Education, labeling the practice as “Hindu philosophy” and a “method of religious training.”
Gray, who has taught yoga for years, said that it helps with “with stress, anxiety, depression, things of that nature.”
According to language found in the bill, enabling yoga instruction will be a decision made by local boards of education. The instruction would be concentrated on exercises, poses and stretches and instructors as well as students are to refrain “chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas and namaste greetings.”
The Observer will be providing updates on this legislation. Follow Gray’s Facebook page for more information and updates.