AL Law: No Chanting as Yoga Returns to Schools

Sep 17, 2021 | Allen A. Ritchie

Yoga in the Park


I like to keep you up to date on changes in the law that might affect you. You can file this one under “Only in Alabama.”

With public schools back in session, you might be interested in a new law going into effect. It is now legal to teach yoga in our state’s schools. What? You didn’t know it was illegal? Well, it has been against the law since 1993.

One Baldwin County teacher tried to make the meditation practice available to area students, but she was quickly told no and given a copy of the state law.

After much pushing and politicking (not to mention a bit of national embarrassment), the legislature and Governor Ivey have changed the law beginning this school year.

The new yoga law has restrictions. Educators can teach the physical aspects, meditation, and breathing exercises, but absolutely NO CHANTING. Plus, parents must sign a permission slip that states that they understand yoga is part of Hinduism. Note: Though technically accurate, yoga is also part of other religions and non-religious activities worldwide.

If you are wondering why the parental permission slip is so essential, it goes to why Alabama had the no-yoga law in the first place. According to many sources, the law was enacted in the last century at the urging of state religious leaders who feared that students might be tempted to convert to Hinduism.

Though many of my injured clients cannot do the physical aspects of yoga, several have mentioned that deep breathing and quiet reflection have been useful. I would think students might benefit also.

One last thought, Alabama was the only state in the Union to ban the subject. May I suggest that we all take a deep breath and think about that for a while?

If you suffer a personal injury like a truck/railroad/auto accident, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We are taking a fall break and will offer 5-minute segments for the rest of the year and a live call-in segment every Monday on NBC 15 at around lunchtime.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer