Hindus appeal Alabama lawmakers to show maturity, endorse bill permitting yoga in schools

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New Delhi, March 1, 2021: Alabama House Education Policy Committee has reportedly approved a bill, which if enacted, would allow yoga to be offered to grades K-12 in Alabama public schools, which has been reportedly prohibited since 1993.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged Alabama state legislators to wake up to the needs of Alabama pupils and support introduction of multi-beneficial yoga in schools. Somebody needed to remind Alabama State Department of Education that we lived in 21st century now.

Many Alabama public universities and city governments had already offered yoga and many Alabama churches had hosted yoga classes; reports suggest. Yoga was urgently needed to be incorporated in the lives of Alabama’s students; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated.

But Alabama Department of Education Administrative Code 290­040­040­.02 continues to declare: School personnel shall be prohibited from using any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, meditation or yoga.

Rajan Zed pointed out that this “prohibition” was clearly doing a disservice to Alabama’s K-12 public school students and denying them the valuable opportunities yoga provided. If yoga was rewarding in universities-cities-churches, why Alabama was keeping it away from its K-12 public school students; Zed wondered.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization; Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

According to a report of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Yoga is the most popular complementary health approach in the United States – used by 14.3% of the adult population, or 35.2 million people”. According to US National Institutes of Health; yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

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