Yoga: Allow It.

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Yoga: Allow It.

Kayla Hill and Aarieal Ammons-Morris

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Did you know Alabama banned yoga in public schools? The administrative code states, “The State Board of Education specifically prohibits the use of hypnosis and dissociative mental states. School personnel shall be prohibited from using any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, meditation or yoga.” This rule was made in 1993. 
 
Yoga is very beneficial with people that have overloaded stress on their minds and joints, such as students and athletes. It reduces muscle tension, calms and center the nervous system, increases your blood flow. On the mental side of things, meditation helps you process your emotions, stress, and anxiety.
 
Some people think this ban is outdated and should be changed. According to our survey, a majority of the students disagree with the ban and do not have a problem with schools teaching it. Reagan Drake said that yoga “helps stretch out your limbs and relieve the pain and aches which is helpful for any sort of athlete and so a yoga class would be great.” Yet, some students have strong opinions about the ban. Brian Spradlin stated, “It’s a waste of the school’s money.” Another student Cory Steelman mentioned a concern about “pervs cruisin’ for some sights.”
 
Coach Powers, the Bob Jones girls’ basketball coach, expressed that yoga could be beneficial to kids’ physical and mental health. She explained that yoga “can help kids struggling with anxiety” and “it could develop good habits that can benefit their livelihood.” She thinks it could be a great addition to PE as well.
There was recent legislation proposed to lift the ban. The rule would differentiate between spiritual yoga and instructional yoga. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any traction on this legislation. 
Other schools elsewhere have been using instructional yoga and even meditation to help students deal with stress and even during detention. Schools in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and many other places use yoga constructively. Many places report success using yoga in the classroom, like this school in Cleveland.
 
In the morning, yoga can help you set the tone for the day ahead. Your self-discipline and drive is greatest when you wake up. For sleep-deprived, yoga and meditation can help you clear your mind, and comfort your body to fall asleep faster. Overall, yoga can offer crucial benefits for everyday school life and should be allowed in schools
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