Inscription of yoga on UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

Hindus have welcomed inscription of yoga to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Paris headquartered United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, called it a step in the positive direction, which was long overdue.

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, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

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 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. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

Yoga was reportedly added to the List following the decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, taking place until December two in Ethiopia.

A description on UNESCO website states: “Yoga consists of a series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, word chanting and other techniques designed to help individuals build self-realization, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation.”

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