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Arizona State University using “spiritual principles of yoga” to heal addiction

Arizona State University (ASU), a public research university headquartered in Tempe (Arizona), is offering Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Classes combining the “spiritual principles and practices of yoga” and 12-step recovery.

These free seven-week long program for ASU students, staff and faculty; ending April 27; claims to offer “a safe space for healing and growth” if “you are in any form of recovery (addiction, eating disorders, etc.), seeking to overcome self-destructive or addictive tendencies or have been affected by the addictive behavior of others”. Its philosophy is stated as “the issues live in the tissues.”

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called this usage of spiritual principles and practices of yoga in addiction recovery “a step in the positive direction”. Zed urged all major world educational institutions and hospitals to explore various benefits yoga offered.

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, noted.

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.

ASU, whose history goes back to 1886 and which reportedly enrolls over 98,000 students, claims to be the “most innovative school”. Michael M. Crow is the President.

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