Canada’s Edmonton Public Schools offering yoga, Hindus laud

Hindus have applauded Edmonton Public Schools (Alberta, Canada) for reportedly introducing for-credit yoga classes from this semester, and have urged all schools in Canada to do the same for their pupils.

Calling it a “step in the right direction”, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested all schools of Canada to incorporate yoga in the lives of the students, making it part of the curriculum. 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 pointed out.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, 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 USA’s 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 an estimate, about 21 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Rajan Zed added.

Over 83,000 students attend 199 Edmonton Public Schools, which is sixth largest school district in Canada. Sarah Hoffman is Board Chair while Edgar Schmidt is Superintendent of Schools. The yoga classes offered reportedly cover yoga history, yoga postures, anatomy, physiology and breathing/relaxation techniques. “Yoga is a union of mind, body and spirit”, a course announcement says.

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