Hindus are urging Alphonsus Cullinan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore in Ireland, to seriously look at the multiple benefits yoga offered, before denying it to students of 123 schools in his diocese.
In a reported letter dated October 10 and addressed to “Principal, Teacher, staff member” of his schools in south-eastern Ireland, Cullinan declared yoga not suitable in school setting.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that by hinting yoga ban, Cullinan was clearly doing a disservice to students of his schools in Waterford City & County, much of South Tipperary and a portion of County Cork; and needed to be stopped.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Archbishop Eamon Martin, President of Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference; and Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly of Cashel & Emly; to immediately intervene to stop Cullinan from snatching the valuable opportunity of highly beneficial yoga from the lives of about 28,500 pupils. Zed also urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to look into it as schools were reportedly publicly funded.
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, Rajan Zed pointed out.
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 recent 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, Rajan Zed added.