Hindus have commended public universities of Alabama for offering various forms of yoga to their students; and have urged introducing yoga in the K-12 public schools of the state.
Calling presence of yoga in Alabama public universities “a step in the positive direction”, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today; urged Alabama to end “prohibition” of yoga in the public schools of the State, as this “prohibition” was clearly doing a disservice to Alabama’s K-12 students and denying them the valuable opportunities the multiple-beneficial yoga provided.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism; pointed out that a quick Internet search revealed that Auburn University Auburn, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Alabama Huntsville, University of Montevallo, Auburn University Montgomery, Jacksonville State University, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of North Alabama, University of South Alabama, University of West Alabama, Troy University, offered yoga in some form.
Rajan Zed indicated that types of yoga dispensed in these Alabama public universities included Power Yoga; Yoga Burn; Sunrise Yoga; Yin Yoga (vinyasa); Friday Yoga Flow (vinyasa); Mindful Yoga; Glow in the Dark Yoga; Be Well Yoga; Bhagavad Gita & Yoga; Yoga Stretch; Midday Yoga; Dynamic Yoga; Slow Flow Yoga; Buti Yoga; Lunch Time Yoga; Ashtanga Yoga; Active Yoga; Beginning Yoga; Yoga (focus is internal); Gentle Yoga (Yoga creates balance in the body); “Yoga on the Quad” for students, faculty and staff; “Yoga: Good for the Mind and Body”; Yoga class for stress management; Yoga class which “will leave you feeling centered and peaceful”; “aimed at strengthening the mind-body connection”; etc.
Zed further said that third annual “Montevallo Yoga Festival”, a day-long event, has been planned to be held on May 18 in University of Montevallo (whose website claims yoga improves “mental focus and concentration”) campus. Auburn University Auburn has been holding annual “Yoga Rave”, which included “partner yoga”, and which was a celebration with yoga, meditation, reflection, etc.; and offered Registered Yoga Teacher courses under Kinesiology leading to Yoga Teacher Certification. Human Performance Lab of Auburn University Montgomery conducted a yoga study, the search unveiled.
Rajan Zed urged Alabama Governor Kay Ellen Ivey, Alabama Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric G. Mackey and Alabama State Board of Education Vice President Dr. Cynthia McCarty to seriously and urgently re-visit the issue and work towards formally introducing yoga as a part of curriculum in all the public schools of the State, thus incorporating highly beneficial yoga in the lives of Alabama’s students. If yoga was rewarding for the students of Alabama public universities, why Alabama was keeping it away from its K-12 students; Zed wondered.
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 noted.
Rajan Zed stated 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 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, Zed added.