Hindus have welcomed the apparent popularity of yoga at Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU)— “founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.
Writing about recently launched yoga class at its Museum of Art, its student-produced newspaper “The Daily Universe” wrote under an article dated February 21 “Yoga opportunities abound on the BYU campus”: in the first such class “the number of participants not only filled the large lobby but also spilled beyond the designated area”.
BYU has a recognized “Yoga Club” whose membership is open to Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Faculty/Staff. Its Women’s Services offers free yoga classes which are available to “yogis” (both men and women) of all levels. Yoga is one of the graded courses offered, which talks about unifying “the mind, body and spirit” through yoga and includes “yoga philosophy”.
Commending the yoga opportunities available at BYU, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged all major world universities to provide free yoga spaces, options and classes to their students and staff if they were serious to become/continue as world-class universities, enhance the student/staff experience and help reduce their stress levels.
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 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, Zed added.
BYU, a research university with 33,633 daytime students, offers 26 doctoral programs, and was ranked number one among “Top colleges in the West for student engagement”. Kevin J. Worthen is the President.