Hindus have welcomed Kennedy Center in Washington DC, claimed to the nation’s busiest performing arts center, offering free all-levels vinyasa yoga classes in its Grand Foyer, starting March four.
Calling it a step in the positive direction, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended Kennedy Center for coming forward with this initiative and providing an opportunity to its patrons and public to avail the multiple benefits yoga offered. He urged all the nation’s top performing arts centers to offer free yoga classes, on the same pattern as being offered by the Kennedy Center.
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, pointed out.
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 (NIH), 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.
These free public yoga sessions are a part of “Sound Health” program, Center’s new partnership with the NIH, connecting the performing arts to mind-body wellness. Under “What to bring” items for these yoga classes, the Center lists “A desire to clear your mind, move your body”.
Opened in 1971, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosts about 3,000 events each year for audiences numbering over 3 million, and with productions-broadcasts reaching about 40 million around the world. David M. Rubenstein and Deborah F. Rutter are Chairman and President respectively.