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Hindu leader applauds universities for embracing Yoga, urges end to ban in K-12 schools

Brandon Moseley

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The President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajen Zed commended the public universities of Alabama for offering various forms of yoga to their students. Zed urged introducing yoga in the K-12 public schools of the state.

Zed called the presence of yoga in Alabama public universities “a step in the positive direction” and 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 pointed out that a quick Internet search revealed that Auburn University, 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, and Troy University all 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 at the University of Montevallo (whose website claims yoga improves “mental focus and concentration”) campus. Auburn University 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 Ivey (R), 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 the curriculum in all the public schools of the State, thus incorporating highly beneficial yoga in the lives of Alabama’s students.

Zed wondered that if yoga was rewarding for the students of Alabama public universities, why Alabama was keeping it away from its K-12 students.

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Zed claimed that Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from that traces its roots back to around 2,000 B.C. in the Indus Valley civilization.

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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 the Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

Zed cited a report from the U.S. 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”.

Zed said that the U.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. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche.

A Hindu temple recently opened in Mobile.

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