Some yoga studios in the US have started to offer free or discounted yoga classes to the unemployed because of high unemployment rates.
When the national unemployment rate is around 10 percent, it is believed that yoga will help reduce stress, bring calmness, improve concentration and make the unemployed feel good about themselves. Many such people had stopped going to yoga studios thinking it as a "luxury" in tougher times.
Well known Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcoming the gesture of yoga studios, said that it was a "step in the right direction" and urged other yoga establishments across USA to offer this generosity. Although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as "a living fossil" whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. As yoga was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner, unemployed persons thus would be able to approach the situation in a calmer perspective.
Studios in New York, Ohio, California, Illinois, etc., which offer such classes, reportedly go by the word given by these unemployed instead of asking for any unemployment proof. Announcement of "Yoga on High" in Columbus (Ohio) about 90-minutes "Free Yoga Classes for the Unemployed" says: "There's never a better time to take care of yourself and to expand your perspective than when you've lost your job. Come for breathing, stretching, strengthening, relaxing and contemplation".