Hindus have welcomed University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville, public research university and flagship campus of the UA System, for offering free yoga classes; and are urging all US universities to offer such yoga programs.
Classes being offered include “Yoga” (Focus on waking up from the inside out), “Sunrise Yoga” (begins with sun salutations), “Yoga+Meditation” (meditative relaxing postures that unite the mind and body), “Yoga for Presence of Mind” (experience of greater awakening of the self), “Yoga Nidra” (Yogic Sleep), “Sport Yoga” (twist that will always keep your body guessing) and “Mindfulness Yoga” (Yoga poses are used as prompts to use mindfulness techniques).
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, termed it as a step in the positive direction to make yoga available free of cost for students, faculty and staff at such a renowned institution.
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 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. According to a recently released “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.
Joseph E. Steinmetz and Michael T. Miller are the Chancellor and Dean of the College of Education and Health Professions respectively of UA, which was founded in 1871.