Lauding few Arizona schools for introducing yoga, Hindus urge all USA schools to launch yoga

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NEVADA - Hindus have commended Tucson Unified School District in Arizona (USA) for introducing yoga in curriculum and have urged all schools in USA to do the same for their pupils.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested all elementary-middle-high schools of the nation to incorporate yoga in the lives of the students, making it part of the curriculum. Yoga was a mental and physical discipline whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, he pointed out.

Tucson Unified School District provides education for K-12 students. Its High School Course Catalog includes (under Health/Physical Education) two-semester course titled “Yoga A, B” for grade levels 9, 10, 11, 12, in which, besides other topics, students will participate in discussions of Yogic philosophy. “The postures are taught in a way that integrates breath, movement, and mindfulness”, it adds. “Yoga, Advanced 1, 2″, two-semester course for grade levels 11, 12 includes advanced levels of Yogic Philosophy. “Students will be exposed to the Intermediate series of the Ashtanga tradition as well as a variety of advanced pranayama (breath control) exercises. The course is physically and philosophically vigorous. This course is designed to lay the foundations for a life long Yoga practice”, it points out.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage to be utilized by all. Yoga, referred as “a living fossil” and handed down from one guru to next, was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner. 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.

Rajan Zed added that besides other benefits, yoga might also help deal with the obesity crisis faced by the country. According to National Institutes of Health, Yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. Swami Vivekananda reportedly brought yoga to USA in 1893, and according to an estimate, about 16 million Americans now do yoga.

Launched in 1867, Mission Statement of Tucson Unified School District includes “engaging, rigorous and comprehensive education”. Currently it enrolls about 54,000 students, but in 1956, its Tucson High school had the largest enrollment of any high school in USA with over 6,800 pupils. Judy Burns is President of Governing Board and Dr. John Carroll is Superintendent-Interim of the District, which also owns a radio station. (ANI)

Filed under: Obesity, World, Yoga

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