Hindus have welcomed University of Idaho (UI) in Moscow, public research university and flagship campus of the UI System, for offering free yoga classes which were publicized as “Stress Relief for Finals”; and are urging all US universities to offer such free yoga programs.
These weeklong “Free Yoga classes for students, faculty, and staff during dead week at the Student Rec Center” by Campus Recreation and titled as “Stress Relief for Finals”; included “Sunrise Yoga”, “Power Vinyasa”, “Yoga” and “Ashtanga Yoga”. “Yoga is just so good, because it lowers the pressure,” UI Fitness and Wellness Director Peg Hamlett was quoted in The Argonaut, UI student newspaper, writing about these classes.
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 “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.
Founded in 1889, UI, headquartered in Moscow with centers in Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Extension offices in 42 counties; offers 256 undergraduate and graduate majors and enrolls 11,534 students. It boasts of being “consistently recognized as one of the best public colleges in America by The Princeton Review”. Chuck Staben is the President.
Ashtanga Yoga finds mention in Patanjali’s ancient Yoga Sutra, foundational text of yoga.