Hindus have commended Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) in Arizona for offering Yoga and Advanced Yoga in its 2018-19 Course Catalog, calling it a step in the positive direction.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, applauded TUHSD for coming forward and providing an opportunity to students to avail the multiple benefits yoga provided.
Tempe Union High School District 2018-19 Course Catalog includes for credit “Yoga and Fitness” and “Advanced Yoga and Fitness” year-long classes, whose description describes it as a system developed in India and states: “Yoga means union, and refers to the union of the body, mind, and breath”. Yoga was offered in its recent Summer Arts Academy whose course description for 6-9-year-old students included practice of asana, pranayama, mudras, and Sanskrit mantras (positive words repeated to aid in concentration and meditation).
Zed urged Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona State Board of Education President Lucas J. Narducci and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas; to work towards formally introducing yoga as a part of curriculum in all the public schools of the state, thus incorporating highly beneficial yoga in the lives of Arizona’s students.
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, Rajan Zed pointed out.
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, Rajan Zed added.
Tempe Union High School District, headquartered in Tempe, serves approximately 14,000 students in Tempe, the Town of Guadalupe, the Gila River Indian community, the Ahwatukee Foothills area of Phoenix and parts of Chandler; encompassing 162 square miles. It values “the richness that comes from our diverse cultures” and claims that its students “consistently score well above state, District and national averages on standardized tests and college entrance exams”. Michelle Helm and Dr. Kevin J. Mendivil are Board President and Superintendent respectively.