Hindus are urging Benedictine College (BC), a Roman Catholic college in Atchison (Kansas) founded on the Benedictine tradition, not to discard yoga.
According to a news item posted in “The Circuit” (Benedictine College Student News) on April five, titled “Benedictine College to do away with academic and recreational yoga”: “Benedictine College Administration just announced that campus is no longer offering academic or recreational yoga classes after spring semester 2017.”
It indicates that the decision was made by the request of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Vice Chair of the College Board Abbot James Albers of St. Benedict’s Abbey. “Yoga as created has some potential for eastern mysticism which has caused concern among members of the Catholic Church,” “The Circuit” quoted College President Stephen D. Minnis, and added that Archbishop Naumann has expressed his concerns.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged BC to relook into their reported yoga decision and not deny its students the opportunities of exploring various valuable benefits yoga offered.
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 1858 and claimed to be “Named one of America’s Best Colleges”, BC offers 52 graduate and undergraduate programs and has campuses in Italy and Ireland also. BC, where “students can attend daily Mass, Confession and bible studies held throughout campus”, boasts of one Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and students from 49 US states and 14 foreign countries.