Hindus have welcomed Missouri Baptist University (MBU) in Saint Louis, which calls itself “Christ-centered institution”, for making yoga available to its students and offering it free.
MBU fitness program offers group classes at no cost, and yoga is part of that. Its Fall group yoga classes, “based on traditional yoga practice”, are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays and include “meditation”. Describing the “afternoon” part of a typical student day on its website, it suggests the student to “hit the gym”, which offers yoga. Its website suggests “yoga” as a way to “strengthen your muscles”. An article in “mbu timeline” (Student News Network of MBU), posted on December six, states: Yoga helps maintain a healthy balance between mind and body.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, termed it as a step in the positive direction for MBU to make yoga available free of cost for students, and urged all US universities and colleges to offer free yoga programs for their students, faculty and staff.
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 “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.
“Missouri Baptist University is an evangelical Christian, liberal arts institution” where “a Biblically based Christian perspective is maintained”, its website states. MBU, whose history goes back to 1957; offers 71 doctoral, graduate and undergraduate programs. Ven Houts and Dr. R. Alton Lacey are its Trustees Chairman and President respectively.