Hindus have welcomed football team of Notre Dame High School (NDHS), a prestigious Roman Catholic institution in Chattanooga (Tennessee) whose mission “is to share the Catholic faith”, for reportedly adopting yoga practice.
Commending the NDHS for coming forward and providing an opportunity to football players to avail the multiple benefits of yoga, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged sports/athletic teams of all Tennessee high schools to incorporate highly beneficial yoga in the lives of their players/athletes.
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, pointed out.
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 recently released “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 1876 and run by Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville; NDHS is spread over twenty acres; 92% of whose 2015 graduates received scholarship offers and over half of whose students participate in at least one of athletic teams. Its school calendar includes daily Mass; it shares “the Catholic faith by Discovering Christ in the daily routine of student life”; and here “the beliefs, values, and traditions of Catholic Christianity underlie academic instruction and religious formation”. Most Reverend Richard F. Stika is the Bishop; Sister Mary Marta Abott is Diocesan Superintendent of Schools; George Valadie is NDHS President; Matt Pobieglo is Director of Athletics; Charles Fant is Head Football Coach; and Margaret White is Yoga Instructor. NDHS football team has reportedly been doing yoga for the last about four years.