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Hindus laud Pennsylvania elementary school for offering yoga
Hindus have commended Glenside Elementary in Reading (Pennsylvania, USA) for reportedly introducing yoga and have urged
all schools in USA to do the same for their pupils.
Calling it a “step in the right direction”, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA)
today, suggested all elementary-middle-high schools of the nation to incorporate yoga in the lives of the students,
making it part of the curriculum. 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
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, 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.
Rajan Zed noted that besides other benefits, yoga might also help deal with the obesity crisis faced by the country.
According to United States National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible,
improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. About 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, now
reportedly practice yoga. It was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.
This yoga program, developed by faculty of Penn State Berks, a campus of the Pennsylvania State University which calls
itself “a ‘Big Ten’ internationally renowned University”, in which reportedly seated on yoga mats children practice
their yoga poses/postures, is now in its second year. Program developers Valerie Cholet and Jessica Schocker were quoted
in the Penn State News website article dated February 27: In disciplines such as yoga and taekwondo, practitioners are
encouraged to work on developing a strong self-esteem. Further, the basic philosophical grounding of these Eastern
influenced practices stresses an awareness of community and the way our actions impact others.
Melissa Fisher, Principal of Glenside Elementary, which has approximately 400 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth
grade, says on school website: “It is my hope to nurture the entire child”. This school is in Reading School District
part of which was organized in 1835. Robert Heebner, Jr. is Board President of the District while Dr. Carlinda Purcell