Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa State Board of Education President Charles C. Edwards, Jr., and Iowa Department of Education Director Dr. Ryan Wise; 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 Iowa’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 “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.
This new program is reportedly being piloted in the Fulton, Kennedy, Lincoln and Sageville elementary schools of DCS and, besides students, also includes providing classroom yoga training to some teachers. Sageville Elementary Newsletter, talking about the school participation in the classroom Yoga Pilot Program, states: This program reaches beyond academic achievement to demonstrate the importance of mastering social-emotional skills for long-term career and personal success.
DCS, which serves 10,500 students in 18 schools and an Alternative Learning Center, claims to be “committed to its mission of preparing world-class learners and citizens of character...”. Mike Donohue and Stan Rheingans are Board President and Superintendent of Schools respectively.