Staff Reporter –
The Society of Hinduism has lauded the Fijian government for reportedly including Yoga in its curriculum.
The Nevada (USA) based Society President Rajen Zed commended the Fijian Education Ministry, describing the move as ‘a step in positive direction.’
He said that the decision would accord an opportunity to students to avail the multiple benefits Yoga.
Mr Zed said that reports suggest Yoga was introduced in Fiji as a part of Physical Education classes by the Education Ministry to help students cope with academic work and stay healthy.
The government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation quoted Education, Heritage & Arts Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy as saying that Yoga will stabilise students’ minds and help them concentrate better on their studies.
Iowane P Tiko, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry said in a Circular that all School Heads, Divisional and District Offices should incorporate Yoga as a component of the weekly Physical Exercise classes for students.
“Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that originated in India,” he said.
Attached to the Circular were pictures of 65 Yoga poses including Warrior, Triangle, Cobra, Crow, Garland, Butterfly, Camel, Boat and Thunderbolt.
Mr Zed urged all countries and territories in Oceania to work towards formally introducing Yoga as a part of curriculum in their public schools, incorporating highly beneficial Yoga in the lives of their students.
Yoga, referred as ‘a living fossil,’ was a mental and physical discipline for everybody to share and benefit. The practice of Yoga goes back to 2000 BCE and the Indus Valley civilisation, he said.
Mr Zed said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, Yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilised by all.
“According to Patañjali, the complier of Yoga Sutra, Yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical. The US National Institutes of Health has said that Yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress,” he said.
Dr Zed said that a recently released ‘2016 Yoga in America Study,’ said that about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice Yoga.
“It is strongly correlated with a positive self-image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche.”