Hindus have welcomed The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, an Episcopal church which is claimed as largest Cathedral in the world, for presenting yoga classes. “Body and Soul: Yoga from the Cathedral” fortnightly classes offering yoga and mindfulness meditation streamed virtually from inside the building’s monumental architecture, will be led by Cathedral’s Manager of Visitor Services Mia Michelson-Bartlett, who is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. Announcement states that “let the Cathedral help you align, ground, and recalibrate” and claims to help “quiet the mind and connect with something beyond ourselves”.
Welcoming the Episcopal Cathedral for offering yoga, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that 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 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 a report of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Yoga is the most popular complementary health approach in the United States – used by 14.3% of the adult population, or 35.2 million people”.
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. Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Rajan Zed adds. Construction of The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the Seat of its Bishop, began in 1892 and is still considered “unfinished”. Besides regular liturgical services, it also blesses animals and bikes. Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III is the Dean. The Episcopal Church, founded 1783, is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity.