“I am proud to say my school district has embarked on a whole child journey. The most important ingredients revolves around our extended recess time (we increased recess from twenty minutes to forty minutes), yoga, meditation and mindfulness work for students K-8. Our staff members have been participating in yoga and mindfulness activities as well,” Dr. Michael J. Hynes PMSD Superintendent wrote in a statement here last week.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, applauded PMSD for coming forward and providing an opportunity to students to avail the multiple benefits yoga provided. Zed urged New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Department Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia; 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 New York’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 a “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.
PMSD, headquartered in Patchogue (New York), whose Mission is “to provide diverse pathways and varied enrichment opportunities that will lead to meaningful learning experiences for all students”, runs 11 schools. Its Tremont Elementary School in Medford, where yoga classes were reportedly held for grades three, four, and five in November, has a “Yoga Room”. An hour-long “Yoga Discussion” was scheduled in “Caffeine with Mike” (Superintendent Hynes) on November 17. Anthony C. O’Brien is PMSD Board President.