Hindus want pilot “yoga replacing detention” program extended to all Denver Public Schools

Hindus have commended Doull Elementary School (DES) in Denver for reportedly trading detention with yoga, and are urging Denver Public Schools (DPS) to expand it to all its 207 schools.

Calling it a step in the positive direction, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, complimented DPS and DES for coming forward and providing an opportunity to students to avail the multiple benefits yoga provided.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged DPS Board of Education headed by Anne Rowe and Superintendent Tom Boasberg to work towards broadening this yoga program to cover all the DPS schools, thus incorporating highly beneficial yoga in the lives of all the about 92,331 K12 students of City and County of Denver.

The funding for this yoga initiative came from $100,000 grant from DPS out of voter-approved mill levy, and is meant to be used to support the social and emotional learning of students, reports suggest.

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.

DPS, lead by an all women Board, claims to be “one of the best urban school systems in the country”. Goals of DPS, whose roots can be traced to 1859, include “Support for the Whole Child”; and Lakota language is taught here. Jodie Carrigan is the Principal of DES, which has a “Yoga Club” and whose “students are ranked among the happiest in DPS”.