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Hindus condemn banning of yoga in church premises

Hindus have expressed disappointment at news that a church affiliated to Church of England banned yoga in its premises.

It was reported that St. Andrew's Church and Centre, in Dibden Purlieu, banned an 81 years old Christian instructor Eileen Meegan from teaching yoga in the church hall, claiming that it was against the church’s religion and dangerous for the mind. “…doing yoga has enhanced my faith as a Christian”, Meegan was quoted as saying and termed church’s action as “ignorance”.

Although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all, said Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, adding that one could still practice one’s respective faith and do yoga. Yoga would rather help one in achieving one’s spiritual goals in whatever religion one believed in. It was not at odds with any faith and rather made one spiritually healthier.

Mr. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the immediate intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams in this matter to permit the yoga classes in St. Andrew's to bring goodwill among the communities.
 
Mr. Zed stated that yoga, referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from.

Mr. Zed argued that it was simply “un-Christian” to refuse services to a yoga instructor who was trying to help the pensioners de-stress, calm their minds and improve their flexibility through yoga.

The President of Universal Society of Hinduism stressed the importance of dialogue, saying that it help “us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations.”
 
According to United States National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress.
 

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