Hindus have welcomed The Dover Church, a congregation of United Church of Christ in Dover (Massachusetts) launched in 1762, for offering yoga classes.
The Dover Church, which terms itself as “A Welcoming Community of Faith and Service” and “An Open and Affirming Congregation”, is offering Yoga on Tuesdays. The announcement says that the theme is “Breathe, Feel and Flow” and adds that “there will always be a chance for meditation and reflection around a theme”. Church is also offering a Meditation class where various “techniques” will be taught besides “offering space for silence”.
Reverend Dr. C. Maxwell Olmstead, Senior Pastor at the Church, will teach yoga classes, which are free; reports suggest. Beth Benjamin is Director of Congregational Life at the Church.
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, noted.
Rajan 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, Zed added.