• Hindus urge Tennessee to offer yoga in all 56 state parks

    By Staff Reports -

    Hindus commended Tennessee State Parks of Tennessee Government Department of Environment and Conservation for launching yoga series in Dunbar Cave State Park in June.

    “Enjoy the tranquil setting of the cool cave and the area’s wildlife all while flowing, stretching, and breathing in a yoga sequence,” the state park announcement said. “Registered yoga teacher Shana Thornton will guide you through both standing and seated postures…Children 10 years of age and older…are welcome to accompany parents in this class.”

    Hindu statesman Rajan Zed applauded Tennessee’s efforts to bring yoga to Dunbar Cave State Park, calling it a step in the positive direction. Zed urged Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to explore various benefits yoga offered by launching yoga in all its 56 state parks.

    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, according to Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism.

    Zed further said yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be used 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 U.S. 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, 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 said.

    Dunbar Cave in 141-acre Dunbar Cave State Park near Clarksville was believed to be used by humans for thousands of years. Tennessee State Parks, since 1937, includes in its mission statement to “provide a variety of safe quality outdoor experiences.” Shari L. Meghreblian is commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation, Brock Hill is deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Parks and Conservation and Mike Robertson is State Parks operations director.

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