Mormon settled Salt Lake City now a top yoga-friendly town

Salt Lake City, capital of Utah settled by Mormon pioneers
in 1847, is now one of the 10 fantastically yoga-friendly
towns of USA, as declared by August 2011 issue of Yoga Journal.

Other nine towns on the list of  this San Francisco (California)
headquartered prestigious yoga magazine are: Asheville (North
Carolina), Austin (Texas), Boulder (Colorado), Encinitas
(California), Minneapolis (Minnesota), New Orleans (Louisiana),
Portland (Oregon), Washington (District of Columbia), and
Woodstock (New York).

Journal reports that Woodstock, with a population of 6,090,
has six yoga studios, and yoga is part of the curriculum
at some New Orleans charter schools.

Welcoming the widespread interest in yoga, Hindu statesman
Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that
although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a
world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by
all. 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.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism,
further said 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.
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. Yoga was based on an eightfold path to direct
the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a
focus on the inner, Zed added.

Rajan Zed argued that yoga, which never had any formal
organization, was the repository of something basic in the
human soul and psyche. Yoga had been booming in USA and
there were splendid yoga studios all over the country.

According to National Institutes of Health, yoga may help
one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture,
breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. Swami Vivekananda
reportedly brought yoga to USA in 1893. According to an
estimate, about 16 million Americans, including many
celebrities, now practice yoga.

Kaitlin Quistgaard is the Editor-in-Chief of Yoga Journal,
which claims to empower readers to make healthy lifestyle
choices for their bodies and minds, and is published by
El Segundo (California) based Active Interest Media headed
by Efrem Zimbalist III as CEO.

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