Hindus have commended Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert for offering free yoga classes for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

“This mindful, meditative, mat-based class helps lower anxiety, boost mood and improve quality of sleep,” according to an announcement from the center.

Nevada-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed termed it as a step in the positive direction to make multi-benefit yoga available free of cost for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Zed has also urged Banner Health Board Chairman Larry Lazarus and CEO Peter S. Fine to offer free yoga classes to all Banner patients.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, is a mental and physical discipline for everybody to share and benefit from, and can be traced to around 2,000 BC to the Indus Valley civilization, said Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism.

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 the sage 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 mental.

According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, 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) 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.

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, whose tagline is “Making Cancer History,” was launched in 2011. Dr. Matthew Callister is its medical director.