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Yoga at schools: How it can help children mentally and physically

Ms. Suseela Santhosh, Director, Vishwa Vidyapeeth Group Of Schools

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that allows the mind and body to be connected with each other. It incorporates meditation, breathing exercises, and stretches to reduce stress, and allow relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Importance of Yoga for students

Yoga is integral to physical and mental health. With Yoga, students can be healthy in body, spirit, and mind, thus encouraging them to excel in academics.

Yoga improves balance, endurance, and strength, in children.  It also offers psychological benefits to children. Research has shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, classroom behavior, self-esteem, and academic performance, and can reduce anxiety and stress in children.

Yoga can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by improving the core symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It can also motivate school performance in children with ADHD.

Schools should integrate Yoga as part of physical education programs or school curriculums, to help students reap the benefits of what it offers.

How Yoga helps students physically and mentally?

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

With the pressure of academics, students tend to get stressed out very easily. Yoga is known to be an antidote to stress. It combines popular stress-reducing techniques, including exercise and learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body. Children who regularly practice yoga not only report lower levels of stress and anxiety and subsequently better performance in school.

Improves Memory and Concentration

Students, need to have a sharp mind to be able to learn new things and prepare for exams. Yoga helps to improve memory function in both adults and children, It also helps to enhance contraction levels in children.

Improves Flexibility, Balance, and Posture

Sitting down to study for long hours at a stretch can lead to incorrect posture. Poor posture in childhood can develop into serious health complications in adult life. Regular practice of various asanas leads to correction of posture, improves balance in the body, and makes the body flexible as it brings equilibrium to the body.

 Helps To Manage Weight

Students spend many hours in sedentary poses and tend to consume unhealthy food which is a result of the new age lifestyle. Yoga helps students stay fit and healthy through the regular practice of asanas. Yoga helps to curb the problem of childhood obesity at a young age.

Teaches Correct Breathing Techniques

Breathing is essential to life force and movement, how we breathe is directly related to our overall well-being.  Breathing affects our movement, posture, and our ability to manage stress and stay calm. With the help of pranayama and other breathing exercises in yoga, students can learn how to master the technique of breathing correctly and improve their quality of life.

 Encourages Self-Love and Self-Care

Yoga promotes inner healing rather than focusing on the outside. It is important for people to love and respect their own bodies – a crucial message for young children who are constantly advertised with high standards of body image ideas on social media. Yoga teaches children to be comfortable in their own skin and nurture it well.

Boosts Immunity

Good immunity is essential for a student to perform well in school. Children with good immunity have better attendance and academic performance. Besides its many health benefits, yoga boosts immunity and prevents attacks from different viruses and bacteria by increasing the levels of antibodies in children.

 Promotes Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being aware of your surroundings and living in the present moment. In today’s day and age, students have so many activities going on that they forget to take a moment and be present in the moment. Yoga helps to promote mindfulness in students and makes them less anxious and relaxed. Students also become self-aware and creative when they focus on the present moment.

Students need to have the ability to cope with stress and anxiety and should be able to maintain physical and mental health which is a priceless asset. Yoga is an ancient art but is prominent in present times more than ever before. Yoga has multiple benefits that can help students live a happy and healthy life. Adding Yoga to the curriculum is a way to lead students to achieve mindfulness and inner peace. Yoga creates harmony between their curious mind and body. Kids nowadays are constantly occupied with academics, extracurricular activities, and more, thus, practicing yoga regularly is great for their health.

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