The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali convey the following message ‘Yogaschittivrtinirodhah’ which simply means that ‘Yoga is the mastery over mind’. This implies that Yoga on its whole and in its philosophy promotes mindfulness by turning restlessness into restfulness. The ‘Yoga philosophy’ has time and again proved that it indeed is a boon for people of all age groups irrespective of their lifestyle and background. The impact that Yoga can have largely depended on the purpose. It strikes the right set of chords and brings that perfect mind-body balance!
This definitely explains why a number of schools have started incorporating yoga into their curriculum and have made it inclusive amongst other activities. As someone who practices yoga regularly and has practiced yoga through school, I can say without a doubt that Yoga truly can benefit children in schools.
The scientific explanation behind the importance of yoga for school children is an area of ongoing research. But these studies only divulge into the extent of it’s benefit. It is quite universal and safe to assume that it has multiple benefits! Several studies have shown that Yoga can induce calmness thus making it an incredible addition to school curriculums. It has also proven to enhance personal growth and overall personality. But how does Yoga really benefit young adults and school going children? Let’s find out in this blog.
Memory and focus
Students are supposed to have the personality of a sponge, i.e. they must absorb pretty much everything they are exposed to. They are to be alert and always rely on logic for reasoning and decision making. This, in the long run, could be quite difficult for some children. Regular yogasana practice, meditation techniques, and pranayama practices have improved young children’s focusing and concentrating abilities. In this way, they will channel their energy towards being better performers in academic and non-academic spheres of school life.
Physical health The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taught all of us a lesson on how necessary physical fitness and immunity can be. Adding yoga as a regular practice in the school curriculum will keep children fit and boost their immunity. But it is not limited to external fitness as a bigger part of it helps with internal health. Pranayamas and asanas regulate the functioning of the internal organs and keep them healthy in the long run.
Managing stress and depression
Children are highly competitive in every aspect. Be it sports, academics, or non-academic spheres of education. What they forget is to learn how to accept criticism, rejection, and failure. And in this process of not knowing how to react to these defeats, they might slip into depression and experience lots of stress. Regular practice of yoga helps these young minds tackle depression, anxiety, mood swings, and stress.
Encouraging self-love & self-care
Yoga ensures that you remain beautiful inside out. It teaches children the art of acceptance of one’s own body. It teaches them to respect themselves and understand their body’s signals. It is indispensable for today’s generation that is immensely engrossed in social media and is constantly looking for the validation of their followers. The core of yoga and what it preaches is self-love and self-care. They learn to be comfortable in their skin.
When Yoga is practiced in a large group in schools, it promotes bringing in a harmonious environment. It instills trust and care in their hearts for one another. It also develops compassion and peace. In the long run, these values help in looking at life more positively. Students also take these practices ahead in their lives.
Self-regulation skills help monitor and adapt the behaviors, attention span, and response emotions to the environment and other beings.
In fact, self-regulation is an essential skill required to succeed in school life. Research has shown that school-based yoga practices can help students understand the importance of emotion regulation and induce mindfulness.
In conclusion, Yoga has several positive effects on children. Children spend most of their time at school, and introducing yoga as a part of the school curriculum can be highly beneficial to them. School being the second home to kids is the perfect basket that can nurture these healthy practices and improve their physical and mental wellbeing and promote peace of mind.
As a parent, you could take the initiative to introduce a balanced Yoga practice to your child. I think joining your child in this process could be a fun activity too! Have fun with it, and don’t forget to breathe… Namaste!