Benefits of Yoga in School Curriculum

by Jun 24, 2021Education0 comments

On June 21, the International Yoga Day, the Government of India launched NIOS(National Institute of Open Schooling) Diploma course in Yogic Science.

The course comes out with the self-instructional material.

The course in Yogic science is aimed at helping those who pass out of the course to become a job provider rather than a job seeker.

The course is the part of the two-year Diploma programme that has five subjects in the first year in which Yoga Teaching Training will be taught. In the second year five subjects related to Yoga Therapy will be taught.

At the level of the States, on the International Yoga Day, the Haryana government included Yoga in the school curriculum for classes 1 to 10 from the current academic session.

Haryana thus joined Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in introducing Yoga in schools.

It may, however, be noted that when it was introduced in the schools in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, these states had governments led by the BJP. Now that the governments in these states have changed, it is not clear whether the system is still continuing, as the ruling Congress party had reservations when Yoga was introduced in the schools.

Be that as it may, research in many parts of the world have shown that providing yoga within the school curriculum is an effective way to help students develop self-regulation, mind-body awareness and physical fitness, which may, in turn, foster additional SEL (social, emotional learning) competencies and positive student outcomes such as improved behaviours, mental state, health and performance.

Here are some of the benefits of including yoga for children in school:

1) Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Yoga’s innate ability to cease the mental chatter and live in the moment reduces stress and anxiety, showing profound benefits in every sphere of life. Students are very stressed individuals, keen to outperform themselves and prove their worth every chance they get.

Yoga helps them to deal with their stress and bring back some peace of mind. Those who regularly practice yoga not only report lower levels of stress and anxiety and subsequently improved academic performance.

2) Improves Memory and Attention Span

Yoga helps to improve the memory function in both adults and children, a direct benefit of which would be a better academic performance in children. It also helps to improve children’s attention span and focus. In fact, yoga aids children suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as well by reducing its core symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Many children suffering from ADHD are able to reduce their medication with regular yoga practice. This is one of the amazing benefits of yoga in schools.

3) Helps to Manage Weight

Children spend long hours in sedentary poses and tend to consume a lot of junk food as well, both of which are a by-product of the new age lifestyle. Yoga helps to counterbalance this lifestyle.

Through regular practice of asanas, children (especially those who are not fond of playing sports) can manage a healthy weight. This helps to curb the problem of childhood obesity at a young age in a salubrious way.

4) Improves Flexibility, Balance and Posture

Sitting down to study for long hours at a time and too much screen time can lead to incorrect posture. This poor posture in childhood can develop into major anatomy complication in adult life.

The practice of various asanas on a regular basis leads to correction of posture, enhances flexibility and improves balance as it brings equilibrium to the whole body.

5) Teaches Correct Breathing Techniques

Breathing is fundamental to life and how we breathe is directly related to our overall well-being. Good breathing affects our movement, our posture, and our ability to handle stress in a positive way.

Through pranayama and other breathing exercises in yoga, students can learn at a young age how to master the technique of breathing correctly and improve the quality of their life.

6) Promotes Mindfulness

Mindfulness is simply learning to be in the present. Focusing on your breath or directing your attention to the furthest sounds you can perceive is mindfulness; this can be done at any time of the day – even for a few seconds.

Mindfulness enables people to become less anxious and more relaxed. Children can become more mindful using creative and entertaining visualisation techniques.

7) Encourages Self-Love and Self-Care

Yoga promotes healing from the inside rather than looking good on the outside. It teaches people how to respect and love their own bodies – an essential message for young children who are constantly advertised with warped body image ideas on social media.

With self-love, comes self-care and yoga can teach these values at a very young age. The children learn to be comfortable in their own skin and nurture it well.

8) Helps to Bring Peace of Mind

The vastness of academic curriculum alone can baffle students and yet, they deal with many other extra-curricular activities and social life as well. By practising pranayama and mindfulness, students really learn how to handle the anxiety and manage the different aspects of life effectively.

The peace of mind stimulates the release of good hormones that have a snowball effect and uplifts the disposition of the child in general.

9) Improves Self-Control

Through controlled breathing and controlled movement, yoga teaches people self-control. As a result, they do not react impulsively or make hasty decisions even in an emotional state.

With self-mastery, a person can keep his or her anger in check and make rational decisions when required. If a young yogi can learn self-control at a young age, indeed, no door can ever be closed for him or her.

10) Reduces Absences and Violence in School

Because of good health and balanced temperament, children are less likely to remain absent from school or pick fights with each other over small issues. Instead, they tend to engage more positively in school and develop healthy relationships with their teachers and peers.

11) Enhances Coping Skills

As mentioned before, children are burdened with a lot of stress. Yoga teaches children how to correctly cope with the stress, manage it, and stay productive. This is because the children learn how to breathe deeply and be more mindful.

12) Boosts Immunity and Improves Physical Appearance

Alongside its myriad health benefits, yoga also boosts immunity and prevents attacks from different viruses and bacteria by increasing the levels of antibodies. Yoga promotes blood circulation which can work wonders for the skin, hair and nails. A healthy body feels and looks happy.

13) Improves The Quality of Sleep

Children should sleep for up to 7-8 hours each night. A good night’s sleep allows the body to be healthy, ready, and energetic for the next day. As yoga allows the body and the mind to relax, practitioners notice a better quality in their sleep. With better sleep, children can focus better in class, play more actively, and perform better at examinations.

14) Increases Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Yoga is tangible. Through asanas, children build strength, endurance, confidence as well as the mind-body connection. You can self-assess the changes and positivity you feel after having engaged in this for some time. This confidence attained on the yoga mat is then carried into the real world as well along with strength, compassion and acceptance.

Yoga is an age-old art but is relevant in present times more than ever before. When it comes to benefits of yoga, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It has multiple gross and fine rewards which can help you live a healthy and joyful life. Gift your child the abundance of yoga and watch as the benefits slowly unfold!

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