In recent times, we often find students leading stressful lives. I think that one of the most stressful times in a person’s life is when they are in school. Nowadays students get stressed due to many reasons. A small amount of work is fine for them, but high expectations lead to stress. Among the many ways to help reduce stress in students, Yoga, in my opinion, is the most effective.
The ancient Indian practice of Yoga has gained global presence and vibrancy in recent years. Millions of people across the world benefit by the practice of Yoga. It has gained immense popularity and visibility at a global level due to short-term as well as long-term benefits that it provides.
Human beings are a combination of physical, mental and spiritual aspects; Yoga promotes stable development of all three. Other forms of physical exercises, aerobics for instance, assure only physical well-being, whereas Yoga goes beyond the physical and ensures mental and spiritual well-being as well. For a healthy and fit body, fresh and positive-thinking mind, motivation and stress reduction, Yoga provides a holistic solution.
Yoga is a way of living that directs towards ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. The word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. Dr. Amit Ray – author and spiritual master says, “Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”
The aims of Yoga enthusiasts are extremely varied. Some are particularly inspired by the Spiritual Element, others by the increased Fitness and Flexibility that it results in. Some people find solutions to suffering from varied Health Disorders and there are others who achieve an All-Round Development of a calm, stress-free mind and a fit body.
Yoga practice in schools has grown phenomenally over the past 5 – 10 years. Yoga in schools improves academic achievement and creates a positive classroom climate. It also cultivates competencies in mind, creates body awareness, self-regulation and physical fitness. Taken together these competencies will lead to improvements in students’ behaviour, mental state, health and performance.
Dear readers, as you practice Yoga, remember that it not only helps improve the physical body but also helps in maintaining inner peace. Moreover, Yoga is not just a one-day practice, it’s a life time commitment. The more you practice, the more you are benefited.
Each student is different with what stresses them as well as how they cope with it. Everyone is different and they need to find different ways to understand and relieve their stress. We teachers and parents can together work towards creating awareness and cultivating practice of Yoga in children’s everyday experience to reduce their stress and give them a better life.
To end with, I will leave you with a quote by the legendary Yogacharya, BKS Iyengar – “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
-Padmapriya, Teacher, Sri Seshaas International Public School