Schools can become very stressful for children, especially in this era of cut throat competition. It gets extremely high during the exam times. It is such a big issue, that it has led to extreme events like suicides among children.This stress, many times, leads children to resort to substance abuse, which explains the increase in the number of school children exposed to substances like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.There are also other problems children face in the school like bullying, which adversely effects the conditions of the children in general.
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To overcome such stress, it is imperative that the schools are made conducive to a child’s growth. Activities and actions that lead to the decrease in stress among children need to be encouraged among children. A recent study at the Tulane University showed that yoga for school children can help them better manage stress and anxiety the face. The study was conducted in a public school in New Orleans and sessions were conducted which included breathing exercises, relaxation and several yoga poses appropriate for children. According to the researchers, Yoga “improved psycho-social and emotional quality of life” of the children. The teachers also reported that Yoga had a positive influence of the class and have since been using more often in the school. Following are the poses of yoga for school children to make a part of their daily routine-
1.Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
Pranamasana is a pose that everybody is familiar with. We do this every day at home when welcoming guests and elders, and at school during prayer time. This posture helps ease the nervous system and gives better balance to the body. This is the first step of the Surya Namaskar.
2.Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
This pose helps strengthen the shoulder and also improves the level of oxygen in the blood. It helps relax the muscles in the neck and back; stretches the spinal cord and helps relieve from back-ache. It is a part of the Surya Namaskar and also beneficial to tighten abdominal muscles.
3.Hasta Padasana (Hand to foot pose)
This is an excellent pose to improve blood circulation to the head; and stimulate digestive, nervous and endocrine systems. It also helps stretch the spinal cord and muscles of the back and those in the back-side of legs. This is the third and tenth step of the Surya Namaskar.
- Marjariasana (Cat pose)
This posture helps relax the mind, improves digestion and blood circulation. It also strengthens the wrists and shoulders.
- Vajrasana (Adamantine pose)
Vajrasana is an excellent posture for digesting food and strengthening the nerves of legs and thighs.
- Veerbhadrasana (Warrior pose)
This posture increases stamina, improves balance in the body, and brings courage and peace. It also strengthens and tones the arms, legs and lower back.
- Shishuasana (Child pose)
Shishuasana is an effective posture for relaxing the back and calming down the nervous system.
We should also introduce Yoga in schools, given the benefits it has for children. Also, parents can teach Yoga to their children or hire a Yoga trainer at home to teach them. This ensure complete well-being of the children.