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YOGA IN SCHOOLS

Who doesn’t know the benefits of yoga? Everyone know !

Yoga increases the flexibility, increases muscle strength and tone;


improves respiration, energy and vitality; maintains a balanced metabolism;
weight reduction; cardio and circulatory health; improved athletic
performance; increases immunity; etc. The list is never ending as the
benefits of yoga are immense not only in physical aspects but also in
mental and spiritual aspects.

But! When does one start practicing yoga? In the Indian society, it
is observed that the people take initiative to yoga when their body has been
conquered by a disease! It is a misunderstanding that yoga has to be done
only after one starts suffering from a health problem.

“Prevention is better than cure”. Is it not better to kick start yoga


practice at a very early age so that maximum benefits can be taken and
build a strong army (immunity) in the body that fights varieties of enemies
(diseases) and keeps them away. It is need of the time to include yoga in
the lifestyle of the children right from an early age.

Our children live in a hurry up world of busy parents, school pressures,


incessant lessons, video games, malls and competitive sports. We usually
don’t think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are.
The bustling pace of our children’s lives can have a profound effect on their
innate joy- and usually not for the better.

Yoga can help counter these pressures. When children learn


techniques of self health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can navigate
life’s challenges with a little more ease. Yoga at an early age encourages
self esteem and body awareness with a physical activity. Fostering
cooperation and compassion is a great gift to give to our children.

Children drive enormous benefits from yoga. In addition to physical


benefits, it enhances their concentration, improves memory power and

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sense of calmness and relaxation improves. Doing yoga , children exercise,
play, connect more deeply with inner self, and develop an intimate
relationship with the natural world that surrounds them.

All said and done, now, how to bring the children to the practice of yoga?
It is time to introduce yoga in the lifestyle of children and youth. It is the
time to include yoga in the academic curriculum of schools and colleges. In
recent years , with the declaration of June 21 as International Yoga Day,
many schools have started teaching yoga in schools. But it not enough to
just include yoga as an exercise session once in a week. It is important to
introduce yoga as a subject in schools. Along with the physical practice of
asanas, it is equally important to teach

* the morals of yam, niyam – the social and personal conducts

* essence of Bhagavad Gita, Vedas and Upanishads and Patanjali yoga


sutras through fables and rhymes, and moral stories

* pratyahar and pramana – to wisely select what is good and withdraw from
bad habits. This is very essential as many youth are falling prey to drugs
and other bad habits.

* dharana and dhyan - help in focusing the mind, concentrate and be


steady with clear thoughts without confusion.

Yoga as a subject with minimum qualifying marks to get into the next
level of schools and colleges has to be made essential to prepare the
future generation of India. With the gearing competitive world, yoga is very
important to keep in pace with the time.

UNESCO recognizes the clear potential of yoga for education. It believes


that schools must provide an environment conducive to learning where
children feel physically and mentally safe and encouraged to learn from
their mistakes. UNESCO suggests the policy makers of the countries to
recognize and respect the multiple talents of the students apart from
academic excellence.

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The benefits of yoga provides instant gratification and lasting
transformation. It helps the children and the adolescents to shape their
personality (annamaya kosha towards the inner subtler vehicles of the
body), become better citizens of India and contribute to the development of
India.

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