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Effect of yoga on academic performance


 Bengaluru: Yoga is known as a way of life and it is characterized by health, balance, and pleasure. A common belief is that a regular Yoga practitioner will achieve glowing physical health, peaceful mind and a continues spiritual uplift.

 According to the yoga practitioners and the experts, regular practices of Yoga (meditation, asanas, and pranayama) brings a feeling of well-being, a reduction in body weight and many more. Studies say that three months practice of Savasana will bring improvement patients, who were facing the problem of a headache, insomnia, and nervousness. Yogic techniques also proved as effective in managing anxiety and increasing concentration. Meanwhile, another study found that a 4-week practice of yogasana and meditation will control aggressive behavior among the students.

 The research conducted by  Mind & Body Institute, Harvard Medical School by  Bruce D’ Hara and his team has found the positive influence of meditation on brain functioning and performance.

 Another study carried out by Amit Kauts, and Neelam Sharma on the effect of Yoga on academic performance in relation to stress has strengthened this argument.  This study was carried out to find the role of yoga in the academic performance of adolescent students in relation to their stress. The main objective of the study included finding the effect of yoga on the academic performance in relation to stress.

 This study was undertaken in public schools of Punjab. A yoga module [yogasana + pranayama + meditation + prayer + value orientation program] was introduced to experimental group daily for an hour for 7 weeks. After this same academic performance test was administered to both experimental and control group.

 It is found that students who experienced yoga module performed better in Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies than those who never experienced it.

 Researchers observed a difference in academic performance among students with high stress and students with low stress.  Students with low stress performed better than the students with high stress and study points that the high stress affects students’ performance negatively.

 The findings of this study found that meditation, practiced over a long period has produced changes in perception, attention, and cognition. Other study showed that yoga techniques are helpful in the management of anxiety and improvement in concentration and Transcendental Meditation improves academic performance and enhances problem-solving ability.

 The study concluded that with the intervention of yoga, academic performance improves by optimizing the stress levels. So it is suggested that yoga module should become a regular feature in the schools.

 How can the yoga help the students?

 Yoga is a potential tool to deal with stress and to regulate ourselves. Through providing training to both mind and body Yoga brings emotional balance. Yoga contributes to the healthy development and good mental health. It promotes health among children like improving their attention, self-esteem, empowerment, and self-regulation.

 Presently we can notice a globally increased interest towards Yoga because of its unique features such as yoga can calm the mind and increase overall health and well-being. It can contribute to Children’s mental health and develop healthy relationships with peers and teachers, being able to self-regulate emotionally, mentally and behaviorally.

 Pressure among children occurs for different reasons it may be because of academic reason such as succeeding in school, being attractive and popular, a passion of wearing the right brands of clothes and owning the latest technological gadgets, as such.  This set of expectations creates stress among children and impacts on their mental health.  Furthermore, children severely suffer from bullying at school. These factors may also hamper their school performance.

 In Western countries, mental health problems are commonly witnessed by children and young people.  Studies say that psychological challenges intensify around puberty; due to psychological and biological changes. When growing up, children face pressures from family, school, and other social contexts to perform satisfactorily, and adjust to the rapidly changing pace of development in society.

 Research has revealed that a greater number of school children are diagnosed with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Increased pressure in school, increased emphasis on education and self-discipline might have contributed for this disorder. Furthermore, they have developed many psychological problems like worrying excessively, sleep problems, and experience of hopelessness and stress.

 Modern media and communication technologies offer innumerable distractions and undesired attractions for kids. The time spent on these gadgets by children are clear indicators of the shift in lifestyles and priorities of a new generation. By spending more and more time in front of television sets or computer screens and on cell phones, Children have transformed media as a central part of their lives.

 Thus we can observe an increase in health issues such as obesity and other mental problems such as media addiction, concentration problems, and other attention disorders.

 The ancient practice of yoga may arrive as a remedy to cope with stress for children. It may contribute positively to mental health. A recently published book on Yoga education in India states that “yoga is a powerful medium for developing the personality of children and making them capable of facing the present-day challenges and problems”.

 Being an ancient Indian practice, Yoga has been spread all over the world. Yoga consists of postures (asanas), regulated breathing techniques (pranayamas), hand poses (mudras), and meditation.

 Yoga works as a stress alleviator, especially in the school setting. Academic research suggests that yoga has significant health potentials and is especially helpful for coping with stress. Yoga practice among children has indicated improvements in concentration, helped for stress alleviation, self-awareness, consciousness, self-regulation, behavioral and emotional maturity, and self-confidence in everyday life.

 Through practicing Yoga with determination, one can be able to face the turmoil of life with steadiness and maturity. Yoga should be developed in a way where children enjoy learning yoga, sustain it in practice, and use it in daily life.


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