Yoga is an ancient discipline originating from India. It is based on unifying the mind with the body and soul for greater mental and physical wellbeing; it consists of series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing and other techniques. By practicing yoga postures, bones are brought into alignment and muscles are strengthened, stretched and relaxed. In turn, blood is oxygenated, helping to tone the nervous system, improve circulation, promote flexibility and release tension. Continuous practise counteracts the effects of stress and eventually bringing us to a more centred place. As a result, we become more integrated, focused and relaxed.
Recently yoga has been added to Unesco list of intangible world heritage for its’ incredible positive influence into various aspects on society and proven benefits to every individual practitioner. This is followed by the endorsement of a UN International Yoga Day to acknowledge the growth of yoga’s popularity worldwide. It is now practised by all cultures.
It is recognised that yoga has been gradually gaining more and more interest in the UK. Discussions in the UK parliament, started in summer 2016, recommend that “yoga be included as part of mindfulness and wellbeing initiatives for NHS staff and for yoga to be integrated within treatment for patients”, as well as they urge the UK Department for Education “to introduce yoga in the school physical education curriculum”.
Yoga, by nature, supports and maximizes the learning process. It teaches the children to concentrate better. By fostering compassion and cooperation, yoga helps children to build better relationships. In the case if the children are athletic, yoga classes will help them to maximize performance by improving focus & flexibility and strengthening the muscles. If a child experiences social anxiety, yoga can help instil a greater sense of self-knowing, self-worth and confidence.
Here is how yoga can benefit children’s life in school. Yoga:
– Brings students into the present moment, ready for learning.
– Encourages community and connectedness in the classroom.
– Eases anxiety before taking exams.
– Enhances focus, concentration, comprehension, and memory.
– Improves posture, assisting with breathing, writing, and sitting for long periods.
– Enhances team skills and social interaction.
1. Yoga for Children. Lisa Flynn, 2013.
2. Om Magazine “Yoga in the NHS” (Sept 2016 issue)
4. Om Magazine “Cultural Treasure” (Feb 2017 issue)