- Yoga is a set of physical, mental and spiritual practices originating from India.
- Yoga can alleviate health problems, reduce stress and promote overall well being.
- Has been found to have health benefits like increased fitness, suppleness,concentration and reduced stress.
- The practice of Yoga should not be seen as a specific religious ritual. It can be practiced by anyone.
Yoga for Schools:
Yoga is now a popular activity both for adults as well as in many schools. It does not need extensive kits and other resources. The practice of Yoga should not be seen as a specific religious ritual. It can be practiced by anyone. It is a good extra-curricular activity, which can help both children and adults to develop a strong and healthy physical body, mental concentration, and assist them in developing emotionally. It is a fun filled activity which can relax them after a hard day of school work, and unlike other sports/forms of exercise, isn’t competitive despite being involved as a group. This then builds a team working spirit which helps the students to interact in a uncompetitive atmosphere, something they are not normally used to.
“For me, yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself.”- Mary Glover
Benefits for children:
- Children learn best when they are relaxed and happy
- Asanas (postures) , Pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation are used in the sessions as a fun filled activity
- Children have more energy, flexibility and balance
- They become more peaceful and self-aware
- They can focus and concentrate on studies easily
- They can cope with stresses like exams, peer pressure etc
- You don’t need to be specially fit to do yoga, it’s a process of naturally getting better over time, and there is no sense of insecurity such as ‘this child is better than me’ because it is an individual exercise where performance isn’t analysed, so there is no worry of being judged.
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress , promote relaxation , and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Meditation techniques have been practiced for millennia. Originally, they were intended to develop spiritual understanding, awareness, and direct experience of ultimate reality. The many different religious traditions in the world have given rise to a rich variety of meditative practices. These include the contemplative practices of Christian religious orders, the Buddhist practice of sitting meditation, and the whirling movements of the Sufi dervishes. Although meditation is an important spiritual practice in many religious and spiritual traditions, it can be practiced by anyone regardless of their religious or cultural background to relieve stress and pain .
As Western medical practitioners begin to understand the mind’s role in health and disease, there has been more interest in the use of meditation in medicine. Meditative practices are increasingly offered in medical clinics and hospitals as a tool for improving health and quality of life. Meditation has been used as the primary therapy for treating certain diseases; as an additional therapy in a comprehensive treatment plan; and as a means of improving the quality of life of people with debilitating, chronic, or terminal illnesses.
Meditation benefits people with or without acute medical illness or stress. People who meditate regularlyhave been shown to feel less anxiety and depression .
They also report that they experience more enjoyment and appreciation of life and that their relationships with others are improved. Meditation produces a state of deep relaxation and a sense of balance or equanimity. According to Michael J. Baime, “Meditation cultivates an emotional stability that allows the meditator to experience intense emotions fully while simultaneously maintaining perspective on them.” Out of this experience of emotional stability, one may gain greater insight and understanding about one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. This insight in turn offers the possibility to feel more confident and in control of life. Meditation facilitates a greater sense of calmness, empathy, and acceptance of self and others.