Yoga has been defined as “chitta vritti nirodha” that means “stops all internal and external forms of thinking which may sprout with or without violation” – stilling the mind.
When we look at the role of yoga in education from various angles, including the type of education that was being provided to children throughout the world as well as the different levels of stress that children face in the classroom environment. The difficulties, problems, conflicts, distractions and dissipation of their energies were also considered. We should start using certain principles and practices of yoga, firstly, as an experiment to increase the children's learning ability and, secondly, to inspire teachers to teach their subjects in a slightly different way.
We have to look at what science says about the growth of a child, what psychoanalysis says about child psychology and how the hormones and glands alter and influence the rationality, emotional structure and creative output of the child.
Balancing both hemispheres of the brain
Science tells us that there are two hemispheres in our brain, the right and the left. These two hemispheres perform different functions. The functions of the left hemisphere are linear, logical and intellectual. Those of the right hemisphere are artistic, creative and intuitive.
The subjects which are taught follow a linear, logical system, whether it is maths, history, geography, physics, chemistry or medicine, whether it is advanced education or secondary education. In this process only one side of the brain is stimulated - the linear, logical side.
In order to balance the other aspects, we teach children the arts. We encourage them to practise music, to paint, to perform plays. We encourage them to use their creativity. But if you compare the influence of the different lobes of the brain, you will find that the linear and logical are more pronounced than the artistic and creative. This is one point.
Overall Academic Improvement
Stress is a major obstacle to academic achievement, and yoga's stress relief powers have been shown to boost student performance.
Yoga has been shown to improve memory in both adults and children, a benefit that would seem certain to improve academic performance.
Improved Attention Span
Controlling attention is a challenge for children, partly because the brain's frontal lobes, which control the power of attention, mature later than some other functions. Yoga requires attention, which can be a challenge for younger yogis, but it has also been found to enhance the ability to control attention, even in hyperactive children.
Yoga asanas build strength, flexibility and confidence. Regular practice of yoga can help lose weight, relieve stress, improve immunity and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being.
Mr. Nitin Tyagi
Assistant Professor (ECE)