Young and old professionals practicing Yoga to relieve themselves from stress and anxiety at work has become popular in recent times. But today, children in schools have been practicing Yoga too! Recently, when the parents of the children at a school in Georgia which implemented yoga in the classroom raised issues about it stating that it was teaching them a religion, the suit was ruled against by the judge. Very rightly so, because although the Yoga philosophy has its roots in Hinduism, it is designed to heighten spirituality.
A study published in 2012 in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services stated that students taking Yoga reported a positive nature, increased energy, ability to relax and an improved posture. Yoga can teach the children the basics of breathing techniques and also teach them how to leverage their breathing during stressful times. The right breathing exercises can also help them better manage emotionally overwhelming experiences.
When physical education is getting limited in schools, yoga can teach the children self-control and respect for their bodies. Several yoga poses help the children with better balance, coordination, and movement control.
In today’s time of digital distractions, yoga can help children increase their imagination, reduce stress, and increase mindfulness through mindfulness meditation.
“Instead of symbolic interpretations and semantics, Yoga is all about what you can achieve, regardless of faith or age", says Danta, who prefers to call her sessions “breathing, mobility and meditation” rather than Yoga.
We absolutely agree with Danta’s view. As Amit Ray, the spiritual master in Himalayan Yoga and author has rightly summarized, “Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind, and soul.”
(This post presents our views on an article that first appeared in CNN Edition at http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/10/health/yoga-in-schools/ )