By Hetal Mehta
Preparing for exams? Include a few minutes of yoga posture practice and breathing techniques (pranayama) in the daily schedule and reap benefits of a calm and focused mind on the D-Day.
A bright young girl, with sparkling eyes full of enthusiasm, marched up to me and said, “I am appearing for my board exams and seek your blessings. You are my first Art Excel teacher.” It took me a while to recognize her, as we had met after six years. She had grown into a tall, smart, and beautiful teenager. I asked her curiously, “You are appearing for board exams! Don’t you have to study? When are your board exams starting?” Confident and relaxed, she answered, “Yes, exams have already started. I have my second exam tomorrow. You taught me Kriya and yoga in Art Excel Course, which I practice daily. Sometimes I do feel a little nervous, but yoga keeps me calm.”
Yoga can transform negative emotions
For most children, it all starts with a feeling of anxiety, nervousness, or worry before and during exams, especially when one is not fully prepared. This leads to fear and tension. If not attended to, these emotions could transform into depression or dejection, particularly for children in higher classes. When this goes out of hand, some children start contemplating suicide. Most children are not taught how to handle anxiety and eliminate stress, which can be done effectively through simple yoga techniques.
Daily dose of yoga sharpens memory
Daily yoga practice makes studying easy as efficiency increases and the memory becomes sharper. Yoga has always proven to be an aid in relaxing the mind and body, for children and adults. I have seen a high percentage of Art Excel and YES Course graduates, who meditate and do yoga daily and are cool about appearing for examinations and public performances. It has been observed that children perform their best when they are cool and relaxed. We can not only prevent children from going into depression, but also boost their confidence and ability to perform. All this can be achieved just by teaching them some easy, yet powerful, yoga and breathing techniques.
Simple yoga and breathing techniques that children can practice daily 10-12 rounds of Sun Salutation, followed by Nadi Shodhan, Bhastrika, Ujjayi breathing, or Concentration pranayama (taught in YES and YES+ courses) Result: A calm and peaceful mind; your best friend during exams
A calm environment helps kids perform better
Till recently, I had not seen younger children feeling anxious or scared of examinations. Research says that in most cases it is the surroundings that enforce feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety in a child. Sometimes, parents or teachers compare their kid’s performance or scold him/her, and this crushes their confidence. Most parents and teachers are not aware of this fact as comparison happens unconsciously, which reflects on the child. To help children perform better, parents and teachers, who comprise a child’s surroundings, must also practice yoga to be calm and relaxed.
Add daily dose of yoga to your child’s exam preparations and see them say bye-bye to tension and anxiety. All the best for stress-free examinations!
(Hetal Mehta is an Art of Living teacher, specializing in teaching children and teens. Often mistaken for a little girl herself, Hetal is passionate about teaching children essential life skills.)