A combination of super brain yoga, exercise and the right diet can give a boost to your child’s attention span!
By Megha Pai
Have you ever heard the saying ‘memory of a goldfish’? The average attention span for the infamously scatterbrained goldfish is nine seconds. However, according to a new study, people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, which means human beings now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish!
The negative effects of our digital lifestyle are even more detrimental to children. Children’s inability to focus and retain things has become a major problem today. Kids are constantly being diagnosed with attention deficit disorders (ADD) and being medicated. But these medications come with serious and harmful side-effects. Rather than relying on chemical medicines to keep your child focussed and energised, why not try something a little more sustainable and beneficial for their mind and body. Here are a few natural ways to improve your child’s memory:
Pranayamas or breathing exercises are an effortless way to relax the mind and improve concentration. Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath) helps in calming mental activity, releases negative emotions and improves concentration and memory. Nadi Shodan Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) soothes the nervous system and improves attention.
A physical workout helps the brain to stay sharp. It increases oxygen to the brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss. Perhaps most importantly, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections. You may also try some yoga asanas such as Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Halasana (Plow Pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) and even Super Brain Yoga to boost brain functions.
Here’s how you can do super brain yoga:
Stand tall and straight, with your arms on the side. Lift your left arm and hold your right earlobe with your thumb and index finger. Your thumb should be in front. Lift your right arm and hold your left earlobe. Your right arm should be over your left arm. Inhale deeply and squat down slowly to a sitting position. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds. Gently exhale as you rise up again. This completes one cycle. You may repeat this cycle about 15 times every day.
Benefits of super brain yoga:
Super brain yoga activates acupuncture points on the earlobe that helps stimulate your grey matter. This exercise helps your brain by:
Synchronising the left and right side of the brain.
Distributing energy levels and increasing sense of calmness.
Increasing mental energy and creativity.
Improving focus, concentration and memory power.
Boosting decision-making skills.
Relieving stress or behavioral problems.
The food we eat has an awful lot to do with how the brain functions. Make sure to feed your little ones lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet that are rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals. Avoid sugary, artificial and processed foods as much as possible. Also make sure they are drinking enough water to stay hydrated, as dehydration negatively affects the brain’s ability to think.
4. Digital Detox
Constant exposure to electronic gadgets is actually changing the very structure and wiring of their brains and negatively affecting their ability to focus and retain details. So it’s best to cut off or limit your kids’ screen time as their brains are still developing and malleable.
There are three main mind-body types in Ayurveda – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. There are seven different combinations of these three basic types. A child might be Vata-Pitta, or Pitta-Kapha, or Vata-Kapha. Or he or she might be a combination of all three.
An Ayurvedic doctor can check your child’s Nadi (pulse) and tell you your child’s Prakriti (nature). Understanding your child’s mind-body type can help you to understand their nature and also understand how to help them learn, retain and recall knowledge easily and effortlessly.
6. Sudarshan Kriya Yoga
Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is a rhythmic breathing exercise taught by Art of Living. Over 70 independent studies have shown that regular practice of SKY boosts memory and awareness.
(With inputs from Shreya Chugh, International Director, Art of Living Kids Programs)
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