By Grandmaster Akshar
The setting may have changed since the age where Yoga was taught in the shade of sacred trees, the space within the classroom is a fine opportunity for children to experience its benefits. Be it the Gurukool of yesteryear or the classrooms of today, Yoga is the ideal subject to add to any curriculum for children. It encompasses a myriad of practices that range from asanas and Pranayam for the body to meditation for the mind.
The children of today have so much information to absorb and so much intelligence to be nurtured and Yoga is the perfect mentor to help them exceed their potential and enjoy the experience of learning. With scientific research and evidence done to validate the benefits of Yoga to the young mind, teachers and children alike can together form a great bond through this practice.
Help these little feet to tread on this new journey with a few asanas that can comfortably be performed among their peers within the comfort of the classroom.
Begin your yoga practice by performing Sukshma Vyayam or subtle movements to free the body of any rigidity. It involves mobilising the joints of the body and stretching various muscles.
· Begin by standing up straight with your feet together.
· Allow your arms to hover beside your body.
· Close your eyes and focus on remaining still with minimal shift of body weight.
· This asana practice aligns your body’s energy and brings balance, preparing you for the physical movements to come.
· Stand in samasthithi with your feet together.
· Stretch your arms upward and intertwine the fingers of both palms with each other.
· Ensure that your palms are facing up as you stretch your arms towards the sky.
· Bring your heels off the floor and balance your body weight on your toes.
· As your arms reach further up, you will feel a gentle stretch of your shoulders and back as well, releasing tension and helping in your posture.
· Hold the posture for five seconds.
· Begin by standing straight with your feet together.
· Extend your arms upward and bring your palms together in Pranam Mudra.
· Exhale and gently tilt your upper body forward at the hip until your chest and hands are parallel to the ground.
· Ensure that your spine is straight and your back is not hunched.
· Focus your gaze toward your feet.
· Remain in this posture for 5 seconds.
· Begin with samasthithi.
· Shift your body weight onto your left leg as you gently raise your right foot off the floor.
· Bend your leg sideways at the knee and cradle your foot in your palms.
· Use your palms to position your right foot flat over your inner thigh.
· Ensure your knee is pointing to your right.
· Let go off your foot and bring your palms together in Pranam mudra.
· Hold your Pranam mudra over your heart chakra.
· Balance your body as you remain in this posture for 5 seconds.
· Repeat the same by alternating the legs.
These asanas and physical practices coupled with Pranayam techniques such as Bhastrika and Anulom Vilom will prove invaluable to the positive growth of children.
This routine will keep them alert throughout the day and brimming with enthusiasm and energy towards learning. Yoga is the treasure of our history and can go forward into the future through these young spirits. It is the true path towards health, peace and happiness.
(The writer is a Yoga Master and lifestyle coach.)
(This content is for educational purposes and shall not be treated as substitute for a medical professional’s advice or prescription.)