The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently issued a directive to schools across the country to introduce yoga from Class 6. The directive does not apply to schools under the state education boards.
Schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have already incorporated this into their curriculum, says Dr Sabitha Ramamurthy, principal of CMR National Public School.
“It is more than a decade since we included yoga. We have this from Class 1 to 10. It helps children in higher classes manage stress better,” she says.
Children are flexible and can learn asanas better. Yoga is now a part of their routine, she told Metrolife.
Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir in Vidyaranyapura, run by the Art of Living, has also been teaching yoga over the years.
Mamatha Raviprakash, principal, says, “Breathing techniques in yoga were included in our curriculum and tweaked to suit present-day requirements. There is an hour for yoga for all classes from three to 12 every day,” she says.
Children in higher classes learn a specific kind of Sudarshan Kriya that helps them manage stress better, improve concentration and enhance creativity, while those in lower classes practice techniques to channelise their energy levels better, explains Mamatha.
Yoga aids adolescent children to overcome inhibition, gain acceptance among their peers and manage their emotions, she reckons. “And they are also able to focus on their academics better,” she says.
Dr Swati Popat Vats, president of Early Childhood Association of India, points out, “NCERT’s guideline is a good step for two reasons. It takes care of not only the physical well-being of our children but also their mental health.”
Docs recommend yoga
According to Dr Chittaranjan Andrade, professor and head, department of psychopharmacology, Nimhans:
Yoga instils discipline.
It aids relaxation.
Improves balance and posture
Some asanas are strenuous but are recommended for all ages as it gives practitioners better command over their bodies.
What NCERT says
All children need to be involved in formal and informal games, yoga and sports. This is imperative for health and physical education from Class 1 to 10.