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Minu Madlani

Minu Madlani is Principal at KPB Hinduja College.

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Yoga, An Effective Way for Mental and Physical Fitness

Yoga helps children and young people cope with stressful situations and come out of it positively ensuring mental stability.

The most common mental ailments that students suffer from are depression and anxiety. Students have to deal with peer and social media pressures on an everyday basis. According to a report released by World Health Organization (WHO), not only do 56 million Indians suffer from depression, another 38 million suffer from anxiety disorders.  

The infamous cases of student suicides have given rise to a lot of questions that point towards the mental and physical fitness of students in the country. In 2016, there was a 14% increase in the number of prescriptions written for anti depressants; giving further evidence on the fact that one in every 20 Indians suffer from depression.  Depression, though widely spread in India, it rarely gets that importance in the public health system that focuses on infectious diseases like tuberculosis and dengue.

Detecting stress and depression in early stages is critical as it can help in avoiding adverse reactions. Parents and Schools/Colleges should work together as a joint entity in keeping a track on student’s behavior and notice the changes in order to help them come out of stress and depression. 

While we talk about mental fitness as a phenomenon that is being discussed widely, it roots from physical fitness. Physical fitness and mental fitness are two integrated components that aid in bringing out a balanced behavior. 

Considered to be one of the most potential tools for children and young adults to deal with stress, Yoga brings balance to one’s body and soul. According to researchers, yoga postures like Pranayama and Surya Namaskar will benefit students and others, if they practice them for about six months. While physical exercises work more on the bones and muscles, yoga benefits the brain too.

Yoga and meditation amongst children can bring development, self confidence and also aid in managing their weight. Regularly practicing yoga can help in moderating emotional behaviors that lead to improved focus and attention.  Yoga poses requires a lot of focus and core strength, which teaches students the art of regulating themselves thus assisting in their all around well-being and academic performance. The physical fitness of students required to keep them high on energy all through the day can be attained through yoga. Not only does yoga help in relaxation, it also increases the brain function which improves focus and knowledge retention.

Yoga helps children and young people cope with stressful situations and come out of it positively ensuring mental stability. It’s not only a powerful medium to develop a child’s personality but also prepares them to face the real world challenges on a day-to-day basis. Yoga in early childhood helps students improve their resilience, mood, and self-regulation skills pertaining to emotions and stress. From a long term perspective, yoga and meditation are important skills for coping with mental ailments such as depressions and anxiety.

A healthy state of mind can help people think clearly and explore opportunities for themselves to reach their maximum potentials. In order to achieve that one must seek other solutions like Yoga that will provide empowerment to reflect on self and aid in factors like self-protection, self-regulation, and holistic self-development. Yoga has time and again proved that it can be an adjunct to medical treatment of mental illness with maximum impact. Practicing yoga alone provides evidence of improved benefits in concentration and behavioral and emotional maturity. 

For one to continuously keep practicing yoga life-long it needs to be focused and multi-disciplinary yet it should be done with a playful approach in order to avoid monotony. A continuous yoga training process has the potential to reduce anxiety and stress in people providing happy and healthy living. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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