By Garima Prasher

Schools turn to meditation and yoga sessions to help students adapt to classroom learning after two years and improve their concentration

Change, no matter how constant, is never easy. After more than two years of a pandemic, students are returning to classrooms, and to help students destress, drive away fatigue and improve their concentration, several schools are turning to yoga for help.

Schools say, over the last two years, children have experienced high-stress levels and have been living a sedentary lifestyle.

Their attention span has also shortened due to an increase in screen time exposure. The yoga sessions are being organized to help children get back to their routine.

“We are also noticing hyperactivity, especially among older children. The yoga and meditation sessions have a calming effect. They are able to pay more attention,” said Kiran Prasad, principal, Vidya Vaibhav Public School.

Schools are conducting frequent yoga and meditation sessions for the children after they have rejoined offline sessions.

“Things have changed a lot for them after the pandemic. They have forgotten how to be attentive during a 40-minute-long class. They also seem to be facing issues in controlling their anxiety level. We are conducting weekly sessions to help them cope with these issues, so they perform well academically,” MN Natesh Kumar, principal of Gurukul International School.

While some schools started with virtual yoga sessions during online classes owing to frequent lockdowns, they are planning to start physical classes too, now that kids are back on the campuses.

“During the pandemic, we ran virtual yoga sessions for students and parents as part of our community connect. As schools have reopened, we will bring back yoga as part of our physical activity. We have noticed that these sessions sync the mind and body,” said Ayesha Sirajuddin, Head of South Campuses, Ekya Schools, Bengaluru.

The sessions, according to the schools, are helping children relax, regulate their emotions, and instill positive energy.

“We have special yoga instructors who help the students practice yoga ritually. Yoga also has the power to enhance discipline and concentration in children. Before exams, we also conduct special yoga classes to improve the children’s concentration as well as to calm their exam fears. This is done through meditations and specific asanas,” said Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High.

They have forgotten how to be attentive during a 40-minute-long class. They also seem to be facing issues in controlling their anxiety

– MN Natesh Kumar, Principal, Gurukul International School

While the effect of yoga and mindfulness activities is visible, the learning gap created by the pandemic is holding schools back from organising these sessions more frequently.

“We are currently conducting yoga and meditation sessions once in two weeks. These sessions are turning out to be more fruitful as children have been physically inactive too. While we want to increase the frequency of these sessions, academics is our concern.

“As offline classes have begun, we are noticing big learning gaps and thus our teachers are conducting additional academic sessions and bridge programs for the students,” added Prasad.