Yoga for Students

G.N. Rao

from: Bhavan’s Journal, june 1981

The article is based on a number of Yoga camps conducted, especially for the beginners.
He has conducted a number of Yoga Camps, specially meant for the beginners, in important cities like Bombay, Bangalore, Baroda, Delhi and Madras.

At regular intervals there has been. a general ‘hoo-ha’ from the Central and State Governments that Yogasanas should be made compulsory in schools and
colleges. There was a news item also saying, “Yoga is proposed to be introduced in schools and colleges all over India very shortly.
It may be introduced in some schools and colleges even from the ensuing session.”

Recently, the Central Board of Physical Education has prepared a Yoga syllabus and has set up a Central Committee also to train Yoga Teachers to impart this ancient knowledge in every nook and corner of India. Hopefully, we can look forward to developing Yoga as a physical and mental discipline for the

As the age-old phrase goes, ‘catching them young’ is essential for building up astrong nation, full of vigour and vitality.

Yoga is not just some physical exercises, but a discipline. So, it is very useful to the students, especially in the present context of growing unrest and
discontentment in the student-world catching up and spreading all over the world. There is more interest in the West than in lndia. Though Yoga is
essentially an lndian culture and an age-old discipline, we have neglected it, and, as usual, waited till the West recognized its importance.

Even though Yoga has not been made a compulsory subject at the school level in the West, a lot of interest is being shown by the teenagers and the young.
All educationists now consider Yoga as a boon to the modern age, especially for the student community.

When we consider the human body as a whole, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the digestive system and the nervous system are seen as
interdependent. A harmonious functioning of all these systems makes a healthy body. And, Yogasanas are meant for the efficient functioning of all these
systems. As the body and mind are interrelated, the effect of Yogasanas works on both. That is why nowadays many leading psychologists and doctors
recommend Yogasanas for nervous troubles and psychosomatic diseases.

Some simple relaxing Asanas like Shavasana and Makarasana work very weIl when one is physicaIly tired or mentally disturbed.
The spine is one of the most important parts of the human body and physical educationists recommend six varieties of movements for it. The movements are
called forward and backward ben ding, ben ding towards the right and left and the right and left twist. Many simpIe Yogasanas like Bhujangasana,
Paschimasana, Chakrasana and Vakrasana facilitate these movements.

In this short article it is not possible to describe all the Asanas, nor is it desirable as Asanas, however simple they seem to be, have to be learnt
systematically and progressively, under guidance and personal supervision of a Yoga teacher. The aim of this article is to point out the importance and
effectiveness of Asanas for the students.

Here are a few excerpts from research journals about utility. of Asanas. An extract from a research paper published in Yoga-Mimamsa,Vol. XV says:
” . . . results indicate that training in Yogic exercises for a period of 3 weeks definitely improved the general fitness of the boys and girls with
special emphasis on the fitness factors of flexibility, trunk, strength and equilibrium.”

Another extract from a Research Bulletin, State Education Journal (Poona), Vol. III: 1, says:
“The data, on statistical analysis, showed significant improvement in total memory scores of the experimental group as compared with the control group.
… These results indicated the utility of Yogic exercises, even for a short time, in improving immediate memory of school boys.”

Now interest in Yoga is increasing, with students too, showing an inclination for it. A random survey conducted and information collected on a number of
students who had participated in short and long term Yoga courses revealed that Yoga has achieved positive results where many other systems have failed.
“The Yogic exercises gave me great relief from my back pain and my constipation trouble exists no more,” says Master Mehul Pathak, a XII standard student
from Bhavan’s School, at Baroda.
“After the Yoga course I feIt a great improvement in my breathing and now I feel fit,” says Master Jyotirmaya Sharma, another student from the same

All the students interviewed expressed that they had got some sort of relief from many minor troubles like back-ache, headaches, constipation, etc. Many students felt more energetic and fit.

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