02 June 2011
By Sachin Ravikumar
Teens Are Taking To Meditation And Asanas To Calm Down, Boost Concentration And Stay Healthy
It may be a new trend, but it is several thousand years old. Yoga, once associated with sages and gurus, is turning into a lifestyle statement. Youth are taking to it in a big way, and swear that it calms jumpy nerves and improves concentration, and helps them crack exams.
In fact, toppers who are basking in the glory of success at the end of a gruelling exam season, attributed it to yoga. TOI came across several such students from all streams, one of them being Aditya Gaonkar, top state IIT scorer and CET engineering topper. Aditya feels yoga is one of those things that helped him sail through the entrance tests. "Yoga helps me a lot and improves my concentration while studying. It improves the general health of a person and good health is important to study," he said.
"I used to suffer from an eye disorder when I was 10, and when all else failed, I turned to yoga. I learnt it from my mom, who learnt it from a yoga guru. Sometimes, I also learn from Baba Ramdev’s CDs," says Aditya. He performs a combination of light asanas (postures) like surya namaskar and ends with pranayama (breathing exercises) for about 30–45 minutes every day," he said. Yoga also reduces the stress students of his age normally feel, he says. "It frees your mind, makes you feel calm, yet energetic enough to study."
Amitha Ajith Kamath, ISC high scorer from Vidyashilp Academy, agrees. "I initially started meditation after my 10th grade on a friend’s suggestion, as I was under a lot of stress. I didn’t have a problem with concentration, but I didn’t think it would help me improve," said Amitha.
Amitha learnt yoga and meditation in school and feels that it significantly reduced her anxiety level. "I became stress–free, calm and relaxed and my mind was clear, this helped me concentrate," says Amitha, who prefers meditation to yoga.
It Began With Nie Class
Ditto with Rakshit Kothari, a Class XII commerce topper in the ISC category, who feels that short meditation exercises before study sessions helped him crack his exams.
A TOI–NIE class in his school in Class X inspired Rakshit to start meditation and breathing exercises before studying. "An NIE teacher demonstrated meditation and breathing techniques to be performed before studying to help improve concentration. This actually helped me and I started practicing them on my own," he said.
He performs these exercises only before studying. "I meditate for 10–15 minutes just before studying. Gradually, my concentration increased and by Class XII, I was pretty good at it," says Rakshit. "When you get tense before exams and there’s too much pressure, meditation exercises are of great help. It involves focusing on one thing and blocking out all other thoughts from your mind," he says. On a lighter note, he adds, "Paying attention in class is also vital. Yoga and meditation aren’t magic techniques which can help you score well."
With some schools introducing yoga as part of their curriculum, more students are taking to it. Soon, yoga and meditation could become near–essential ingredients in achieving academic success.
What’s on Campus
- The pottery exhibition at Seshadripuram First Grade College had a new depth to it. An iniatitive of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), the programme was an effort to give a boost to the potter community. The exhibition let the potters of Kamalapura village in Gowribidanur taluk reach out to their customers themselves. The SIFE volunteers went to the potters’ village, transported the finished wares and exhibited them on the college campus. The potters kept most of the profit for themselves. And as they tucked their earnings into their pockets, their faces showed that their spirits were on a new high.
- Dayalbagh Educational Institute started its soft skills training to empower women and the economically weaker sections of society. Here, 44 students enrolled on the first day for the inaugural week–long programme on IT and soft skills training at the launch of the institute’s e–learning centre on Monday.
- The department of political science of Bangalore University and Sarvodaya International Trust will hold a book release and discussion on Madhav Godbole’s latest book, ‘India’s Parliamentary Democracy on Trial’ on Thursday, at Jnana Jyothi auditorium. The author is an IAS officer who was home secretary at the time of Babri Masjid demolition.