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Times of India
21 July 2010
By Nikhila Henry
Hyderabad, India

After Good Show Last Year, Several Colleges Now Plan To Make Yoga Lessons Mandatory
Colleges Take Yoga Path for Better Scores
City students are going gaga over yoga lessons this academic year. But not because they want a “complete development of body and mind”but to score well in their Intermediate Public Examinations (IPE). This year, several junior colleges in the city have roped in yoga teachers to offer daily and weekly classes to their students in the hope that the exercises would help them perform better in examinations.

In fact, the yoga craze of city colleges started before the commencement of IPE–2010, when two private colleges in the city inspired by the western system of holistic education decided to impart yoga lessons to students before inter exams.

And in what appears to be a miracle of sorts all the 200 students who attended yoga classes were found to have scored above 85 per cent in IPE. With this kind of a success story, colleges in the city are now looking for longer training sessions in yoga, Sahaja Yoga and Pranayama lessons for their students. Some junior colleges, including KPHB and Bachupally branches of Sri Chaitanya and Narayana Junior College, Hydernagar, have even allotted separate hours for yoga practice in their daily timetable.

While there are colleges including MSR College, Bachupally, Narayana Junior College, Vivekananda Colony, which begin and end each working day with a few minutes of meditation, there are some, like Narayana Women’s Junior College, which have allotted up to 45 minutes for yoga training. In some colleges including Vivekananda Junior College, Kanchanbag, the weekly drill hour is converted into yoga class.

Teachers also said that now parents too are suggesting such training sessions in colleges stating that they would help students perform better. “Several students are practising meditation with an aim to better their concentration skills and memory power. While the demand for such courses usually used to spring up right before public examinations, parents are now demanding college managements to conduct year–long courses in yoga and meditation,”said M Padmaja, dean, Sri Chaitanya Junior College.

Management representatives observed that 25 per cent weightage for inter marks in Eamcet has also made parents insist on such courses at the intermediate level. “Parents feel that the work load on students is heavy and hence they would need help to do well in examinations,”a teacher said. Officials of other colleges said that some parents even ask for yoga training in coaching classes for competitive examinations including IIT–JEE and Eamcet.

“Several students undergo acute tension before competitive examinations and do not perform well even though they have enough memory power. Yoga sessions throughout the year can help them perform better,”said a Sahajayoga instructor, Laxmi Baju, who offers classes in several junior colleges. She said that in the new academic year, she would get to train over 5,000 students in Sahajayoga lessons.

Meanwhile, observers said that it’s not just the junior college students who are bitten by the meditation bug, even students from class X are hooked to yoga as they want to perform well in SSC. The yoga craze has even spread to junior sections with students from class V interested in it.

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