Yoga as a Tool for promotion of Mental and Physical Health Leading to Better Performance of School Children’s
Acharya Balkrishna1, Kuldeep Singh2*, Vinay K. Sharma3, Swami Narsingh Chandra Dev3 and Paran Gowda1
1University of Patanjali,\Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, India
2Dental Clinic and Research Centre, Patanjali Ayurved Hospital, Haridwar, India
3Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, India
Submission: May 25, 2019; Published: August 02, 2019
*Corresponding author: Kuldeep Singh,Dental Clinic and Research Centre, Patanjali Ayurved Hospital, Haridwar, India
How to cite this article: Vinay K S, Acharya B, Paran G, Kuldeep s. Yoga as a Tool for promotion of Mental and Physical Health Leading to Better
Performance of School Children’s. J Yoga & Physio. 2019; 7(4): 555720. DOI: 10.19080/JYP.2019.07.555720
Materials and Methods: Students are exposes to different standards and options and they have a lot of pressure from their parents, society and schools to perform. It is well known that the Yoga practice can improved health and mental condition, therefore it may help to improve the mind-body awareness, self-regulation and physical fitness of students.
Aim: The qualitative observational study was nested in a randomized, controlled trial studying the effects of a Yoga program offered in place of sports classes at a school.
Methods: Student interactions were done by distributing the questionnaires after the completion of a yearlong Yoga program. A formal consent was taken by their parents before the interactions. Out of the 800 students selected for the study, 700 were involved intensively in the Yoga program and the 100 students were only participated in the physical education program.
Results and Result: The results indicated that all the 700 students include were enjoyed equally the Yoga classes and reveled enhancement in their memory, mental health, positive thinking and school performance. Interestingly, the other 100 students those were not involved in the Yoga practice were showed less improvements in the same. In addition, the non-responsive male and females in non-Yoga practicing group were more as compare to those who practice Yoga. Thus, the above obtained results concludes that Yoga practices in school not only good for overall health of the students, but also helped them to improve their social status as well as preventing the negative patterns observed during the juvenile transition phase of life.
Keywords: Yoga; school performance; mental health; stress
In modern society children are exposes to different standards and options and they have a lot of pressure from their parents, society and schools to perform. Therefore, it is important for the children and young peoples to become stress free for better performance at home and schools . Stress is responsible for anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It has been reported that stress may also lead heart problem, depression and obesity [2-4]. In addition to the above diseases stress can also lead to dental problems such as canker sores, teeth grinding, gum diseases, TMJ disorders, burning mouth syndrome and dry mouth etc . According to recent reports reduced functioning abilities due to mental problems such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral
disorders have been reported in children’s . As per another study, the sense of expectations from young ones creates stress among them, which impacts their mental health and well-being, as well as hampers their school performance .
Yoga has been practiced in India since centuries and is known for physical posturing and movements includes breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation  (Figure 1). The main aim of Yoga is to be unifying the self at physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and social levels . Though a large number of adults claimed that Yoga is beneficial to them not only for psychological well-being but also to manage the stress, still fewer studies have been published on the importance of Yoga in children . Since decade numerous articles have been published on Yoga and
its effectiveness in treating various disorders in adults such as
psychological/psychiatric, depression, anxiety and insomnia
Some studies suggested to include improved mood and
reductions in stress in improvement of mental health of healthy
children and adolescents [22-24]. Another study in which high
school students were randomly assigned to Yoga program for
12 weeks during Physical Education (PE) showed significant
pre/post improvements in resilience to stress, negative effect,
anxiety, and anger control relative to control . The similar
group latter studies the qualitative assessment program on
Yoga for high school students. In their study they conduct the
qualitative interview and the study was nested in a randomized,
controlled trial to observe the effects of a Yoga program instead
of physical education classes at a rural public high school. In this
study they observed that the children opted for Yoga program
claimed for psychological benefits, stress reduction, better
management of negative emotions; and optimism. In addition,
most of them believed that Yoga could reduce interest in the use
of drugs and alcohol and increase social cohesion with family
and peers . Another study suggested that the Yoga is a tool
to listen to your heart and can be useful for young adults as
well as children. Recently, our group also confirmed that Yoga
is one of the best practices to improve the overall wellbeing
and personality of children to make them capable of facing
the present-day challenges and problems [27-29]. Thus, above
discussion indicated that the practice of Yoga has important role
in improving health and mental condition especially in case of
stress and anxiety .
The Yoga practice in school may help to improve the mindbody
awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness. These
improvements may result in the students’ a good behavior,
better mental state and health including their performance
as well as coping with classroom stress. Therefore, in the
current study we designed a randomized study to establish the
relationship between practice of Yoga and its effect on health of
For the current study eight hundred students were randomly
selected from different schools (Government Primary & High
Schools of Haridwar area, Uttarakhand, India) among them
seven hundred students were subjected to Yoga practices
whereas hundred were involved in other physical activities. The
overall age of students who participated in the study was 6 to
15 years and Yoga awareness Questionnaire form was filled by
each of them. The study was further categorized between male
The inclusion criteria included
a. male and female students with age group between 6-
b. willingness to participate in the study, and
c. no hospitalization in the last 3 months.
The exclusion criteria included
a. Physical challenge with systematic disease, any history
of neurological or psychiatric disturbances and
b. learning disability if any (i.e., slow learner).
In the current experimental setup, we have studied the effect
of Yoga on high school children. Accordingly, we have divided
them into two groups i. e. Yoga practicing group and non-Yoga
practicing group (physical education group) and performed the
qualitative studies by distribution the questionnaires among
them. (Table 1) Throughout our study we have assessed various
aspects of Yoga and correlate it with the mental health, positive
thinking and school performance of children. The result indicated
that 98.30% male and 99.27% females in Yoga practicing group
believed that Yoga helps them to feel healthy. Similarly, in non-
Yoga group (involved in physical education) 72.31% male and
63.64% female also felt somewhat better however 9.23% male
and 12.12% female did not find any improvement. Interestingly,
a small group including 18.46% male and 24.24% female could
not make any response at all (Figure 2). These results suggested
that Yoga practices can play an important role in improving health
of school children, when included in the school curriculum. In case of memory improvement, we got some very interesting
results as we have found 97.44% male and 98.05% female in
Yoga practicing group considered that Yoga improves their
memory as compare to only 38.46% male and 45.45% female in
non-Yoga practicing group. It was also observed that 94.6% male
and 87.56% female in Yoga practicing group reported that Yoga
releases their stress.
Similar results were obtained from 75.38% males and 63.64%
females in non-Yoga practicing group (Figure 3). Regarding
school performance, 98.30% male and 94.63% female in Yoga
practicing group confirmed that Yoga improves their school
performance likewise 81.54% male and 84.85% female in non-
Yoga practicing group felt the same. Further, 99.15% male and
99.27% female in Yoga practicing group confessed that they can
think more positively then before and 64.71% male and 35.25%
female in non-practicing group observed the same. Interestingly,
non-responsive male and females are found more in case of non-
Yoga practicing group as compared to Yoga practicing group. The
positive correlation between the two groups is r =0.79. Thus,
the above results confirmed that the Yoga not only plays an
important role in improving the lifestyle of the students but also
have good effect on their social status.
Yoga has become the global phenomenon in recent decades
due to its positive effects on various aspects of life including
calmness of mind, overall health and well-being of the society.
As children are more easily affected by mental and physical
problems, Yoga can improve their mental health and well-being,
help in developing good associations with parents and teachers,
and help them to maintain the emotional, mental, and behavioral
gestures . In the present study we have evaluated qualitative
analysis of students who were practicing Yoga for last one year
at the school. We have correlated the Yoga practices with their
lifestyle and our questioner was based on various aspects of
Yoga practices such as
a. The practice of Yoga within the school chart,
b. Apparent benefits of Yoga
c. Their involvement in a research study.
Among the 800 subjects, 700 were practicing Yoga and
100 were involved in other physical activities. Mostly all the
students confirmed that Yoga improved their lifestyle in various
aspects such as improved in their healthy, reduced reactivity to
stressful social situations, positive thinking and memory. Even
the students who were not involved in Yoga practices have also
shown their interest in Yoga to improve their mental as well as
physical health. During our interaction with the students they
not only informed us about the good aspects of Yoga but also gave
some suggestions to improve our study design in future (such
as involvement of variety of classes), and how we can improve
the quality of research with the improved questionnaires to
get better results. In addition, they suggested to simplify some
difficult postures (asanas) and/or to train them with a Yoga
trainer for regulated breathing techniques (pranayamas), hand
poses (mudras), and meditation The viewpoint of the students
will help us to design our future research program as some
students recommended that we should not substitute the sports
to Yoga in school curriculum instead we can introduce it as a
separate program then it will be an added advantage for them.
Though, the Yoga studies in adults have shown good effect on
their mental status and reducing their stress level Sill there is a
need for such studies in children.
Improvements in self-compassion have also been reported
during Yoga practice suggesting that body awareness may be
a mechanism of change associated with Yoga practice [32-35].
Furthermore, in current scenario unhealthy food habits is the
main problem among children and some of the students have
also reported that their food habits have changed during their
Yoga classes. It implies that body awareness and dietary changes
are integral part of Yoga practices and can prevent obesity and
unhealthy food habits in children which is also supported by
other studies [36-39]. In addition, students also felt that their
self-esteem has improved during Yoga practices it implies that
Yoga not only benefits them to choose their desired field of
interest as well as help them to take decision independently.
Interestingly, we have also observed that Yoga practices help
them to get rid of their bad habits by helping them to develop
strong will power this is exciting results as their strong will
power help them to get rid of telling a lie, taking drugs or other
bad habits. Therefore, our findings highlight the importance of
Yoga specially for improving the mental and physical health of
the students, which can dramatically improve their aptitude to
make positive decision, which not only affect their personal life
but also have a good impact on our society.
Yoga has a positive impact on promotion of physical fitness,
Mental wellbeing, memory level, school performance and reduces
the stress level of school children. so, it can be concluded that
school-based Yoga is helpful for overall development of children.
There is a scope for research work in how to introduce Yoga as
a curriculum in schools for the holistic child development and
Kuldeep Singh, Pooja Singh, Gurpreet Oberoi (2017) Effect of yoga on promotion of oral health. IJDR 2(1): 18-21.
Hagen I (2009) The role of new media technologies and the internet in the promotion of mental health of children. Background Document for the Thematic Conference: Promoting of Mental Health and Well-Being of Children and Young People – Making it Happen Stockholm: EU/Swedish National Institute of Public Health 32–38.
Balkrisna A (2010) Syllabus for Yoga. Concept of Yoga Education in India. Haridwar: Divya Prakashan.
Woodyard C (2011) Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Int J Yoga. 4(2): 49-54.
Langøien LJ (2013) Pay Attention – Listen to Your Heart Unfolding Practice, Change Realities and Awareness of the Embodied Self in Ashtanga Yoga. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Balkrisna A (2010) Syllabus for Yoga. Concept of Yoga Education in India. Haridwar: Divya Prakashan.
Telles S (2012) The Effect of Yoga on Mental Health of Children. In: Nayar U, editor Child and Adolescent Mental Health. New Dehli: Sage Publications 219–227.
Khalsa SBS (2013) Yoga in schools research: improving mental and emotional health. Invited Presentation at the Second International Conference on Yoga for Health and Social Transformation Haridwar: Patanjali Research Foundation.