Beat the Exam Blues with Yoga

Submitted by Bonnie Sedan on July 25, 2013

Exams are a stressful time for both students and parents. What with cramming till the wee hours of the morning and worrying about how well you will perform, it can take its toll on a child’s health - both mental and physical. The trick is to stay in control and one of the best ways to do this is with yoga and meditation.

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A simple yoga routine can be the ultimate stress reliever. It can encourage a calmer state of mind, create a sharper memory and improve concentration. Yogic deep breathing exercises can also contribute towards confidence enhancement and help control those sweaty palms and pre-exam nerves.


Poses that Help Relieve Stress in Students

Pranayama is a yoga breathing technique that can be practiced anywhere including the exam hall. The moment you feel anxious or scared, close your eyes and take several long deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth deep into your belly. In no time at all, your nervous tension will be dissipated. Other poses that should be included in your regular yoga routine and can help relieve stress in students include:

  • Sun Salutation - Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar are a series of poses that flow into each other. Performing these sets of asanas can help improve circulation and flexibility as well as build stamina and strength. It is believed that starting your day with a minimum of ten sets of Sun Salutations is the ideal way to wake up both your body and your mind and prepare it for the challenges ahead. The repetitive deep breathing performed with each pose also helps develop inner focus and mental peace thus providing an excellent coping mechanism for nervous and stressed out students.
  • Downward Facing Dog – Downward Facing Dog can be performed as part of the Sun Salutation series or on its own. This yoga pose helps work and strengthen muscles in your shoulders, arms and back as well as helps tone your tummy and legs. For students who spend hours at their desks or hunched over their books, this stretching pose helps work out the kinks in the muscles and calms the nervous system as well.
  • Warrior Pose - The Warrior Poses in yoga are vigorous and demanding poses that should be done under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor. The Warrior Poses use the strength of the leg muscles and helps work out the entire lower body as well as energizes the mind. Since practicing the Warrior Poses requires focus and determination, it is often recommended to relieve stress and improve thinking skills.
  • Mountain Pose – The Mountain Pose is one of the main poses in any yoga routine. It aims at grounding a person and helps him focus on the present. The Mountain Pose also helps improve posture and is an ideal antidote to tense muscles and back pain caused by hours spent studying or caused by stress. By realigning the spine, the Mountain Pose also helps improve balance and flexibility and tones the entire body.
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