Yoga has somewhat of a bad reputation. Associated with tree hugging hippies, many people write off the idea of yoga as it seems difficult and, quite frankly, not worth the effort.
I, however, take a different view. I think that yoga should be a part of the curriculum in PE or sports lessons.
The physical benefits of yoga have been researched into for years and include increased flexibility, building muscle strength, increasing blood flow, dropping blood pressure and helping you to sleep to name a few. There have been countless studies about this topic. These studies show that yoga is of great benefit to human health and fitness, so why shouldn’t it be included in sports lessons?
Not to mention the fact that the current school sorts curriculum mainly consists consists of sports such as football, rugby and tennis and these type of lessons can greatly effect kids’ self esteem and confidence. We all know the feeling when someone is picking the teams for sports and you end up being picked last.
Many children simply don’t excel in competitive sports and just aren’t competitive by nature, which could mean that they would start to dread the lessons, meaning they won’t want to participate as much and will get nothing positive out of the session. Yoga is a time for relaxation, whilst at the same time being an effective workout.
The mental benefits of yoga also cannot be overlooked. Making a person happier, helping focus, increasing self-esteem and encouraging self-care are examples of this. In an environment where teenagers are supposed to maintain an image, keep on top of piles of work, preserve friendships, complete countless numbers of exams and so on, having an hour or so of relaxation would be extremely beneficial.
Studies have shown that the general well-being of teenagers has been decreasing in the past few years. Schools should have a responsibly to at least try to combat this and introducing yoga would be a simple yet effective step.
Last year, the education minister in the U.K., Edward Timpson, suggested in the House of Commons that meditation and yoga techniques should be introduced in the school curriculum. He said that these lessons would allow children to “enjoy good mental health and emotional wellbeing.”
Of course, yoga isn’t the thing for everyone, and some would probably laugh at the very idea of it being part of the curriculum. But think about the kids who detest hockey, rounders and lacrosse so much that they want to miss school?