In stressful environment of school exams, taking time out to de-stress is equally crucial for the body and mind. Experts state that guided meditations go a long way to calm the anxious nerve, alleviate stress and boost the attention among students.
Certified meditation yoga and master coach Mahua Deb states, “A typical hour-long meditation session for children and adolescents should begin with some physical activity, warm-up, dance or laughter yoga to satisfy the ‘rajo guna’ or their need to do some activity or movement. It also helps to take away any inhibitions the child may have and make them more receptive to the practice.” She recently ran a meditation session for the intermediate students of Ameya World School in India.
According to her, some breathing techniques such as square breathing also called box breathing or humming or chanting of mantras help calm the brain and remove distractions by focussing on breath. Silent sitting promotes positive results and permits the participant to assimilate the impact of their last practices. The session may finish with a 20 to 30 minute yoga ‘nidra’ meditation or white light meditation, which can be guided by the instructions from the meditation master.
“All these techniques promote deep relaxation, feeling of solace and negative emotions like anger, fear are reduced,” Mahua points out. “It is a good idea to keep short modules of various meditative activities in one hour long meditation session to hold the attention of the child and yet providing all the benefits of mindfulness to them,” she clarifies. Active guided meditation is increasingly being viewed as a method to offset exam stress with more schools embracing the idea. This could be practised by kids as young as six years old.
Mahua adds the benefits of such brief and periodic meditation can be realised instantly by performing a breathing cycle each minute test at the start of the session and then in the conclusion of the session to view how the breath cycle reduces. (Breathing cycle each minute is the number of inhales and exhales performed per minute, simply by counting the number of times the chest rises in a minute). The average resting breathing cycle for older kids and adults is roughly 12 to 20 per minute.