Breathe Out Exam Stress

Sore eyes, out of the bed look, a stack of rough notes, sample test papers, and fresh stationary these describe the student gearing up for the exams. The litmus test is on with exams around the corner. Students are barred from watching TV, mobile phones confiscated and friends are not entertained. For a reason friends are now looked as enemies. There is so much to do and so little time we see the student of the year – crumbling under pressure.

The stage is set for a bigger one tomorrow. Here we bring you the advantages of yoga and meditation and how they can help your kid to shine on.

During preparation time:

1. Work hard and sleep well. Without physical and mental rest, memory and concentration are not strong. Wake up with the sunrise, and doing some light yoga exercises like surya namaskar followed by simple breathing exercises (eg. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama). 12 quick rounds of Surya Namaskar can be good work out . It’s a complete body workout which leaves one fresh and energetic. Head bending poses: All forward bending yoga poses or yoga asanas flows more blood to the head region and along with long deep breathe which increases the amount of oxygen in the blood can result in more relaxed, sharp and focused mind.

2. "If I don't meditate, I don't read." Use Meditation as a study tool. Practice any simple meditation for a few minutes just before you start your studies. It helps you learn fast, and retain longer, without getting distracted.

3. Its now or never: Once you are ready to start, sit down and start studying. No excuses, no postponement.

4. Take a break: When you feel you can't complete the portion, take a break. Listen to music, talk to friends or family, play outside or take a walk for 10 to 15 minutes. Then get back to studies.

5. Never mind the mind: some friends don't bother about your studies, some encourage you, others call you a nerd. Keep your goals clear in your mind and don't let others push your buttons. Its your life and your results.

6. Eat right eat light: fresh, light, homemade vegetarian food will help to increase your ability to concentrate. Fresh fruits, green vegetables can go a long way in supplementing the body’s needs during this period. Stale, packaged, salty, oily, or sweet food will make you dull.

7. Breathe in and breathe out: The first and the most basic act of life is breathing. Breathe is connected to the mind. When the mind is agitated the breathing is short, hot and faster. When the mind is relaxed the breathing is long and slower. Deeper the breath, more the intake of oxygen, more the supply of oxygen to the brain, it works more efficiently.

During exams:

1. Before you enter the exam hall, its ok to relax. You don't have to cram any more at that time.

2. "These 3 hours decide your life!" If you feel tense during an exam, concentrate on your breath and take deep long breaths. Observe your breath going in and out and feel your calmness and balance return.

3. And of course, don't under-estimate the power of prayer. Prayer also helps your mind to concentrate.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living, says "Encourage children to be more energetic through proper food, physical exercise. Reduce the load on their heads. Parents and peers should not exert pressure on children. When children do yoga, meditation, play creative and co-operative games, not competitive games, their energy levels go up. This results in them paying more attention to their studies.”

 Inputs from Shreya Chugh, Director, Youth Empowerment Program, The Art of living