Birla Public School (Vidya Niketan)’s “Bliss Yoga” Collaboration
Posted: 21 October 2020
- Appreciation for diversity
- Sense of responsibility
Birla Public School (Vidya Niketan)
- Lawrence School Sanawar
- Aubrick Multicultural Bilingual School
- Chittagong Grammar School
- Chanderbala Modi Academy
- Dhirubhai Ambani International School
- The Emerald Heights International School
- Genesis Global School
- Godspell College
- HIM Academy Public School
- The Hyderabad Public School
- Indian High School ,Dubai
- Indian School, Al-Gubra
- Inventure Academy
- KC Public School
- Mayo college
- Modern School, Barakhamba Road
- Pathways World School, Aravali
- The Punjab Public School
- Raha International School
- Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School
- The Scindia School
- Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya
- Seth Anandram Jaipuria School
- Singapore International School
- Sunbeam Lahartara
- The Lyceum School
- The Sagar School
- Trivandrum International School
- Vidya Devi Jindal School
- Vivek High School
- Welham Boys’ School
- Welham Girls’ School
- Yadavindra Public School
- The Doon School
To help celebrate International Yoga Day on the 21st June, Birla Public School (Vidya Niketan) hosted a virtual yoga class. With social distancing measures adopted by countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 theme for International Yoga Day was “Yoga for Health – Yoga a Home”. Thirty-four Round Square Schools took part working through a series of basic yoga-asanas with the aim to use yoga and mindfulness to improve their focus while developing a lifelong awareness of the importance of their physical and emotional health.
The idea for the collaboration was originally conceived by RS Rep Varsha Ratta as a way to not only mark the international day itself, but to also offer a fun form of exercise and to unite the Round Square network during the COVID lock-down. Yoga is a powerful tool to deal with the stress of uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being. The World Health Organization mentions yoga as a means to improve health in its Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world.
With many schools closed and summer break activities cancelled, parents are finding it challenging to keep their children physically active. UNICEF says students can practice many yoga poses without any risk and get the same benefits that adults do. These benefits include increased flexibility and fitness, mindfulness and relaxation.
It was then discussed with the HOS subsequently a committee for planning and execution was formed. A draft program was made and shared with the school support director and responsibilities were assigned to the Anchors, IT experts, Singers, Yoga instructors.
Once a solid plan was finalised we advertised our idea on the Round Square Collaboration platform and invited the network to participate, this was subsequently advertised in the Round Square Weekly.
We sent emails to all our participants containing directions as to what to do both prior and on the call itself.
We also formulated a plan ‘B’ in the event of any technical glitches!
Prior to the students were provided with a self-descriptive PDF document of the basic yoga-asanas. The participating schools were asked to send a collage of pictures of the students performing the yoga-asanas which will then later published in the school magazine and on our social media pages.
On the 21st June participants joined an online meeting to perform the basic yoga- asanas together. Delegates were welcomed to the session by the school Principal and the Director. They were given a brief introduction and an history of yoga by the Headmaster of Middle Section.
After a warm up the delegates worked through a series of asana poses or positions:
- Surya namaskaar or sun salutation; a gentle flow linking a series of asana poses. The lungs, digestive system, as well as muscles and joints will all benefit from practising Sun Salutations.
- Vrikshasana or Tree Pose is a balancing asana which helps to improve balance and stability in the legs and core.
- Lotus position or Padmasana is a cross-legged sitting meditation pose in which each foot is placed on the opposite thigh. It helps to open the hips and calms the brain.
- Mandukasana, or Frog posture is an intermediate to advanced level yoga pose that can open your hips and groin muscles, increase circulation, and improve your posture.
- Sarvangasana, also known as Shoulder-stand, is an inverted asana that stretches the shoulders, neck and calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Shalabhasana, Locust pose, or Grasshopper pose is a reclining back-bending asana that stimulates the parasympathetic nerves in the lower spinal region and blood circulation.
- Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose is a reclining back-bending asana that strengthens the spine, stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Shirshasana, or Yoga Headstand is an inverted asana that strengthens the arms, legs, and spine.
Students closed their practice with a series of Prāṇāyāma controlled breathing exercises.
One of the main challenges in planning for this activity was choosing a technical platform to accommodate around 250 plus participants. Being ready to cope with the technical glitches, which we even had a taste of at the beginning of the program was another challenge.
Another challenge was to convince people about the importance of Yoga during this time of pandemic.
The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action and is a holistic approach that is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.
The importance of students making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.
There are many long-term positive benefits to regularly practising yoga, including:
- reducing stress;
- breathing awareness and relaxation;
- reduce likelihood of back pain;
- rehabilitation and recovery from injury;
- improved respiratory function;
- improved circulation;
- better quality sleep; and
- happier and more contented, as better able to live in the moment.
We hope that this activity has inspired some of the students who took part to practice yoga regularly and to lead healthy and more mindful lifestyles.
This collaboration activity helped us to connect with other Round Square schools from around the world in a fun and engaging way and we hope to host something similar to celebrate International Yoga Day in 2021!
- Plan keeping in mind how is it going to help students to shape their perspective in line with RS IDEALS and discoveries.
- If conducting online, time zones are to be kept in mind.
- The organising committee must have technical people as well as people who are familiar with RS philosophy involved.
- The team must comprise of passionate people who believe in global citizenship.
Author: Varsha Ratta, RS Rep, Birla Public School (Vidya Niketan)