Can Yoga Help Teens With Exam Stress?
Exam stress is a real problem for teens and has even been linked to suicide cases in the past. Though adults may be able to see the temporary nature of exam stress, to a teen it may feel all-encompassing and overwhelming. It is just as important to offer teens methods of stress reduction as it is adults. Yoga can help teenagers reduce the stress of exams significantly.
Breathwork To Lower Anxiety
One of the foundations of yoga is breathwork. Through breathing, an individual can lower her heart rate, ease anxiety, and reduce stress. A common form of breathing within the yoga tradition is called the Ujjayi breath, or “the ocean breath”. With this method, a person inhales deeply, making a whooshing sound at the back of the throat.
The sound is almost like a whisper, and some call it “Darth Vader breathing” because it tends to sound like the famous Star Wars Character. The audible breath is repeated on the exhale, and the pattern is repeated. Ujjayi breathing has several benefits, including calming the nervous system and balancing the cardiorespiratory system
When a student faces exams at school, they may lose a sense of the big picture and only focus on the potentially frightening situation that they are facing. Alongside spending time on practice tests, yoga can help to reduce anxiety because it gives the practitioner a feeling of perspective. Savassanah, a pose that is common at the end of yoga class. In Sanskrit, Savasana means “Corpse pose,” which speaks to the benefits of the pose.
In corpse pose, the individual relaxes so profoundly that it can be seen as a mini death. This means that as the person comes out of the pose, they have the sensation of being reborn. The feeling that comes along with this posture is one of mental clarity and rejuvenation, both of which can help an individual shift her perspective on life.
Forward Folding To Increase Focus
In yoga, there are many poses that encourage forward folding. The beginner may stand and bend forward to touch the toes. An advanced yogi will incorporate headstands into her practice. All of this forward folding increases blood flow to the brain, which can lead to a greater sense of alertness and focus. If a teen has trouble concentrating or feels lethargic, a forward fold could help him conquer those obstacles and move forward with less resistance.
Exams cause a great deal of stress for teens. Yoga is an effective stress reliever. Through breath work and specific poses, a teen can gain a sense of calm, clarity, and focus, all of which will lower her stress during exam time.
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