Thursday October 18, 2018

Yoga rising: Jewish preschools in US incorporate yoga in curriculum

0
//
71
Republish
Reprint

slider-yogatots

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Keeping in trend with the rising popularity of Yoga, throngs of Jewish schools are offering Yoga classes as  part of the curriculum in preschools in the United States.

As per available online information, Strauss ECE and Kindergarten of the Temple Emanu-El in Tucson (Arizona), Camp TBJ preschool of Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun in Short Hills (New Jersey), Tribeca Jewish Preschool in Manhattan (New York), Sarfan Early Childhood Center of the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula in Newport News (Virginia),  Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando Preschool in Maitland (Florida), Chai Jewish Reggio Emilia Preschool of the North Peninsula in Foster City (California), Mander Jewish Community Center Preschool in Beachwood (Ohio), Ganon Gil Preschool of Temple Adat Shalom in Poway (California), Mittleman Jewish Community Center Preschool in Portland (Oregon), B’nai Israel Community Day School in Gainesville (Florida) are just a few names in the long list of preschools offering some sort of yoga classes to the kids.

“Our yoga program designed for three and four year old’s is the gift that keeps on giving. Children will benefit from yoga practice in a variety of ways including maintaining flexibility, enhancing concentration, increasing self-esteem, and cultivating a relaxed state of body and mind. Utilizing storytelling, children will learn in a unique environment that will help to spark creativity”, says the website of Strauss ECE and Kindergarten.

Tribeca Jewish Preschool’s yoga class “encourages self-expression as well as building social skills”, children “build self-confidence and self-awareness” in Chai Jewish Reggio Emilia Preschool yoga classes while Ganon Gil Preschool classes “encourage children to practice yoga while they play, sing and imagine”.

Commending the Jewish preschools that have included yoga in their instruction, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, urged all the preschools of USA to incorporate yoga in the lives of children.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that yoga, referred to as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline for everybody to share and benefit from.

“Its traces go back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization”, added Zen.

Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutras, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

According to US National Institute of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to an estimate, about 21 million Americans, including many celebrities now practice yoga.

“Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche”, Zed added.

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

New Study Shows Link Between Meditation And Greater Focus

Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size.

0
yoga
Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health.

Pranayamic breathing – an important part of yoga and meditation – has a unique ability to strengthen our focus and a new study by Trinity College Dublin has unlocked its secret. The researchers note that pranayamic breathing affects the levels of a natural chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. The latter is released when we are challenged, curious, focused, or emotionally excited. When present at the right levels, noradrenaline helps the brain grow new connections and helps us concentrate better on important tasks.

The old masters were on the right track

The researchers noted: “Practitioners of yoga have claimed for some 2,500 years, that respiration influences the mind. We looked for a neurophysiological link that could help explain these claims.” The researchers did so by measuring breathing, reaction time, and brain activity in a small area in the brainstem called the locus coeruleus, where noradrenaline is made. Noradrenaline is affected by stress; when we are worried or anxious we produce too much, and cannot concentrate. When we feel lazy, on the other hand, we produce too little and once again, focus is lost. One way to boost levels is through yoga; another method which can complement the latter is the consumption of medical grade focus supplements, which contain compounds such as octopamine (which has a similar effect to noradrenaline).

yoga
Conversely, those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain. Pixabay

Pranayamic breathing aces the right balance

In the above study, researchers noted that brain activity in the part of the brain where noradrenaline is produced raises slightly when we inhale and drops slightly as we exhale. Thus, balance is achieved and we can focus on what we have set out to do. Pranayama not only boosts concentration but also produces “changes in arousal, attention, and emotional control that can be of great benefit to the meditator.”

What is Pranayamic breathing?

Pranayamic breathing involves controlling and extending breath, with a view to manipulating your vital energy, battling stress, and improving your mood. It is often used in meditation and yoga and interestingly, many yoga experts rank pranayama as even more important than asanas (the postures performed in a yoga session). In yogic tradition, breath is said to carry a person’s life force. Interestingly, scientific studies back this assertion to the extent that pranayamic breathing is able to boost brain function and change the actual structure of the brain. In recent studies, pranayamic breathing has been found to lower or stabilize blood pressure, lower stress, and reduce anxiety and depression.

yoga
In order to comprehend better the Indian seers constructed the special “BOAT” – named Yoga/Meditation.

Implications of the study for aging

The researchers are excited that their findings could signal a way to prevent brain aging. They stated that if brains typically lose mass as we age, practices such as pranayamic breathing greatly reduce the rate of brain shrinkage, thus potentially helping keep dementia and related diseases at bay. Because keeping noradrenaline levels at an optimal level can help the brain grow new connections, meditation is an ideal activity to pursue.

Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health. Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size. To make the most of the effect of breathing on focus, consider joining a yoga class or learning the essence of pranayamic breathing online or through an app like Prana Breath or Universal Breathing.