Published: 18th September 2021
Welcome to Reason: Are ‘Y-Breaks’ the fix for student stress?
Yoga breaks can be looked at as a tool to break the monotony of classrooms, and help students let off some steam, especially in a post-pandemic world
Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next — and disappear.
- Joshua Foer ( b 1982), Freelance journalist and author, USA
The monotony of a classroom is notorious. COVID-19 has added to the regimentation of classes. It would be felt all the more when transitioning from home-schooling to classroom, with COVID protocols imposed and supervised. Hence, there is need to vary the traditional classroom protocol as well.
Even government offices are introducing some variations in their old routine as a distress formula — as reported from New Delhi by The New Indian Express (September 7, 2021) and excerpted below.
The Centre has asked ministries and government departments to promote five minutes of yoga in work places to refresh and
de-stress employees. This will be called the ‘Y-Break’. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said that it will help in enhancing efficiency and productivity at the work place. Earlier, the Ministry of Ayush had launched a ‘Y-Break’
mobile application consisting of asanas, pranayam and meditation.
As per a DoPT order, it was designed and developed for the work place by an expert committee in 2019 and the module was launched in January 2020, on a pilot project basis in six major metro cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata — and the feedback was found to be encouraging. Subsequently, the Ministry of Ayush developed an Android-based application and it was made available recently in Google’s Play Store for access by the public, said the DoPT order.
The DoPT has also asked government departments to issue necessary guidelines for all employees, including those of sub-ordinate offices to promote the use of Y-Break. The yoga protocol in the Y-Break application comprises simple yogic practices.
This can be easily transplanted into classroom or playground settings. Once the idea is accepted and put into practice, non-yogic exercises such as laughter protocols, which are increasingly becoming popular in non-classroom environments, can be transplanted.