Beginning as well as ending each School day with Meditation ensures a happy and fresh start of the day and stress free and peaceful dispersal. With this unique School initiative we aim to raise the Emotional and Spiritual quotient of our students which are crucial components in preparing students NOT simply for WORK but for LIFE ahead. With a balanced amalgamation of Yoga and Meditation as part of the School curriculum and daily classroom activity of young learners, we endeavor to hone students’ intra personal intelligence and make them more empowered, emotionally stable individuals who can contribute towards a healthy school environment and society. It also reduces aggression, makes them sensitive and eventually enhances well-being.
- The harmful effects of increasing peer pressure, stress and competition that students have these days puts them into a state of mental bewilderment, loss of confidence, and even hampers their power of decision making.
- This created a need for the School to strengthen its existing curriculum and widen its ambit of education to providing emotional well being and happiness. And so did we carefully integrated Yoga and Meditation into our School curriculum so that it can productively become part and parcel of students’ daily lives.
- The school’s objective is also to catch the children at an early age for the holistic synchronization of body, mind and soul helping them to be what they potentially are. The School has also introduced various forms of Yoga which leads to its wider acceptability by an extensive range of young students ensuring their well being and happiness; helping them stay fit and do away with rising syndromes like Hypertension, Stress and more later in life.
For students, it’s a path, a value, an alternative that we have given. We are sowing seeds in their impressionable minds, preparing them for a peaceful, happy and good life and above all to become good human beings. We believe our students will draw on these values that are being embedded, when they need them in life!
- The students practice ‘AANPANA Sati’, the meditation on in-and-out breathing following the Vipassana meditation regime TWICE EVERYDAY, in the morning and in the afternoon.
- Each classroom is equipped with a Speaker. Thus, the entire School follows ‘Guided Meditation’ together.
- Apart from daily practice, as per the School Annual planner, Students up to class V are inducted in the School by the Resource Persons from ‘Vipassana’.
- Students from class VI onwards visit the Vipassana Centre at Chatterpur, New Delhi.
- ‘Yoga’ – part of the Physical Development Curriculum of the School for classes III-XII. In addition to this, there is a YOGA- ‘Nirvana’ club in the School mentored by an expert.
- Teachers also attend EVERY YEAR, Yoga and Meditation Sessions at various institutes in India as part of ‘Teacher Empowerment Programme’.
Reason for starting the Initiative:-
School curriculum these days are found to be too much focused on students’ cognitive domain … but intelligence quotient has absolutely no correlation with leading a healthy, happy and successful life. Thus, the need to work towards emotional and spiritual intelligence and raise the emotional and spiritual quotient became the motivation for DLPS to make ‘Yoga and Meditation’ an important part of our School curriculum.
We wanted to provide our children with a path to bring them close to their real self, quieten their mind, and reduce their everyday anxiety, thereby perhaps making the mind pure. The tug of war that everyday routines, peer pressure and exam stress puts the students through, often fragments them. With the inheritance of this simple yet highly powerful daily exercise as Yoga and Meditation, we objectify to piece them back together, and put the mind into one whole.
Raising children’s concentration levels, increase their natural abilities whilst introducing new ones and increasing the ability to assimilate concepts faster were some other reasons for taking ‘Yoga and Meditation’ as a catalyst.
Innovations of the Initiative:-
- ‘Yoga and Meditation’ followed NOT ONLY as a good practice but have been made an important component of the School curriculum. They find their ways to classrooms, students’ almanacs, School Planner and students and teachers’ timetables. This way, School has formalized the adoption of this unique practice and it even serves as a base to students’ comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE).
- EVERY CLASS is equipped with a SPEAKER through which the ENTIRE SCHOOL observes the GUIDED Meditation TOGETHER TWICE EVERYDAY. This was a big step taken by the School and was quite challenging too. But, it was highly appreciated by the parents as well as ‘Vippassana Centre, Chhatarpur, New Delhi’ too.
- Our Students Serving as Role-Models for others’- Impressed by the uniqueness of the entire programme being followed in the School, the Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan, New Delhi shot a video-film on the way programme is being executed in the School to inspire others to adopt this good practice and train the future prospective meditators.
- Spreading the Power of Yoga and Meditation through International Video-Conference Sessions with various countries as Australia, USA, UK, Lebanon, Palestine, Scotland and Exchange Programmes— The School has organized more than 15 Video-conference sessions with students with different countries overseas and themed discussions on- Cultures and Lifestyles. Our students have spread the benefits of Yoga and Meditation as practiced by them in their School to other school students. Students from other countries have been appreciating this Indian Practice a lot and are always curious to know more about it.
- Exchange Programmes with various countries- DLPS has also been sharing the benefits of this Best Practice with delegates, representatives from other countries as well. Skill Exchange Programme’ with South Korea with a delegation of sports personnel from SABA (Sports for All Busan Association) South Korea; visited the school and were trained on ‘Yoga’. Also, our Yoga Coach visited Iran on an official Invite by the Govt. of Iran to provide training to Yoga trainers at Iran for International Yoga Competition. Similarly, we have shared this as ‘School’s best practices’ during exchange programmes with many countries themed on’ sharing best practices of each other’; some are- Khirkhilll Primary School, Scotland, Eaglesham Nursery, Scotland, visiting delegation from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Australia.
- Yoga for the Disabled: Poster Presentations- Held for the 1st time in India: The School also provided opportunity to the physically unfit people to share their views on ‘Yoga’ and spread a message by organizing Paper Presentations and Poster Presentations, first time being introduced in India, on topics like— Yoga & Healthy Society, Yoga & Cultural Synthesis, Unity in Diversity, Yoga for Peace and more under the 1st International Yoga Championship and Conference 2010 and 1st National Yoga Olympiad of India organized by the International Yoga Foundation.
- Yoga and Meditation Session for Parents- DLPS believes that a child is the sum total of his environment, at school, at home. We see homes as key pillars in harnessing positive energies towards the holistic progress of the child. Parents, play a key role in building an empowered home environment.
- Special value addition sessions on – Yoga and Meditation are organized for parents to create a synergized home environment. With this unique opportunity, we invite parents to replenish, together with us, our vision and mission of creating resilient, tolerant, focused and receptive individuals for whom being ‘good’ is more important than just being ‘smart’!
- Exclusive Vipassana Meditation Session for Teachers- Teachers at DLPS are also benefitting under this unique programme. Every year, selected group of teachers visit the Vippassana Centre, Chhatarpur Delhi along with School children and rejuvenate themselves. Teachers also visit Meditation Centers as- Om Shanti Retreat Centre and —- , raise their spiritual quotient and re-invent a better teacher within themselves.
- Organized 1st International Yoga Championship and Conference 2010 and 1st National Yoga Olympiad of India organized by the International Yoga Foundation. The objective behind this joint venture of the school and International Yoga Foundation was to popularize and spread up the light of this cultural heritage of India to every home, every individual towards healthier nations and happier world.
Participants from six countries— Myanmar, SriLanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Iran and India took part. The school’s objective behind the promotion of Athletic Yoga was to catch the children at an early age for the holistic synchronization of body, mind and soul helping them to be what they potentially are. And, introducing it as an interesting sport led to its wider acceptability by an extensive range of young students ensuring their well being and happiness and helping them stay fit and do away with rising syndromes like Hypertension, Stress and more.
- We have created a model of the entire programme which is being shared with 40 other schools of Ghaziabad under the CBSE Sahodya Schools community. In this way, we’ve been able to spread the benefits of the technique to other children in different Schools, thus benefitting the society at large.
Highlight 5 Achievements of the Programme:-
- Achievements in Yoga- Our students have been representing India and winning the Yoga World Cup for India for the FIVE consecutive Years; 2004-2009: South East Asian Yoga Championship for India for THREE consecutive Years; 2007-2009.
- Our Success Stories are Motivation for Other Schools to Emulate this Programme- When we began with the programme, we were the only School to adopt this practice. But now, we find other Schools asking us and exploring the feasibility and impact of this programme.
- Case Studies of the Individual Success Stories- We have many case stories of children who have benefitted immensely from this programme. They say it has in many ways changed their lives and they are more empowered individuals after adopting this daily practice in their lives. To site one is- Rohit Joshi Class X ( a slow learner) was motivated by his friend, Amit, who had attended the Vipassana Camp at New Delhi. Rohit now meditates on regular basis and has improved in his performance.
- Wholesome individuals who make ideal teachers- empathetic, sensitive and happy – Our faculty are more empowered. The daily observance of yoga and meditation quitens their minds, reduces negativity and helps them overcome stress.
- Yoga- NOT JUST a STAND ALONE ACTIVITY- At our School, we made sure that we do not leave an important tool as ‘Yoga’ to be simply an activity or process that children follow. Instead, we encouraged children to integrate this technique to make other area of performances stronger. Yoga has now found way to enriching School cultural programmes, Competitions at national/international level, basis for student evaluation and a running campaign to enlighten other people’s lives with its light.
Key Challenges Faced while Implementing the Programme and how they were overcome:-
- Logistics- As for any institution would matter, to us too; one of the major challenges was the logistics involved. It involved equipping each classroom with speakers to aid guided meditation, creating association with Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan to carry out a long term effective programme well aligned to students’ needs and …
- Getting Teachers to Meditate along with Students: A hard job indeed. Children’s minds are at impressionable state. They can be molded and shaped easily. The challenge was the entire paradigm shift in the approach of teachers towards ‘Yoga and Meditation’. The teachers were quite resistant to even attending the Vippassana Meditation Camps. They had to be forced to attend the camps.
- Overcoming the Hurdle- As the teachers started attending the camps, they could realize the immense benefits of the programme. We made sure that each teacher shares her experience of the ‘Yoga and Meditation Camp (Whether negative or positive) with the School. This little activity helped them retrospect the rejuvenation process that happened as a byproduct of attending the camp. This became a motivation for the other teachers too. And now, we are receiving requests from the teachers to attend the camp. And it’s we who are in a difficult situation of giving the opportunity to a particular set of teachers. But, we are happy doing that.
- Getting all students engaged at the same time- Another big challenge! Children are bubbling with energy at all times; getting them to even be silent was a tough job.
- Overcoming the Hurdle- We equipped every classroom with a SPEAKER. And so does every child follows the guided meditation and gets absorbed into the meditation process. We even appointed a Coordinator, Ms. Geeta Bharti to see the smooth execution of the entire programme. The class which does it most efficiently is even appreciated and recognized in the School Assembly.
- Motivating children to adopt this practice in their daily lives- Initially, children found it a pretty useless exercise and would simply sit quiet for the fear of the teacher present in the class during the meditation time as common in students’ lives, they prioritize many other things and consider it a waste of time.
- Overcoming the Hurdle- As the students took a step further and started attending the meditation and yoga camps inside and outside the School, they could see and feel the immense benefits. It reduced their stress, helped them overcome anxiety, and helped them be patient and cheerful. And now we see many students adopting this practice at homes too and even motivating their parents to do that.
- Receiving Consent from the Parents and making them believe it’s non-dogmatic, free from all rites and rituals and is universally accepted. Some parents would simply not accept it out of false notions regarding religious factors associated.
- Overcoming the Hurdle- The School organized special Induction Sessions for the parents to orient them about the entire programme; parents being from different religious, faith backgrounds. We had to also send letters to parents proclaiming about the non-dogmatic approach of the entire programme and consent forms to take parents’ permission for the said programme.
Points on how the programme can serve as a model and can be replicated by others:-
- Extending the Programe to other Schools in Ghaziabad through Sahodya- The School Principal, Mrs Seema Jerath is also the Vice-Chairperson of the Sahodya School Complex Ghaziabad Chapter. The objective of the committee is to work together and rise together in the process by sharing best practices. As a first step towards this, our said School programme is being emulated by 40 member Schools in Ghaziabad. It is being adopted as the BEST Practice of DLPS.
- Creating awareness through Video-Conference with other countries- We’ve been also making endeavor to take the impact of ‘Yoga and Meditation’ to school students in various countries through Video-Conferencing sessions. During the ‘Culture and Lifestyle’ exchange, one aspect that’s most appreciated by our School and children in other schools want to know more about is ‘Yoga and Meditation’.
- Exchange Programmes with other Countries- The School has accomplished various Exchange programmes with countries as Scotland, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia and more. During all the visit the common factor was introduction of this unique technique- Yoga and Meditation to all the visiting delegates. Some also wished to have an extended training on the same. The visiting faculty found that ONE BIG DIFFERENCE our School and theirs had been that there children don’t practice this wonderful technique, but they wished they could. While on a visit to other countries, our teachers have trained students and teachers on the said programme.
- Our visiting faculty to South Dartmoor Community College, UK under the UKEIRI PROJECT- We have also filed application under the UKEIRI, UK India Education and Research Initiative, with the proposed project- ‘Raising the Spiritual and Emotional Quotient through Yoga and Meditation’. We endeavour to present a model of the entire programme. When shared the project with our partner School, they were more than enthusiastic about it and wish to embed the programme in their curriculum.
- Winning the World Education Best Innovation Award 2012- We believe if we are chosen for the said award, our programme will serve as a great model for the other Schools as well as for the country. This will give our programme a visibility at the national front and we other schools and children will know about the countless benefits of this age old tradition of India which is surely its proud heritage!
List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the project/ programme/ initiative:-
- Vipassana, as practiced by the School- is a universally accepted scientific technique to sound body and mind. In this era of rapid transitions, where people are struggling to keep pace with the world, and in the process find themselves in the web of stress, depression, aggression and illnesses, Vipassana has emerged as an important and easily adoptable technique which serves as a single solution to the numerous negative emotions said above, It is widely accepted by the world and is being practiced around the world. Catching our children young and building an acceptance of this technique will surely lead to a happier future for them.
- Yoga- is also emerging as a powerful tool to peaceful mind, balanced life and healthy body and increasingly becoming part and parcel of lives of people across the world. Yoga is also a scientific approach and a lot of researches do talk about the unmatchable benefits it brings to body and mind. With pragmatism, not only in India, but it is increasingly being adopted by western countries as well. This leads to a high scalability of this programme in terms of its emulation and adaptability by a wide range of students and teachers across the world.
- Yoga, Meditation Camps in all the parts of India as well as abroad- Due to the wider acceptability of Yoga and Meditation, we can find its official centers at many places in India as well as abroad. This increases its scope of adoptability by any school, children, teachers, and people around the world. Also, online courses are available widely that can be source of emulation by any person around the world and makes it reachable to everyone, everywhere!
- Great Logistics—NO Economic Add-on- Most Schools are limited with funds and try to do best utilization of available funds, and sometimes struggle onto that. This leads to inability to accept some very important educational tools available worldwide. But when we talk about adopting ‘Yoga and Meditation’; it is purely cost free and does not incur any additional cost bearing on schools with magical benefits for the students and teachers. This simply makes it highly scalable in terms of logistics involved.
- Programme Adaptable as per Personal, organizational Needs- The BEST part of adopting ‘Yoga and Meditation’ as a powerful tool to sound body and mind is that it is completely adaptable given the specific needs/ requirements of individuals and organization. There are several forms of Yoga available as- Athletic Yoga, Power Yoga, Rhythmic Yoga, Rhythmic Pair Yoga, Pranayam and so on. The wide number of options makes it highly scalable in terms of flexibility in terms of its implementation. Similarly, Meditation has many ways and stages, which would vary upon the choice, age-group and preferences of persons.