International Journal of Yoga
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158-161
Self-esteem and performance in attentional tasks in school children after 4½ months of yoga

Patanjali Research Foundation, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Shirley Telles
Patanjali Research Foundation, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar - 249 405, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_42_18

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Introduction: Physical activity is known to improve self-esteem of children. Low self-esteem causes distraction of attention which leads to decline in performance in attentional tasks. The performance of a child at school depends on multiple factors, a major factor being attention. Hence, the present study was designed to see (i) the effect 4½ months of yoga practice had on children's (a) performance in attentional tasks, (b) self-esteem and (ii) the correlation between yoga performance and (a) academic performance, (b) behavior with peers, (c) behavior with teachers, (d) punctuality, (e) participation in extra-curricular activities. Methods: Participants were 116 children with group mean age ± standard deviation; 10.2 ± 0.6 years. We assessed them for (i) self-esteem using Indian Adaptation of Battle's Self Esteem Inventory for Children and (ii) performance in attentional tasks using two different tests, i.e., six letter cancellation test (SLCT) and digit letter substitution test (DLST) and (iii) the teacher's rating scale which analyzed the teacher's assessment of the children's academic performance, behavior with peers, behavior with teachers, punctuality, yoga practice, and participation in extracurricular activities on an analog scale, before and after the intervention. Data were analyzed with PASW (SPSS Statistics 24) using the t-test for paired data. Results: There was a significant improvement in the scores of (i) SLCT (P < 0.001), (ii) DLST (P < 0.001), (iii) social self-esteem (P < 0.01), (iv) academic self-esteem (P < 0.001), and (v) total self-esteem (P < 0.001) after 60 min/day of yoga practice for 4½ months. Pearson correlation showed a positive correlation between yoga performance and the behavior with teachers (r = 0.221 and P < 0.05). Conclusions: Yoga practice is beneficial for school children as it improves attention, concentration, memory, motor speed, and self-esteem (social, academic and total). In addition, improved yoga performance improves behavior with teachers, thus improving discipline in school.

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