There is no easy way of getting through your board exams, or any exams for that matter. But to prepare yourself for what is about to take place during your examination days, you will need to improve your focus and concentration. This way, your brain functions and information retention will function better. You will also need to maintain a higher level of energy, which you will need during your studies and once the board exam day has come. And to help make this happen, here are some yoga practices that you can do to help you perform better during your board exams.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
This modern yoga practice will definitely be a good addition to your exams preparation. It incorporates a sequence of linked asanas. One of its primary benefits to a yogi is that it helps strengthen the whole body. It also helps stimulate the nervous system, including the brain and the spinal cord. This practice can greatly improve the overall functions of the brain by activating your brain cell, building your focus and concentration and helping you prevent memory loss.
How to do it:
- Start by standing straight, keeping your feet together, with your hands in the prayer position.
- Raise your hands above your head and stretch your body upwards and backwards.
- Lean forward, folding the body. Bring hands to your feet and try touching your toes.
- Next, place both palms firmly on the floor, then push your left foot back.
- Push your right foot next and to join your left foot, keeping your arms straight. Your body should be in one straight slanting line.
- Lower your knees on the floor. Keeping your hips up and your hands on the same place, slowly lower your chest and chin on the ground, tucking both arms folded beside your chest.
- Gently slide your upper body forward, pushing up and moving to a cobra pose.
- Next push back and move your hips up high, while keeping both your hands and feet grounded. You should be on a downward dog pose.
- Step your right foot forward to join your hands.
- Step your left foot forward next, and your head should be aligned to your knees.
- Slowly unfold your body and stretch upwards and back.
- Go back to your first position.
Padmasana (Lotus Position)
This cross-legged sitting asana is ideally used for meditation. The lotus pose helps calm one’s brain, increasing attentiveness and awareness. It also helps promote good posture by keeping the spine straight. This pose also helps stretch your knees and ankles, as well as strengthen your pelvis, abdomen and bladder.
How to do it:
- Sit on a flat surface with your legs straight, keeping your back, neck and head erect.
- Slowly bend your right knee and place the top of your right foot on your left thigh.
- Next, pull in your left leg and place the top of your left foot on your right thigh.
- Close your eyes and relax your hands on the top of your knees, using your choice of gesture.
- Hold your position for a few minutes and keep breathing in and out in long and deep circulations.
- Repeat the pose with your other leg on top.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
The fish pose is a chest opener. This asana is considered as a shoulder stand and helps strengthen a yogi’s nape and upper back muscles. At the same time, this practice stretches one’s throat, navel, neck and rib muscles. Primarily, this practice improves one’s posture and spinal flexibility. It also improves blood flow towards the head.
How to do it:
- Start by sitting in the lotus position, crossing your legs together with the tops of your feet pulled in on top of your opposite thighs.
- Put your hands behind you as support as you lean back and lower down your upper body until your head touches the ground.
- Once your head is on the ground, keep your back arched up and not touching the floor.
- Touch your toes and hold the position for a few seconds and before going back to your original position.
Bhramari (Bee Breathing)
This pranayama is a breathing practice that helps soothe the nervous system. The name came from the sound that a yogi produces at the back of the throat while practicing Bhramari. This practice will help calm your mind and body, soothing your nerves and relieving your stress and anxiety. It also helps release tension in your brain, helping you sleep soundly.
How to do it:
- Sit cross legged on the floor or sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
- Keep your head, neck and back straight.
- Keep jaws relaxed and lips gently closed, with your teeth slightly apart and the tip of your tongue relaxed behind your upper front teeth.
- Close your ears using your thumbs, then place your other fingers on front of your eyes, with your fingertips lightly pressed along the bridge of your nose.
- Take a long deep breath through your nose, feeling your breath move down to your belly.
- Drop your chin down to your chest and exhale slowly, creating a low, steady “hmm” sound from the back of your throat, like the sound of a bee.
- Keep body completely still while bringing awareness to the center of your head, allowing the sound of your hum to resonate through your head.
- Repeat by straightening your head back up as you inhale.
Vajrasana (Diamond or Thunderbolt Pose)
This sitting asana helps improve your body’s blood circulation. It reduces the blood flow in the lower portion of your body, so as to redirect the flow towards your vital organs, especially your digestive system. It facilitates good digestion, improving your bowel movement and relieving indigestion.
How to do it:
- Start by kneeling down, with your feet together behind you.
- Put the tops of your feet flat on the ground and then sit on your legs.
- Keep your upper body straight.
- Try to hold the pose for 30 seconds, while focusing on your breathing.
These yoga poses can definitely help improve how your mind and body will function during board exams. Aside from practicing yoga, it goes without saying that studying and focusing on your goal to pass your exams is crucial. So keep a healthy mind and body and do your best!
When she’s not studying or taking in a lecture, Lindsey Harper Mac turns her intellectual curiosity to indie music, intimate local concerts and the edgy world of extreme sports. As Lindsey’s typical speed setting is “afterburner,” she does turn it down before bed with some reading, classic TV or a faithful quick entry into her ever-present journal.