Train Your Brain: Indian author uses Yoga to celebrate SCRF 2023 theme

Yamini Muthanna shows series of postures and breathing techniques as part of a workshop at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival to drive home ‘well-being’ among children

For immediate release
Sharjah, May 10, 2023

Scores of students learned how to ‘train their brain’, theme for this year’s Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) taking place at the Sharjah Expo Centre until May 14, using yoga and breathing techniques as part of a workshop by Indian author Yamini Muthanna.

The hour-long session saw Muthanna, who specialises in Vinyasa Yoga – a creative form of the ancient Indian discipline where poses are linked together with the breath in a flowing sequence – demonstrate a series of postures and techniques live in front of children from various schools to drive home the concept of ‘holistic well-being’.

“The more flexible your body becomes, the better off you are in using your mind,” said Muthanna, explaining how her postures and techniques – curated specially for children between eight and 16 for her book Yoga for Children: Step by Step – eventually go a long way in ‘training the mind’ for a state of complete happiness.

“We often mistake physical fitness for well-being. It’s just one aspect. Yoga can help students who often struggle with lack of concentration or face issues like peer pressure achieve a sense of contentment. And that is exactly what young minds must train for, very different to why adults do yoga,” she said. “It’s all about how to build your mind and focus, to stay well, happy and content from inside. That leads to overall well-being”, she added.

Eight-year-old Mauuar Amin, who attended the interactive workshop, said he felt uplifted after the session although some of the moves left him gasping for breath. “It was a lot of hard work but I felt energised (after the session),” he said. Mauaar’s classmate Hamza, who had never done Yoga before, echoed the same sentiments, calling the workshop ‘exhilarating’. “I never imagined it would be this enjoyable, especially learning how to focus on something.”

“We felt relaxed trying to touch the ground with our head while doing the split like her. I felt a very positive impact on my mind and body, learning the technique. It helped me calm down and focus on what I was doing,” said Humaira Rajani, an eighth-grade student of the Buds Public School in Dubai. Her classmate Kaniskasri said that the session inspired her to take up yoga on a daily basis. “I enjoyed it so much that I am now inspired to do it more regularly, every day.”

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