Holistic Education makes kids Smarter!

By the time a person graduates from High School, they have spent an average of 4000 days in the Education system. An individual’s education and their experience in the Education system determines their future path in life. What kind of an education system actually creates smart well rounded kids ?


With increasing competition and pace of life , children are stressed from a very young age. The incidence of stress, anxiety and depression is rising amongst children and young adults. We hear of teens committing suicide over exam results very often. Different studies put the prevalence of anxiety amongst adolescents anywhere between 13-20% of the population, depending on the region.


The biggest cause of this anxiety and stress is the performance, peer pressure and other such issues which an adolescent faces in school. This is quite understandable as children spend a majority of their time, mental and physical energy in school system.


It is highly ironical that the stress to perform better and be smarter actually makes a child’s intelligence sub-par. Studies show that when one is stressed, worried or anxious, one can not access the areas of brain responsible for higher cognition, thinking, learning and decision making. This is why we all have made “silly mistakes” in our exams , blurted the wrong answer or gone blank despite knowing the subject , just because we were nervous.

The current education system that is supposed to make the child smarter, actually, has the opposite effect because of the stress that it creates on the child. It is very sad that often, the merit of a child in a family is determined solely by their academic excellence.


Indians are amongst the brightest people in the world. In countries like USA, we are one of the highest paid minority. All over the world, we make the best doctors and scientists. However,  India produces very few innovations and hence, owns very few patents. The focus of our current education system on rote learning is one of main reasons for above. Only when the mind is calm and body is relaxed, one can access areas of brain related to creativity and innovation, several scientific studies show.


Traditional Indian education system of Gurukul was very holistic. Our current education system that became popular after the British ruled India moved away from all rounded development and focussed only on academic excellence. Children need an educational environment that not only emphasises on performance but actively inculcates tools to develop emotional and stress resilience. They need a nurturing environment that allows them freedom to develop their skills. Just creating a stress free ambience is not enough. Children need to be taught to manage their emotions, access their creativity and innovation.


SSRVM Schools under the aegis of the Art of Living embody a perfect holistic development of the children. Children are provided excellent education which gives them the academic rigor. This is combined with tools like Yoga, Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya which help them develop resilience to manage their mind, emotions and challenging situations. Several studies have shown that practice of SKY and Meditation reduces anxiety, depression, fear of exams and enhances children’s and teen’s ability to study, play sports etc. It also improves their quality of life and their relationship with their parents.


Regular practice of these techniques inculcates creativity and innovation. Most importantly, it enhances happiness and joy in children and allows them to enjoy their childhood…the most precious time of all our lives!

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The Author Smt. Divya Kanchibhotla

Divya Kanchibhotla is the Director of Sri Sri Institute for Advanced Research (SSIAR) which is the Research wing of Art of Living. She is also a SKY and Meditation trainer for children, youths and adults.
The vision of SSIAR is to strengthen research in the field of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and related practices that improve the quality of life not only for the individual but also for the organizations.

She is an Engineer and a Scientist with a B.Tech and M.Tech in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi followed by a Masters in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. She has worked as a Senior Scientist at Boston Scientific, USA, where she was involved in creating Bio-degradable stents.

She has been involved with Art of Living since 2001. As a trainer , she has personally trained 1000s of people in Yoga and Mediation all over USA and India. She has traveled extensively as a speaker and addressed events in Corporates like Best Buy, Target Corporation ; Health Care Institutes like Mayo Clinic and several International Conferences.

In 2011 , she and her husband moved from USA to Art of Living International Center at Bangalore, India. From 2011-2017 she was the Director, National Coordination for Art of Living Trainers and Programs. In her role she managed activities of 17,000 trainers in India along with managing development and Coordination of several Flagship Programs under Art of Living.


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