CHANDIGARH: In a pilot project, a group of students in a school in Haryana have started performing the ancient Indian technique of 'thoppukaranam' from Monday. A Tamil word, it refers to the practice of performing squats while holding the earlobes with the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand and is traditionally done in front of an idol of Lord Ganesha.
Calling it “super yoga for the brain”, Haryana School Education Board Secretary Rajeev Parshad said it would boost the memory of the students. To test this premise, the pilot project has been started in Bhiwani’s Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan School with students divided into control and experimental groups. Meenakshi Kaushik Pulastya, the school’s principal, said, “It was performed by 500 students. Their behavioural and academic performance would be monitored.” If successful, 'thoppukaranam' would be introduced in schools across the state.
A study published in the International Journal of Yoga by researchers from the S-VYASA Yoga University in Bengaluru said those who performed the practice showed increased concentration and reduced anxiety compared to those who did just squats. But the study’s sample size was small and the researchers said they had not assessed the lasting effects of the practice.
Testing the practice scientifically
“The pilot project is being scientifically done under the supervision of the National Brain Research Centre in Gurugram and the Haryana Yog Parishad,” the state’s school education board secretary Rajeev Parshad told TNIE