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Bokwa yoga comes to classroom to enhance kinesthetic intelligence
I still remember my school days in early 1950s at Kurukshetra in Haryana when in the primary grades, the tracing of alphabet with the pointing-finger in the air was the way to practice the structure of Devnagari alphabet before writng them on the slates.

Now, I hear that in some primary schools in the west, a yoga form is being used to make children trace letters, numbers and shapes with their feet called 'Bokwa'. Some teachers have connected the hand-signs also as yoga postures for the hearing-impaired children.

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As a part of developing kinesthetic intelligence of children, they are using bokwa as a physical workout by combining dancing with alphabet and digits tracing with feet.

An example of this is available on YouTube titled "Bokwa babies episode". In schools it is being used more as line- dancing with the foot-moves consisting of sequential tracing the combination and permutations of alphabet, digits and shapes.

Many teachers now feel that four to six years of kids take to 'Bowka' naturally and it has pedagogical advantages besides offering physical exercise. It is being seen something which every teacher can use, as it does not require learning of conventional dance steps.

It is being called yoga since it is done consciously with breathing in and out and as dance form which is easy to follow uses letters and digits to help children identify the moves and steps.

In fact, Bokwa is inspired by South African dance steps, which now has got adapted with language, arithmetic and hand-sign symbols. It has made Bokwa an easy to follow body workout in which any one can identify and execute the moves.

Thus, anybody can take up this workout option which is easy to know and practice. It is being said that anyone from three-year-olds to 70-year-olds with two feet can do this workout, though with varying tempo.

Though, a re-incarnation of old Indian tradition that combines tracing of letters with hand in the air with yoga principles, Bokwa is yet to take roots in India. To me it appears to be boundary breaking innovation that combines old instruction practices, yoga and pedagogy.

It needs to be tried out in some pre-primary and primary schools. The followers of the multiple intelligence instructions also see the strength of Bokwa to make teaching interesting and effective.


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