Whether they are passing state-mandated tests, making honor rolls, or coping with class bullies, children do not have carefree lives; nor do they always have good role models. Raising peaceful kids in a chaotic world is not easy, but teaching them how to cope with stress gives them a running start.
We have all heard the saying “it takes a village.” Research shows that Yoga studios can be integral parts of that village. Not only does the practice of Yoga help children feel better about their own bodies, but it helps them to respect and get along with others, too. Belonging to a community builds empathy and increases feelings of connectedness, lowering anxiety and depression for all generations.
The earlier we learn the rules to healthy living, the less conflict we have as children or adults. Imagine not having to “unlearn” the bad habits we acquired during our younger years, not to mention the psychological and physical benefits of the early training.
While parenting theories change, some truths are absolute. The way we see the world and treat other people determines the quality of our lives. Negative thoughts create anger, fear, and isolation. At the same time, good deeds and positive thinking lead to happy hearts and minds.
Yoga and Peaceful Children
It is hard enough to remain calm and centered in our busy world, with time for children’s soccer schedules and homework competing against each other. Add to this, it is difficult for busy parents to be completely present for others. As children grow, there comes a time when children are more likely to listen to someone else. What better person for the role than a competent Yoga teacher?
Yoga teaches kindness, patience, and service, while honoring individual traditions and personal beliefs. In a world where competition and acquisition are commonplace, Yogic philosophy encourages cooperation, service, builds self-esteem, self-care, and contemplation. The ability to persevere, to live a balanced life or to look inward is something most of us take decades to learn.
Yoga’s health benefits are obvious, but they also spill over into other areas of children’s lives. Kids who are happy and healthy have fewer behavioral problems, learn more easily, and exhibit stronger social skills.
There is an old Native American belief that the actions of one generation affect the next seven generations. If so, childhood Yoga lessons have the potential to change the future in a positive way for generations to come.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division