Yoga is from womb till tomb. Pregnant women should have a satvik state of mind. This involves positive thoughts, satvik food habits and active life. Whatever a mother does everything will be absorbed by the child. There is an invisible umbilical cord connection even after the child is delivered. Dr. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra – Director, The Yoga Institute, says that mother and father play an influential role in child’s life. A child is very observant. Whatever the parents do, the same thing is acted by the child. It is the duty of the parents to act accordingly.
The absorbing capacity of the child is amazing, and thus, parents have to be careful in the way they behave. If the father holds his hands at the back and walks, the child will do the same thing. We all find it cute but we have to keep in mind, if such small action is copied by the child then misbehaviour will also influence.
After the age of 5, kids will start listening and one can directly teach them anything because by then they learn to sit and listen properly. At this time we have to teach them the values, manners, behaviour, healthy time-table and the traditions of the house. But, we have to be creative while teaching, like through stories from scriptures and games.
The highlight is, parents have to practice what they want to teach their kids. Otherwise, there is no point in teaching, because they will not learn. There is a story of a teacher and a student. One day a student’s mother came to meet the teacher and asked him to make the girl understand, not to eat sweets, it is not good. The teacher told them to come after 15 days. After 15 days, the teacher asked the student to stop eating the sweets as it is not good.
The mother was confused; she asked the teacher why did you ask us to come after 15 days? You could have told the same thing on that day. The teacher replied, I am fond of sweets too, so before asking my student to stop eating I have to practice, only then my students will trust me and practice what I teach.
Yoga techniques like Asana should be taught to kids by explaining to them the importance of nature. They should be taught the qualities of mountains, trees, animals, birds, flowers, etc. They should practice the asana in nature like in the garden or near the beach, and would not take yoga as just a physical form of exercise.
After the age of 8, you can directly teach them the steps of asana and how to perfect it. They love balancing asana which improves their concentration. One should always focus on the holistic development of the child and not just on a certain area.
Talk to them about emotions like anger issues, exam tension once they are 12 years old and teach them the right way to deal with it. They should feel comfortable around the parents. Another important aspect of yoga is to teach them the Karma philosophy - helping people and nature around will bring a sense of happiness without any expectations. Teach them to be compassionate and friendly towards others in school and colony. Equal breathing and “Om” chanting is the best form of breathing exercise. This will keep them compose and improve concentration.
Yoga for Kids does not restrict up to physical movements. There are stages that should be followed for the holistic development of the child. Parents should remain happy around the child. In the end, the child is what his parents are.