“The genetic constitution of a child can be definitely effected by yoga”-Swami Satyananda. Light pavanmukta asanas when done with concentration on breath results in deep relaxation and a lot of energy. This deep relaxation and energy gets permeated to the unborn child (foetus). Pranayama and Pratyahara practices like AntarMouna and Yog Nidra relieve the mental anxieties and tensions of mother greatly. The importance of good physical and mental health is acknowledged world wide in all stages of life.
Yoga lays the foundation of good health right in the womb. And a healthy body is the abode of a healthy mind. A cheerful person is welcome by one and all. The very first effect of yoga is an internal relaxation and happiness, if practiced regularly. It takes a few months to show the outer manifestation of various yogic practices on our body.
Education in the modern world has become quite oppressive. A big load of books, a lot of reading, writing and cramming is seen even in the pre-primary and primary schools. Both parents and teachers are trying to overdose even the little children with material, which is many times beyond their comprehension. The tension and anxiety starts right from the early childhood. Increasing materialism, competition has stressed each and every individual. Everybody understands that children are overburdened but there is no other way out.
If yoga is introduced right from the childhood as an integral part of child’s education many complications of the later life can be minimized. Yoga is taught through different interesting games to children, which they enjoy immensely. Swami Satyananda has devised various games like cat and mouse, tree pose, statue game for children. When I experimented these games in my yoga classes for children, I myself was amazed at the ingenuity of these games. Children feel extremely relaxed and cheerful playing these games and love and look forward to attend these yoga classes, even if it is early in the morning. Various mundane asanas when made interesting by little variation of speed or mantra chanting were immensely enjoyed by children. Children are very innocent by nature so they could visualize all the objects during yog nidra. Listening to their experiences, watching their radiant beaming faces gave immense delight to me also.
“Photographic memory can be developed by Yog nidra.” –Swami Satyananda.
As yog nidra for children is based on classroom teachings or nature especially mountains, rivers, flowers, clouds, their imagination runs wild. Their creativity is enhanced immensely. The deep relaxation so attained helps them to concentrate, in their studies. Many children confided of increased memory and concentration when they studied right after the yoga classes.
Sound is a powerful energy. Various mantras are devised on the basic principle of vibration. When children practiced asanas with different mantras they felt extremely cheerful and energized. And when I explained the science of vibration hidden in different mantras, they experimented. And thus were delighted by their own exhilarating experiences.
India is a land of sages and saints. India is known for its spiritual legacy. And childhood is the right time to sow the seed of spirituality when the soil is soft and unpolluted. Chanting of ‘Om’, Upanishad mantra, ‘Matri Devo Bhav’,'Pitru Devo Bhav’,'Acharya Devo Bhav’,'Atithi Devo Bhav’ lay the strong foundation of the childhood. Praying to God Sun by various surya mantra immediately fills the being of the children with a sense of deep security. A seed of deep faith and trust of god sprouts and grows by ones own experiences. Laziness and insecurity give rise to many vices like anger, worry and depression in children in the modern world. Yoga provides a perfect sublimation of their unlimited energy and it is channelised in the right direction.
When yoga practiced over a period of time under the guidance of a selfless, trained yoga teacher, children become capable to realize their own inner potential. Their confidence increases they become happier, healthier and calmer. All adults must give yoga a place, which it deserves in the development of the child’s personality. Yog education, if included in curriculum of school can revolutionize the whole education and society at large.