The philosophy and practices of classical Yoga are for application by adults and it can be anticipated that parents will naturally transmit appropriate information to their children. In spite of disciplinary measures in education being at present unpopular in western countries, self discipline and self confidence nevertheless go hand in hand. Children must not be deprived of the benefits derived from early training whether the disciplinary measures relate to physical training or to character. It is well evidenced that discipline demanded from any teacher provides the initial basis for the student’s subsequent self discipline.
Young Yoga students tend towards advanced intellectual development and a surprising number of them have become aware of spiritual life through their direct experiences of the power of love and goodness and the early awakening of their own intuition. All are encouraged to live a life of high ethical and moral standards.
Teenagers as they mature, generally find it of interest to learn more about themselves and their own physical, emotional and mental nature. They also have an innate interest in learning about all the natural philosophies and sciences, particularly over the last years as environmental issues have brought attention to the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of the various natural life kingdoms, confirming the very Oneness which is the essence of Yoga.
Direct benefits offered to children who learn Yoga generally include the following –
Greater understanding of their bodies and the need for maintaining health
Better muscular control over their physical bodies through exercise
Health improvement through correction of minor symptoms
Ability to experience self commanded muscular relaxation
Improved physical posture and mental attitudes
Learning natural nutrition and healthy eating habits
Improved respiration and relief from complaints such as asthma and hyperactivity
Interest in drugless methods and encouragement towards natural remedies
Awareness of the need to build their own self image & confidence
Greater self awareness and psychological understanding
Mutual respect between the sexes – seen as equal but opposite
Increased and positive use of imagination and other mental faculties
Improved concentration and studies
Greater resistance to damaging habits such as drugs, alcohol
Understanding of the importance of the principle of non-violence in thought and deed
Acceptance of greater self reliance and responsibility
Increased joy in living
Parents benefit in several ways by having children disciplined through Yoga classes. Well disciplined children become more amenable and co-operative.
Parents benefit also as children improve in behaviour, politeness and respect and are able to develop natural creative enjoyments and enterprises rather than spending too much time with electronic toys and TV.
The qualified yoga teacher offers children a vital system of education complementary to the existent system in schools and teaches a practical way of building total health of mind and body. All fine yoga teachers, although maintaining their own unique style, adapt the classical teachings by specialised study and application of techniques modified for those of young age.