Upon arriving in Florida, I was greeted with a gentle pour down of rain. Months of Arizona dryness had taken a toll on me, and the soft rainfall was absolutely welcomed. We flew out early on a Monday to get into Florida in the early evening time. It is a tradition for our family to go away in the summers, and for the past three years, we have come here to Clearwater Beach. There are some touristy places here, but our family’s beach home is on a very private part of the beach. It is quite lovely and healing. We watch the dolphins and spend quality time in the sun and ocean. The highlight of the week was the paddle boarding and kayaking adventure. I can't believe that my son already can balance on the paddle board. To me, it was just yesterday that he was learning how to walk. Where does the time go? Before I left, I was asked to write an article about children’s yoga. I have included that article below. I worked on it on the airplane ride. Writing and traveling is interesting, and if the vata is out of balance, it is almost impossible to concentrate. The idea about the article just came from years on reflecting on the kind of world I want for my son.
Preserving the Light of Children
Upon reflecting on the past two years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and other school tragedies, whether on K-12 or college campuses, I have deduced there clearly needs to be a societal and cultural change for the sake of our children’s security and well-being. For me, the Newtown tragedy was one of those moments in history where I could never forget exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the children’s fate on that December day of 2012. I was actually teaching a yoga class at 7 Centers Yoga Arts, and we did a healing meditation for the families. Admittedly, it was extremely difficult for me to get through the class without tearing up constantly. I felt like the children in Sandy Hook Elementary School were my children. When I found out that the shooter responsible was barely out of his awkward teens, I felt even more heartache. The incident was only a symptom of a deeper problem in our American youth.
I feel strongly it is time for us as a collective to preserve the Light of our children. Our children’s hearts and souls are being neglected to the point where we would rather medicate them then educate them on real life. We should help our children understand feelings and emotions, so that they can become resilient to life’s constant shifts and turns. We should help our children connect with Nature for a sustainable future, through hands-on actions like gardening. We should give our children the tools to understand energy management of the body through the practices of meditation and yoga so that they don’t constantly feel stressed and imbalanced. It is going to take the collective effort of the community to protect, support, and heal our children. This is where teaching children’s yoga becomes profoundly significant.
When we teach children’s yoga, we have a beautiful opportunity to expand the world of a spiritual child that may otherwise be lost. Yes, research has shown that children who practice yoga have improved memory, motor skills, and muscular skeletal functions. However, the benefits can even go deeper. By teaching yogic principles, we can help children build meaningful relationships, not only with people, but with Nature. We can help children build a strong foundation of self-confidence, self-esteem, and intuition. Ultimately, we can together help children find Dharma or life purpose. The Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Program at 7 Centers Yoga Arts is an invitation to change the life a child. Some highlights of the program are the Ayurvedic Nutrition class and the Ahimsa Anti-bullying elective. Also, we offer a comprehensive foundation of yoga techniques and practices to serve children no matter what developmental stage or special need. With the sincere intention to love and nurture the future generation, we can together heal and support our children. In conclusion, we and our children can lead the way to open the hearts for peace in our communities.