Children are the epitome of love and innocence, capable of high degrees of adaptability. They take the shape of the mould they are provided with, by way of parental and external influences. Consequently, the formative years of childhood become a crucial period when habits, character, and vital personality traits are shaped for life. Though genetic tendencies hold clues of what might be in store, yet to rely wholly on these markers is akin to putting all the eggs in one basket. The influence of the environment- mainly home and school serve as signposts for children to chart their own destiny.
Children soak in the inputs available to them, which are embedded in the psyche. As they get exposed to myriad experiences in life, it is imperative to arm them with strength of character and the power to discern, that will help them face life with equanimity. Integrity in thought, word and deed are abiding qualities that would hold the children in good stead all through life.
It is here that yoga comes in like divine intervention. Yoga is a science applicable to all age groups. Inculcating the habit of yoga from very young is perhaps the ideal way to achieve balance in the mind-body-soul realm. Holistic health, which includes prevention of diseases by improving the thought pattern, regulating the energy flow in the body and realizing the divine within, is as important for children as much as it is for adults.
School, a home away from home for children, where maximum learning takes place, will do well to include health education in the curriculum. A good way to begin would be to train children in yogic techniques during designated school hours, which will ensure discipline and consistency in the practice of yoga. The practice should ideally be started early in a simple manner, to build the practice effectively in the child's life.
Yoga acts as a catalyst and unravels the many wonderful qualities that children possess. Apart from the apparent physical benefits, it helps the child become aware and focused. Even special children with learning disorders benefit immensely with yoga.
Let's look at how yogic techniques impact children.