Story behind Little Yogis!
As a child I remember that day at my school, when a few representatives from a renowned wellness center had come to take Yoga, breathing & meditation sessions with us. They did this group breathing activity in a traditional form by asking us to sit comfortably crossed legged, focus on your breath followed by instructions.
We as “children” found it to be really boring! Few amongst us were also laughing and not concentrating (they got a nice punishment later for behaving in that manner). I feel it was all justified, as a child anyone would find it boring, unless any fun element was added to it.
I know our school did it all for the benefit of the children, that they realized its importance and need and wanted to start early with yoga and mindfulness. But I believe it was in vain because for me as a child I labelled YOGA to be boring, slow, no fun element and I obviously lost interest in this globally practiced and Indian originated form of exercise and mindfulness. When I grew up, still I would prefer aerobics or cardio or Zumba over yoga. Why did this happen? Now that I am in this field of Early Childhood Education I realize my brain connections were already formed when I was a child. So liking or interest for this form of exercise was not anywhere happening. I would watch these pictures of people practicing yoga and having immense flexibility and calmness, somehow I was looking for that calmness in my chaos. I wondered if they were even humans to turn and twist their bodies so easily and balance themselves so well in difficult postures. And then I met my wonderful Yoga Guru Mrs. Archana Upadhyay who introduced me to yoga and I started believing and loving this form of exercise. Though I practiced & learnt from her for a short time but she had that impact on me.
I started loving yoga I tried to understand it better, I started practicing it, I even tried to implement it with my children in school but it was again in vain as they did not enjoy it as much as they did Aerobics or dance exercise.
What was missing? “THE FUN-ELEMENT” of course.
How can yoga be fun for children? What can I do? How can I make it interesting? And there started my journey towards developing this curriculum. Breathing exercises, Yoga poses were never so much fun before. Children never participated so eagerly as they started doing now, they loved their new breathing exercises as they weren’t boring any more.
I am sure if any habit or interest if introduced at an early age has a longer and easier impact on the child, provided it has that fun element. We don’t want them to be perfectionists in those poses right now, even if they develop love for this form of exercise our 80% goal is achieved.
So stay tuned for this fun-filled Yoga Curriculum for children to see a healthier and happier India.