In today’s society, more and more children are faced with issues such as: hyperactivity, diabetes, food disorders, drug addiction, depression, delinquency and personality disorders. Instead of condemning these issues, there is a very clear and logic solution in ancient texts and practices of how we can change this predominant evolution pattern into a positive one, resulting in an efficient, connected and peaceful society.
Variety of Causes
There are many causes, such as, parents’ life style, intake of drugs and medicine during pregnancy, poor nourishment at birth (especially processed foods and sugars), mental dis-balance of parents, living in fear or worry, early deprivation, maternal rejection, or the stress created by society.
The Root Cause
There is only one significant root cause, which once dealt with will make all the other causes become irrelevant. The secret lies in the development of the pineal gland, which balances our brain activity. It is a tiny gland, situated at the top of our spinal cord, which between the ages of 8 and 10 begins to calcify and then slowly degenerate. Its degeneration awakens the pituitary gland, resulting in the release of hormones to aid puberty.
For many children, this quick hormone release is overwhelming and gives them too much to understand and deal with at such a young age. Unfortunately, most children react to this change with withdrawal, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, anger, and destructive and disruptive behaviour.
In ancient India, thousands of years ago, this fact was widely known and as soon as each child turned 8 they got initiated into a special practice, which helped to delay emotional growth and maintain a balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. Consequently, these children were able to continue experiencing their childhood until they became physically ready for maturation.
POSITIVE EVOLUTION – HOW and WHEN?
The Change Happens in the Womb
Most of us are not aware that the emotions of the mother whilst the child is in the womb can influence the development of the child’s DNA, thus significantly affecting its emotional state later in life. It is therefore better to teach your child through your own practice, whilst you are pregnant, rather than trying to teach it later on in life.
The Most Important Time in a Child’s Life
Children learn and develop most of their qualities from the age of 4 months up until 3 years. By the time they turn 3, their brain already weighs almost 90% of an adults brain, indicating the end of the evolution process.
Early Receptivity and Education
According to studies and research, children are most receptive for knowledge at the age of 4. This is the best time for children to start learning the alphabet and numbers, so that by the age of six they can write and read. Then at this age and when they have mastered speech fully, they are able to learn new languages faster than at any other age. When taught in a playful and imaginative way, this is the best time for children to enjoy learning as their brain is open and completely ready to receive.
The Best Teaching Method
The best things we learn in life are those we experience. This is why children naturally learn by playing and copying their parents. Therefore, the best teaching method is to be as natural as possible. When we balance our body, mind and soul, lead a healthy life, feel happy, and act honestly without harming anyone with our speech and actions, then so will our children. Setting an example through the way you live your life is the best model you can give your children.
Ancient Methods of Teaching
Ancient saints believed that real knowledge is about educating the behaviour of the mind and the brain. Yoga is all about balancing the mind, body and spirit, which is why it is particularly beneficial to children.
However, yoga is only recommended for children over 8 years old, as this is when they are able to practice sun salutations, simple pranayama’s and relaxation techniques. Breathing techniques help children utilise their full lung capacity as well as balance the left and right sides of their brain. Consequently, children who practice yoga show better results in sports, can stay under water longer and perform more successfully in school. For more information and an explanation of simple yoga practices, please contact a qualified yoga teacher.
Finally, it is important to stress that Yoga for children is completely contrary to yoga for parents. It represents a completely outward oriented practice, as children need to experience their bodies, environment, and imagination fully. Any attempt to make them still and motionless would result in dis-balance. However, practising a short concentration and relaxation practice at the end of the yoga session is recommended.
Practical Tips to Implement at Home:
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to teach them to be attentive and aware. Learning these qualities will improve their memory and help with their self-development. They will become quicker and more efficient in life. Take them outside in nature and observe the changes in each season, listen to the sounds around you, observe ants or bees and how they move and what they do.
Introduce belly breath for short periods throughout the day. This you can do in many fun and playful ways, for example – put a toy on their belly and let them observe how the belly is moving up and down; let them lie on your belly and encourage them to breathe in and out at the same time as you do; let them hug a tree and breathe with the tree. This will calm their mind down in a matter of minutes and their concentration will improve significantly.
Guide them into a short relaxation (no longer than 10 minutes). Bring their awareness to their body in a playful way, for example – ask them to make a statue and stay still whilst counting to 10, then ask them to bend and straighten their elbows, bend and straighten their knees, wiggle their toes and then make them still, raise and lower their head, move their eyeballs whilst keeping their eyes closed, move their lips and whistle, and then finally relax their entire body. After this practice, you can use a short visualisation, tell them a positive story or just let them listen to the sounds around them.
If you have any questions, comments, would like more information about any of the above-mentioned practices, or have an experience that you would like to share with me, please connect with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspired by: Swami Satyananda Saraswati (1990): Yoga Education for Children, Volume I. Munger, Bihar: Yoga Publications Trust.