Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaching Yoga to Kids :-)

Every time I teach Yoga to kids I feel renewed. Teaching them is always a new experience to me. Even after teaching thousands of children till now, yet I learn something so different and new every time I come across a new child. I feel that every new kid brings with him or her a new expression, a new vision, a new idea and a new motivation for life.

In this month of November I taught for four days in two separate Children’s Yoga Camp at the Yoga Institute and I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I am always amazed to see the extraordinary abilities of these small and little ones. In one of the camp I started the camp by asking them “what is Yoga?” and I was so surprised by their brilliant answers...they said mam..’Yoga is concentration’, someone said ‘Yoga is meditation’ and another said ‘Yoga is a way to connect to God’…well these were the answers from kids who were around six to ten years old!! One little boy said with gleaming eyes ‘Yoga is to be wise’. Another kid said ‘Yoga is a way to cure diseases’!! After, I made them play a memory game standing in a circle where they were around 30 of them with around 10 trainee students. Everyone had to say their names aloud and then I asked the kids to give me at least 10 names. It was astonishing to see the kids come one by one and say out the ten names. Such is their memory!

The kids had a lot of fun imitating a tree, a lotus, a fish, a tiger, a snake, a rabbit, etc. It was a treat to see them do these asana with great enthusiasm. Kids have a tendency to get distracted and bored quickly if they do not feel involved and motivated by the teacher. So at every point I would encourage the kids by asking them questions and teaching the asana by putting them into a story. Kids are very imaginative, so it is great to make them imagine or visualize a story with animals and plants while making them do asanas.

I made them learn to say all the eight steps of Yoga with examples, stories and sharing. While teaching them Niyamas I asked them that how could we keep our mind clean, and trust me they gave marvelous answers to me. Like, ‘ by reading good things’, ‘by praying’, ‘by not seeing or hearing dirty things’ and one eight year old girl called Rayna with a cute bandana on her head said ‘ we should not think anything bad because germs can enter our brain then’. I found this answer so profound that it put me into thinking. Kids make things so simple and we adults sometimes make things so complicated. We all sang and danced, colored the Diyas, did potting of plants, played so many games, went for nature walk and did juggling. Thanks to all the trainee students of the Yoga Institute!

Every time when I teach, I learn. I learn to keep my heart and mind open. And I learn a lot to express, to feel, to imagine and to appreciate every time when I teach the little wonders of the world. They teach me to be patient, because to deal with children while making them do Yoga, especially the ones whom you do not know at all can be very demanding on your mind, as you have to forbearingly listen and answer to all their questions. But at the end there is a sense of achievement and joy that I get when I nurture them with moral ethics and value education. It is so much important to teach values and ethics to kids in a practical way to bring peace and love for the next generations to come.

As a Yoga teacher it is so essential to be aware and vigilant with your own behavior and moral conduct in order to educate the children whole heartedly. It is so insane to see when the kids are being exposed to alcohol and smoking by their own parents. Like the last night when I was eating out in a restaurant, I was deeply upset and stunned to see a father holding a glass of alcohol in front of his own five year old child. It has become so normal to drink and so normal to drink in front of children!! Sad. Very sad. We are already seeing so many serious problems in the world due to the consumption of alcohol, especially when we lose control over ourselves under the influence of alcohol. And sometimes children get adversely affected by this as their minds are so sensitive. But then, I know I have to practice the Parikarmas and alot of Vairagya! May we all get wiser for the welfare and the well being for ourselves and for our future generation.

The children do not know the difference of rich and poor, of black and white, till we adults teach them. Let’s teach them that being poor or rich does not make a person's character. It's about the values that we carry, the humility that we show and the love that we spread which makes a man's character. It is not about in which country you live, which liquor you have in your bar, which car you possess, how much jewellery you own, which skin colour you have or which parties you attend.

I thank my gurus and my parents to guide me to educate the little children with yoga ethics, values and lessons on morality. This will go a long way...I have faith that the good that they learn today will be passed on by them to the generations to come...and the cycle continues:-) forever and it is my responsibility, your responsibility and everyone's responsibility to educate each and every child around you.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


(Translated from Portuguese)

About Daniel's classes:
It would be difficult to say everything I wish, but I’ll try to make it short. Simply [he was] my Guru in India; a person with whom I learned Yoga; excellent teacher; [he] rules in the subjects related to Yoga; with great ease [he] shares his knowledge, besides preparing marvelously his classes. Congratulations, thanks a lot for all you have done for me”.

About Jeenal's classes:
Excellent teacher, very well prepared, [she] has great expertise on the subject and total control over  the class; makes good use of examples in accordance to the subject; taught exceptionally well how to prepare a good lesson plan;  showed us how to teach Yoga in diverse situations and also for different groups. Congratulations, thanks for everything”.
Rodrigo Ferreira Medeiros, Physical Educator – Brazil

Hey brother.. thanks a lot for given us these testimonials!
Hope you are doing great and spreading Yoga there in Brasil!
Missing you here in India !!
Big hug my friend.


For more Testimonials please click here

Monday, November 8, 2010

Behind & Beyond - Concentration!

Gazing at the  thumbnail.
In a classical point of view (Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga) the restraint of all mental modifications (vrittis) is Yoga. It has been generally recognized that without concentration, nothing is possible. Only upon the power of concentration, more then upon any other thing, depends the law of attracting, controlling and mastering life’s conditions. Concentration has been defined by the Yoga authorities as steadfastness of the mind where the same is bound in a specified locality. We know from experience that the mind is the last thing one can possibly control. Try to fix it on any object and you will find that it soon slides away. Like a mischievous monkey, the mind is very difficult to control.

Thus, concentration is one's ability to be totally focussed on any given task for a continued period to achieve perfection. Concentration is the essence of Yoga. So anything that promotes steadiness and integration of the mind can be considered as a yogic activity. To improve concentration we must firstly rid ourselves of negative tendencies by diligently restraining “animal behaviour” and adopting manners and attitudes those which are conducive to mental peace. Poor health, tension, anxiety, laziness, distractions and doubt are some of the hindrances in developing concentration. One's efforts are concentrated only when the mind is silent. Pranayama and several “coordination” asanas are very good for concentration. Also verbalising the word "Aum" is a very simple and powerful technique for developing concentration.

Practicing Breath Awareness
The yogi then proceeds to disassociate the mind from the physical senses which carry it into external objects. Through abstraction one can easily learn to draw away the mind from the senses and they can then be brought under the control of the mind.  After drawing back the mind from the senses, as in the case of abstraction, the Yogi proceeds further to concentrate his mind on specified objects. Failure to achieve mental concentration may be attributed largely to lack of primary control over the physical activities. Many students seem to believe that concentration is very easy and may be successfully taken up at any stage of Yoga study without the paraphernalia of physical training in this direction. It is however only through the continual practice of Yoga that it can ever be controlled.

In Classical Yoga, concentration is also the basis for meditation!

So.. what do you think. Can you sit quietly and observe your breath for around 30 minutes in a stretch? If you feel you cannot.. don't worry. Try and sit for 10 or 15 minutes initially. Soon I'll be posting more information on how can you prepare yourself to start the practice of conscious training in concentration & meditation.

Namaskar !!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Diwali

Dear friends,

Daniel and I wish all our students, clients, friends and all the lovely one's a very happy Diwali.
Diwali is a festival where people from all age groups participate. They give expression to their happiness by lighting earthen 'diyas' (lamps), decorating the house and inviting near and dear ones to their households for partaking in a sumptuous feast. The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to God for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, valor and fame.

On Diwali night, little clay lamps are lit in homes, but now a days colored electric lamps are also used. What is the significance of lighting a lamp? It is through the light that the beauty of this world is revealed or experienced. Most civilizations of the world recognize the importance of light as a gift of God. It has always been a symbol of whatever is positive in our world of experience.

To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces- wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering, etc.

A message which I would like to share with you is to say 'NO TO CRACKERS'. Care to make this world a better place to live in. I am sharing one of my painting to bestow mirth and positivity during this lovely occassion of Diwali.

Much Light :-)

Namaskar !!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Behind & Beyond - Pranayamas!

Breathing forms the most vital process of life-activity. This action keeps up till the time of death and, in the meantime, the blood is being purified and aerated through the lungs. All the organs of the body work in rhythm as long as they are kept supplied with pure blood from the heart. Moreover, few people know, and fewer still care to know that every change in the mental state is accompanied by a corresponding change in the volume, force and rhythm of respiration. Likewise, the yogis maintain that the rise and fall in the depth of respiration cause a corresponding change in the activity of the brain; and that such a continual interaction between the brain and the lung can be safely utilized for supra-physical and supra-mental achievements.

The best means for creating harmony and concentration within, therefore, is first to create harmony in breathing, and this could only be very effectively done through the various Yoga breathing methods. Therefore, Yoga takes aid of breathing essentially with a view to controlling the functions of bio-energy (prāna), and through such control, to gaining mastery over the mind. However, according to Yoga, the respiratory movements represent only a portion of the grosser activities of the life force (prāna).
In fact, deep breathing was originally confined to and associated with the process of concentration – during the period of the earlier Upaniṣads, about 700 BC. It was later introduced by the ancient practical Yoga teachers (like Yājñavalkya, Matsyendra, Gorakṣa and others) also as a hygienic and preventive measure against a number of diseasesScientific Yoga, therefore, lays great stress upon the value of deep breathing, more so with regard to its nervous influence, and also as an aid to mental and psychic culture rather than to its healthful physiologic effects promoting longevity. He who only breathes half only lives half; but he who has mastered the art of breathing has control over every function of his being.

If you are new to Yoga and want to practice Pranayamas you should start with simple techniques for gaining more awareness and control of the respiratory muscles.

I'll talk more about this and describe some of these techniques in a future post. Keep in touch.

Namaskar !!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Jeenal’s class made me more confident in public speaking. I love her passion to inculcate values in the minds of young children. She gave amazing insight on how to teach children of different age groups with examples and evaluation was incredible which helped us better our talks”.

I absolutely love Daniel’s class. The asana class has helped me a lot even though I wasn’t extremely regular. His depth of knowledge even for the theory class is amazing and his way of teaching is very proficient. He makes learning more fun, I love his dedication and I hope to be able to practice everything he taught me. He is a great teacher and a person”.

Chinky Sainani, Student – India

For more Testimonials please click here