This International Yoga Day, teach your child a few important life lessons imparted by some of the world’s greatest yogis.
By Leena Ghosh
Yoga is not only a remedy for ailments affecting our body but also an elixir for our soul. It builds strength and stamina, alleviates stress, and improves the physical and emotional health.
Introduced to the west by Swami Vivekananda, yoga is one of the most ancient traditions of India. It is also called ‘India’s gift to the world’ and has been adopted as a way of life by many across the globe.
It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who proposed the idea of the International Yoga Day to the UN General Assembly in September 2014. He described yoga as “an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition.”
Following are some of the popular quotes of yogis from around the world and the lessons your child can learn from them.
1. “Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.” – BKS Iyengar
Life lesson: Change is the only constant in life. Simply put, it means that everything around us keeps changing with every passing moment. So, as a parent, it’s important that you teach your child to accept and adapt to changes, and not fear or resist them. This life lesson will help him accept challenges and hurdles as part of life and have a positive outlook.
2. “The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abhyasa’ – steady effort in the direction you want to go.” – Sally Kempton
Life lesson: Shortcuts don’t work. Whether it’s a short-term goal like achieving good grades in the class test or a long-term goal like making a career in medicine, your child should understand that hard work and continuity are key to success. Encourage her to persevere, no matter how tough the challenge and how long it takes to realise her goals.
3. “Calming the mind is yoga. Not just standing on the head.”– Swami Satchidananda
Life lesson: Teach your child the importance of being calm, objective and rational, especially when dealing with a crisis. Having a relaxed state of mind will not only help your child solve problems more efficiently but also earn him the respect of his peers and elders.
4. "Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." – Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Life lesson: Practice, practice, practice – is the only mantra for achieving success in every sphere of life. Whether it’s learning to play a musical instrument or perfecting a dance move, or excelling in a particular subject, it takes practice to learn and become perfect. So, motivate your child to practice, if he wants to become the best in his chosen field.
5. “Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.” –Jigar Gor
Life lesson: While achieving success is important, failure is also a great teacher. Tell your child that she should learn lessons from every failure and emerge a better individual. Teach her that, while it’s not possible to stop making mistakes, it’s important to keep learning from them.
6. “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.”–Jason Crandell
Life lesson: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but teach your child that the spirit of enquiry can unlock many secrets. Encourage your child to be inquisitive and ask questions. And, when you don’t know the answers to his questions, tell him that you’ll get back to him with them. So, never curb your child’s curiosity.
7. "The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it."– Sadhguru
Life lesson: In today’s fast-paced world, it is important to sometimes slow down and enjoy the little things that life has blessed us with. Teach your child to love and appreciate nature, nurture her friendships, bond with the family, and be grateful for everything she has. As a parent, set an example by acknowledging and appreciating the simple things of life like the first summer shower or a hot cup of tea in the morning. This will teach your child to be content and find happiness in every moment.
Teach your child about the benefits she can derive from yoga. Also, as a family, this International Yoga Day, take a pledge to make this ancient Indian tradition a part of your lives and enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle.
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