As we move to the next stage of training for the novices, we have sought to integrate mindful yoga. Yoga for some people is a way of letting their body and mind feel good, and to some, it is a spiritual practice or a way of life. Despite these approaches however, yoga is a practice compatible with Buddhist meditation. For instance, it helps to reform and untie our habitual and unconscious patterns.
Moreover, yoga provides a foundation to building good habits such as non-attachment, self-discipline and inquiry. Furthermore, it provides a pathway to consciously make choices of a happy healthy and fulfilling life. Therefore, we integrated this practice with the Dhamma to help these children develop good health habits in their lives and support their mental and body development.
When children are growing up, their minds and nervous systems are constantly stimulated . We hope that yoga practice will help them to slow their mind down and restore their sense of mental and body balance as different poses offer them abundant benefits. For that reason, during the practice, their bodies go through a variety of motions which directly counteract aches and pains associated with tension, fear, stress or even poor postural habits.
We feel inspired to hear these children talk about their own experiences. One of them said that;
“I like the tree pose so much. It helps me to concentrate easily and focus my mind in the present moment. With butterfly poses, I feel relaxed; and wheel pose helps to massage my body and makes me feel good.” Ariyarakkhita (Protected by Light of the Noble Ones).
Another one, Devarakkhita (protected by the Devas), he likes more the head stand, wheel pose and triangle pose. “The head stand helps me to remove sleepiness. The wheel pose helps to open up my chest and kidneys and I feel good whenever I practice it. The triangle pose, helps to release tensions in my ribs and waist.”
Also, Dhammarakkhita (Protected by the Dhamma) said that, “head stand helps my heart to pump blood throughout the body, and I feel my legs are lighter when they are up in the air. The crow pose makes me feel balanced and relaxed.”