Children and Youth

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The children who have adopted yoga are exceptional children. Their brain, mind, performance, comprehension, memory and creativity are just blooming. There have been children who have not studied for their school exams as they were too busy organizing yoga programs. They only studied a few days before the exams and appeared on the merit list, due to their sharpness of memory and intellect. It will soon be seen how these children will respond to life. Are they weak mentally, emotionally, shy, fearful, confident or creative?

These BYMM children have actually traveled to many states and cities in India, coordinating yogic programs in about three hundred schools. They continue to monitor the activities of yoga education in different schools.

Samskaras

Although parents want their children to be good, they were never educated in how to be good themselves. How can they educate their children to be good? It seems like a paradox. They have never given them the right samskaras or the right nourishment in life to become happy and healthy. Yet parents expect them to be disciplined, obedient, creative, genius and supportive. There are many expectations, but the children have not been given any opportunity to fulfil these expectations.

When yoga becomes a part of children's life, it becomes alive within them. They express yoga naturally, whereas adults have to think, "Oh! What do I do in this situation? How would a yogi behave in these circumstances?" Children, who are brought up in yoga, mentally express that behaviour, quality and character as yoga becomes alive in their life. With their yogic background these children can change the world. Where we have failed, they will succeed.

Therefore, the Children's Yoga Fellowship is the crowning glory of the Satyananda Yoga tradition. It reflects a care and consideration for the future of the earth, civilization and humanity.

Three organizations

The Children's Yoga Fellowship, Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal, is for children between the age of 7 and 14. The children are trained in yogic principles, taught how to take classes and how to practice yoga. They learn the theory and practice of yoga and are given some exposure outside in conducting classes in schools and different locations.

The Child Youth Yoga Fellowship, Bal Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal, is for teenagers between the age of 14 and 18. They are sent out to different cities to help in the organization of seminars, programs and conventions.

The Youth Yoga Fellowship, Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal, is given training in service, to go to the rural areas, to calamity affected areas and to work for the development in that region, whether it is service, or relief or any other work.

—3 January 2002, Ganga Darshan, Munger