By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Mommy and Me Yoga: These classes are popular enough to be a regular weekly class. Yoga studios do have them, but they are also popular at dance studios, child care centers, martial arts studios, and “kid friendly” fitness complexes.
The Yoga teacher, who considers teaching in a Mommy and Me Yoga class, must have “the patience of a saint.” Teaching children Yoga is one hurdle that many Yoga instructors don’t want to jump over, but teaching toddlers with their mothers, in the same class, is quite another matter.
Therefore, carefully establish guidelines to keep everyone’s behavior in control. You may start out with ten rules, but after a few months I will bet you have many more. Interestingly, I have found that just a few obnoxious parents will, unknowingly, be the cause of rules, and safeguards, for the rest. Such is life – we have laws that most of us would not consider breaking, but always someone comes forth to be the cause of new laws and more rules.
Back to the saintly Yoga teachers who run Mommy and me Yoga classes. If you teach these Yoga classes, you have my deepest respect and I congratulate you.
I have never run one of these Yoga classes, but did once have the experience of teaching children, and their parents, martial arts – in a joint setting. Notice, I said “did once have” – one parent single handedly created 30 new rules before he was finally dismissed. By the way, his child is still welcomed. He was my personal test of patience.
Religious Yoga: Most people, outside India, discount the value of Bhakti Yoga. This is a serious mistake for the masses to be so involved in buying, gathering, and consuming materials, that “we cannot see the forest from the trees.” With the condition of the world today, there has never been a better time to pray for peace, tolerance, a return to traditional values, and preservation of the families.
Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga for divine worship and devotion to God. It helps, if you practice this with other Yoga practitioners who share your same religious beliefs. This will avoid conflicts and create a strong bond within the group. This form of Yoga has not become as popular outside of India.
Perhaps this is the one link that is often missing in Yoga practice. Yoga is not a “soulless” or a mechanical practice. The connection to God is enhanced through prayer, meditation, singing, and Yoga practice.
Do not worry; Yoga is an equal opportunity practice. Yoga can be integrated with any religion. Yoga does not discriminate, or justify hate crimes, against people who think or worship differently than we do.
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