yoga teacher training intensive courseBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Some people think Yoga and martial arts are polar opposites, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of today’s martial arts can be traced back to Yogic origins. At the same time, both of these systems develop human potential far beyond normal expectations.

Having seen children develop in Karate, Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu, and Yoga classes, there is no denying the benefits of mental, emotional, and physical training. When my family owned a 4,000 square foot wellness center in North Providence, Rhode Island, with three studios, anyone could easily see the benefits for local families.

Character development is a key component in each of these systems. Children show the most improvement because they are not set in their ways. Yet, adults also do quite well as they learn to believe in themselves. It is easy to doubt oneself during times when one faces hardships.

Divorce, mental stability, domestic violence, substance abuse, and financial hardships are just a handful of the many problems families cope with. Recognizing problems, finding qualified counseling, and developing a strategy for coping, can be the early stages of family reconstruction.

With all that said, there is a need, in every community, for a holistic approach toward the healing of oneself and the family unit. Yoga and martial arts studios have begun to network with each other to meet the needs of local families. In areas where martial arts is the only discipline available, classes for Yoga have begun to take hold within these centers.

The first group, to be attracted to Yoga classes are usually mothers of the children, who attend Karate, Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu, or other martial arts classes; although I have noticed kids Yoga classes do very well, within a martial arts studio setting. Family Yoga classes often do well on Saturdays, when families can find the time for bonding.

Eventually, larger numbers of male adults will begin arriving, due to the healing aspects of Yoga. Many of today’s martial arts lack adequate healing knowledge, despite the potential for injury. For the healing alone, Yoga and the martial arts make a perfect partnership, but these systems are not purely physical in nature.

However, martial arts and Yoga both instill self-esteem, emotional growth, focus, and self-discipline, by training the mind. This gives children a head start in a competitive environment. A one year setback due, to a lack of focus, can have a long-term negative impact on a child’s education.

© Copyright 2009 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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