There are many young people today who are floating in darkness like ships without rudders, because they haven’t found a base for their existence. If you can give yoga to these children, you are giving them the ultimate education. If the personality is completely integrated when young, that will be the structure of society in the future. Let us create products of the finest quality by teaching our children yoga.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
For over two decades, Satyanandashram Hellas has been conducting annual gurukul (yoga programs tailored for children) to enable children to have the experience of Satyananda yoga practices and lifestyle.
This has gained the interest not only of young people, but also their parents, who see the immediate and long-term benefits of their children practicing yoga. In 1998, the first Children’s Yoga Club (CYC) was established by Swami Sivamurti Saraswati, whose primary goal was to unite children interested in yoga by providing them with an opportunity to meet their peers and form strong bonds of friendship.
The intent of CYC is yoga education for children by children. When children have the opportunity to make yoga a part of their lives, a transformation occurs naturally in the personality. Positive, creative qualities, ideas and impressions (samskaras) develop naturally, which have a lasting effect on the child’s aspirations and direction in life. In turn, this has a positive effect on society and future generations.
Yoga education for children is divided into levels according to age groups to fully maximize the benefits which can be achieved at each developmental stage. Each age group corresponds to specific yoga practices.
Yoga however, can actually begin before the time of conception and continue during the time one is in the womb, through the mother implanting positive samskaras or impressions into the mind of the child, and later during the preschool years by way of example, storytelling and games. Then, at around the age of 7-8 when the pineal gland begins to decay, specific yoga practices are introduced to prolong this, and so ensure the child's smooth progression into puberty and adult life.
Seeing the benefits of the yogic experience that the young members of CYC enjoy, the next step is to take yoga beyond a children’s club, into the wider community and into the public and private school systems. The idea is to make yoga available to children from all walks of life and from different social backgrounds. This idea has given birth to the Give Kids Yoga project.
Self- awareness helps children to understand and accept themselves, and others, and be aware of how other people see and understand them, as well as be able to take control of their emotions and behavior. It lays the foundation for emotional health throughout their lives.
Train your children to live consciously. Give them Yoga.
Swami Sivamurti Saraswati
Introduction of Yoga in Education
Give Kids Yoga envisages the introduction of the Satyananda System of yoga into schools, especially in primary education, "when according to Sri Swami Satyananda, children are still innocent and believe in higher ideals".
The introduction of yoga in the field of education has a twofold purpose: first, to train children in self-discipline by teaching them how to manage their energy in a positive and creative way, and secondly through specific yogic techniques to keep their hormonal system balanced, and in so doing delay, as much as possible, the onset of puberty and the subsequent dissipation of energy in both body and mind.
The project began with two teacher training courses for children at Satyanandashram Hellas run in 2016 and 2019 in which yoga teachers were instructed in creative ways to teach children yoga. Preparations are currently underway to organize seminars on training educators (with no knowledge of yoga) simple yoga techniques to implement in the classroom.
As part of the Give Kids Yoga project, the first national conference on Yoga and Kids was held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens in 2019. Speakers were from both local and international private and public education systems, RYE - PARIS (Research on Yoga Education).
Members from the broader community, doctors, psychologists, parents and students, as well as Swami Sivamurti Saraswati spoke on the benefits of yoga on children.
Our upcoming projects
a) Kids and Yoga Conference - Thessaloniki 2021.
The 2nd annual national Conference will continue in Thessaloniki, inviting not only educators but also people with no experience in yoga, to participate in workshops aimed at teaching simple yoga techniques to children.
b) Yoga and Kids in school
• Seminars will be conducted for school educators with no experience in yoga to teach simple yoga practices in the classroom.
• Seminars will be conducted for yoga instructors, specialized in teaching yoga practices for children.
You express those qualities and habits which you imbibed before the age of eight. What you are today is what you were made before the age of eight. What you were made after the age of eight is seen in the degrees and diplomas you have in your homes, in your bags and in your workplaces. That is your qualification to survive in the world, which you received after the age of eight. But the swabhava, the nature, the mind and the responses of the mind, the ability to manage situations in life and to deal with people, all these abilities you gained in your childhood, in that subtle education which was imbibed by the consciousness.
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
The creation of a yoga network for all children of the Satyananda Yoga community is so very important and is in the immediate plans of the ashram. It is the children who will shape the future.
We kindly ask you to assist us in achieving the aims of this project through a financial donation.