Yoga Education - Additional Study With Your Education

By: Adam Sturo

Yoga education in India represented so far merely by a few yogic postures and breathing exercises, is taking a step towards a more formalized structure. A ninety year old yoga institute in Mumbai is working to create a formal course that, if adopted, can impart yoga education to students from class I to the undergraduate level. The institute recently presented its case, to include yoga in school curriculum, to the health and education ministry officials at a seminar in Delhi.

There is a need to rescue yoga education from institutes that have restricted its scope to mere postures and breathing exercises. In reality, it is the science of a basic value system which if imparted to children in a proper way can lead to their holistic development.

Besides the basic set of asanas and pranayams, yoga teaches its students how to live life. If children can be taught yoga as a part of their school curriculum, there will no longer be a need for psychologists, counselors and self help books.

But seeing as how this value system is essentially considered a part of Hindu philosophy, will that not affect a school's so called secular outlook? The basic value system that we are proposing though the curriculum includes general precepts universally applicable to enhance a child's personality like self analysis, peace, faith, tranquility, co-operation and performing one's duties.

The problem comes when these precepts are imparted with certain techniques that are core to Hindu philosophy, like humming the sound of OM. However, the curriculum that we are proposing does not include these techniques and leaves out Vedanta philosophy.

On how a child will relate to these concepts, which are considered philosophical in nature - yoga talks about joyful learning and based on this, we have proposed an indirect method of teaching through nature, stories and games to train children in controlling their mind from a young age.

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