Yoga for children
How's my pose
Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation to improve
health and happiness. It is a system of exercises for mental and
physical health. In ancient Hindu philosophy, it taught a person to
experience inner peace by controlling the body and mind. The basic
premise in yoga is union - the various aspects of existence such as the
body, breath and mind. The word Yoga comes from a Sanskrit root 'Yuj',
which means 'to unite'.
Upashantha Hettiarachchi, the chief instructor at his Yoga Physical
Training Institute, has been conducting Yoga classes for the past 27
years. It was his interest in sports since childhood that made him set
up a training institute. He conducts Yoga training for all age groups,
both young and old.
Hettiarachchi, who began practising Yoga at the age of 16, under
Master Nihal Karunarathne and began coaching in 1986 said, "My aim is to
create a physically fit generation.
Everyone likes to have a beautiful and healthy body. Practising Yoga
from a young age helps children to develop mentally and physically.
There is no age limit for Yoga."
Malshadi Adikari, a Grade two student at Kelani Vidyalaya follows
Upashantha Hettiarachchi's Yoga classes. She follows classes once a week
for two hours at the Heiyanthuduwa temple premises in Kiribathgoda. She
said, "I enrolled for the classes because I like Yoga."
"Whatever that I learn in class, I use to practice at home. It has
helped me mentally and physically. I can concentrate well on my studies.
I remember well the things my teacher taught me at school. I can eat
well and drink plenty of water. I can sleep better than before after I
started doing Yoga," she said.
Yoga, a physical exercise should be practised as an art of
meditation. Yoga poses and breathing techniques help to improve blood
circulation. Pathma Asana, Halasana, Makulu, Deva, Garunda, Mathsya,
Sinha are some of the Yoga poses that help maintain a healthy body.
Hettiarachchi said on the physical level, Yoga postures are designed
to tone, strengthen and align the body. "These postures are performed to
make the spine supple and healthy and promote blood flow to all the
organs, glands, and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy," he
said, adding that at the mental level, Yoga uses breathing techniques (pranayama)
and meditation (dyana) to calm and discipline the mind. Yoga, is a way
of living healthy and with peace of mind, he said.