In these times of conflict and polarization of our society, we need love and compassion more than ever. It doesn’t matter which side you are on politically; you can’t deny the charged and contentious atmosphere. It’s palpable. I, for one, worry for our children.
Children are a lot like animals in their ability to sense and pick up on emotions easily. Kids listen to every word that is said and take most things literally. Even when we try to shield them, our emotions come through loud and clear.
Personally, I’ve had to pull out all the stops on my own breathing, meditation and yoga routines this week in order to stay calm and focused. My yoga practice has run the gamut from staying in Child’s pose for an hour to blasting hard rock and pushing myself to the limit. I’m literally all over the map, emotionally and physically. I’m an adult and able to process what is going on. What about our children? How do they deal with the uncertainty and fear they feel all around them?
I created Yoga Monkey Kids six years ago to do one thing- give children the tools to grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. They need this under the best of circumstances and it’s a must have in today’s world. I love seeing a child understand through yoga that they can control their emotions and their reactions to the things around them. They learn to use breathing as a comfort. Yoga builds strong bodies and strong minds. They not only feel better physically, but they feel calmer in their hearts and more peaceful in their minds. I also believe strongly in teaching altruistic behaviors. Giving back and paying it forward come naturally to children. They are more open and honest than adults. They can and do teach us daily.
My first book, Yoga Monkey Kids, Beginner Poses, was published last week. The book introduces kids to yoga through 12 basic poses. The section on setting affirmations is extremely important and in these troubled times, particularly relevant. Teaching the philosophy of “you are what you think” is our way of empowering children through the beauty of their thoughts. These thoughts carry them towards positive intentions and actions. Movement of the body through yoga, coupled with setting an affirmation helps them to express their feelings and to reinforce the positive ones.
Moving forward in uncertain times is difficult for us all. It’s even harder for our youth, who look to us for guidance and reassurance. Let’s all take deep breaths, slow down, and get in touch with our own bodies and minds. Being and feeling positive is a work in progress. This beautiful, magical earth is home to us all. To protect it and to protect ourselves requires work. I believe that work begins with our children. Who better to inspire change and diminish fear? Empowering youth with peaceful and compassionate inner lives makes for a better world. Kids have always been my most profound teachers and guides. Let them be yours as well.
Here’s the link to Candace’s new book Yoga Monkey Kids, Beginner Poses on Amazon. Also available through Barnes and Noble and Kobo.com, as well as by an app in the Apple iBooks store. For yoga joy, visit her website www.yogamonkeykids.com.