Wuf Shanti in Yoga Digest: Encouraging an End to Violence through Yoga and Meditation
As a new mother, I am concerned for the future of my child. Not a day goes by that we don’t turn on the news and hear another story of violence and mass murder. What is happening to our world, and how can I, as a mom and Yoga Therapist, help to change the direction this planet of ours is headed in? I am determined to make my child’s life as safe and happy as possible.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children as young as preschoolers can show signs of anger and violent behavior, and parents should not dismiss it as a phase that the child will grow out of, but instead, pay attention to the child and work on preventing that behavior from becoming common-place.
Children can be taught how to control and better cope with their emotions, how to live in light and peace by respecting others who may be different in race, religion, or nationality, and how to love themselves at their core. If we can infuse these kids with yogic-tools that become second nature to them, then hopefully they will handle whatever life throws their way without solving the issue by shooting up movie theaters, concerts, or schools.
Why the increase in childhood anger? Could it be the isolation caused by phones and social media, the hatred learned from TV shows (including the example shown to kids by the current political climate), or the targeted bullying exacerbated by public shaming on-line? All of the above are certainly possible.
If a child exhibits violent behavior, early treatment is key so the child learns how to express his or her emotions in an appropriate way. We can help these kids learn to deal with their emotions, to feel better about themselves, and to feel love and inner-peace.
If you want to reach real peace in this world, we should start by educating the children.-Mahatma Gandhi
It is more important than ever to teach kids at an early age the tools they need to cope with emotions in a better way so they can live a mindful and peaceful life. The effects of living a healthy lifestyle in mind, body, and spirit, including yoga, meditation, nutrition, positive thinking, and the ability to manage emotions, has been studied by doctors and scientists alike. Their conclusion is that there is indeed a mind body connection, and our thoughts have the ability to make us well or make us unwell, to lead us down a path of light or to lead us astray. Science has shown that Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can assist in both our physical and mental well-being, and that our minds can control our bodies.
Wuf Shanti is an adorable dog character that teaches kids to live a yogic-lifestyle by sharing Yoga, meditation, and positive thinking with them at a young age so that those tools become an automatic response to stress as they grow-up. Learning to deal with life’s issues in a more productive way will hopefully help kids to be less depressed and anxious teens and happier adults.
By teaching kids to make a Yoga practice a part of their daily routine, even if it is just for 5-10 minutes each day, they will lead a much healthier lifestyle, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Positive effects of a balanced yogic-lifestyle include decreased depression, anger, and anxiety, increased focus, learning, and creativity, reduction of illness, and increased feelings of compassion and empathy.
With all of these proven benefits, why isn’t everyone practicing yoga with their kids, meditating, and teaching them to think well, love their neighbor, and live in light? What a wonderful world it can still be…