YOGA-ARTICLE: Parents and children from yoga point of view

Sooner or later every person starts thinking about starting a family, having kids and raising a new generation. Many new parents ask themselves: How should they bring up their children and what kind of personal example can they demonstrate? What does Yoga offer in this respect?

The questions of relationship, family issues, the advent of life are covered by the Kin yoga. The main idea of the Kin yoga: “There is nothing more valuable than life.” Understanding the grandness of life will allow us to dispel the illusion about ourselves, avoid a lot of conflicts and misunderstanding, and make a huge step towards our spiritual development.

Our parents gave us the most precious gift — our life, the possibility to develop spiritually and to realize ourselves. The fact that they gave us our body to manifest ourselves in this world deserves the endless respect and gratitude, regardless of the conditions in which we were born or the attitude of our parents towards us.

We know from the axiomatics of yoga that we all have equal Higher Self, which is all-mighty and absolutely free. At the same time, we all have an initial lack of knowledge and we have no idea of our tremendous dormant faculties. Our main task is to unlock this power in ourselves and in other people, including our children, by widening our freedom and the freedom of others.

How can we achieve this?

1.   Freedom of every living being is sacred!

A child is like a separate Universe, and we communicate as equal, but according to some rules.  A child is delegating part of his/her freedom to us. We should not impose our will or our unrealized dreams upon our children. A child might have his/her own wishes and desires. It is very important to notice any talents and to help to develop them.

We can give our knowledge to a child gently, subtly, with patience and consistency, without provoking rejection, by switching their attention from inappropriate behavior to appropriate. However, when necessary we need to be strict and show grit.

2.   Children are our Teachers!

A child’s birth is changing our life: it helps us to manage our selfishness, we become more effective, start spending our time more rationally. Children teach us love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, generosity and self-control. We form the abilities to keep calm, not to get angry and to forgive mischief. We learn to be ready to help and support them in any situation. Children are the reflection of us in the past. By helping a child to fight through the ignorance we are fighting through ignorance ourselves.

3.   Continuity of the name and the form.

Mantra yoga teaches us that words have power. Phrases pronounced loudly or silently within your mind after some time acquire form or materialize. Awareness of your speech — choosing carefully the words and the phrases, which we often do not control, especially in the emotional state of mind, can be very important. We should not “call names” when we communicate with a child. When a child is behaving naughty and inappropriately, you should not insult him/her. It is necessary to explain to the child that he/she should not behave like that.

Harmony, no extremities, love and kindness will help us in bringing up our children! If we want our children to grow up happy, balanced and strong minded, yoga is recommending to encourage and to praise them. Eventually, our praise can help a child to develop the qualities required in their life.

4.   Children are like a blank page.

In the course of a lifetime, we could accumulate a bundle of fears, offences, and subjective opinions towards people or events. Is it so necessary to pass all our experience to children? Possibly, their life will be more favorable, and they would not have all the unpleasant situations which we had.

By getting to know ourselves and getting rid of the negative tendencies we as parents can help our children if we don’t forward the negative further. Use common sense. Do not rush to tell children about bad people and bad actions. Let their life be joyful and happy.

5.   Say absolutely NO to violence. 

At some point in evolutionary development, when we receive a human body and develop our mind, it is time to forget animal instincts: “hide your teeth and claws, depress the roar, horrifying other animals.” At this stage we get more powerful instrument — our mind. Any disputable situation can be solved by negotiations. Learn how to make an agreement!

Let’s remind ourselves that Yoga is first of all a system of self-exploration, which is based on two principles: the principle of Kindness and causing no harm to any living beings. If it is not possible, then we follow our duty. The second principle is the principle of Common Sense and not wasting time and strength to any deeds which do not lead to our aim.

Let our children be our companions and friends.

Not those are right who are stronger, but those who are cleverer. Try not to lose your temper and don’t dwindle to the level of an animal. It is worth explaining to a child what we want to do, why is it important and what should not be done. Children are like an open book, they don’t know many things. Our aim is to show them this world. So, let this world be kind and logical!

The world will become better and kinder if we become gentler to each other, forgive mistakes, be relaxed about the emotional outburst, show love, care and austerity, if necessary!

There is nothing more valuable than Life! When we bring up children, we should try to respect their freedom. Our freedom together should be more than individually. So, we should demonstrate kindness and patience, be selective in using words, do not tolerate any violence, maintain a dialogue with the child and avoid conflicts. We can transfer our attitude towards children to all other people, and be kind, logical, act from the position of power, helping them to overcome ignorance, and increasing their freedom. When we are feeling Life in everything around us, helping and supporting Life, we shall materialize the ideas of Kin yoga.

Have harmony in your family and happy self-knowing!

Author: Tatiana Shandakova

Editors: Kerigona, М.Mirra, М.Sarasvani Bhavani

Translated by Tatiana Sugrue

Project curator: Kerigona