These are the eight limbs. Practice the first six, and you will attain
wholeness, completeness, fullness, and awareness. Introduce your
children to yoga, and they will learn the lifetime skills to cultivate
themselves into the persons they want to be. The first five limbs are
included in my classes for adults and children. An understanding of
Yoga through practice teaches one that ignorance is not bliss, but
rather, full consciousness is bliss. Wahe Guru!
Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Non-excessiveness, and
Non-possessiveness. Said otherwise: deal with people and our planet in a
compassionate and an ethical manner. For children, they should follow
the school lunchroom rules (do not throw food, do not take
food from another’s plate, speak kind words while eating).
2. Niyamas: Purity, Contentment, Self
Discipline, Self Study, and Personal Observance. Said otherwise, take a
shower, wash your dishes, appreciate what you have, self-start your
work or other obligations, learn something new, and devote some of your
time to self improvement. For children, the basic Niyama is to know
that they should do the best that they can do. Not only is that good
enough, but each child who does her or his best will fulfill all their
obligations and attain self esteem.
3. Asanas: Exercises and body
postures for health. Adults will become limber, physically strong, and
boost their immune systems. Children will become coordinated, graceful,
alert and self-confident. Many yoga exercises for children are found
in brain gym and other therapies to enhance mental functioning and motor
4. Pranayama: Using breath and breathing to
facilitate asanas and meditation, or to create physical warmth or
coolness or calmness. Adults will learn to use breath to wake up or to
take a nap. Children will learn how breath can be centering and
5. Pratyahara: Meditation to still one’s thoughts or
senses, or to create mental calmness. Adults and children alike who
practice this will become inwardly aware and outwardly alert. Pranayama
sets up the ability to practice this meditation.
One pointed concentration meditation. Adults and adolescents who are
practiced at Pratyahara meditation may also do this form of mediation to
achieve a feeling of well being. I incorporate chanting or the silent
repetition of a mantra to assist in achieving this form of meditation.
Dhyana: Deep meditation, or focusing on reality beyond the illusions
that cloud our mind without ego. Being able to observe in stillness
without making a judgment, which is without ego.
8. Samadhi: Union with the divine, or experience of consciousness, truth and unutterable joy.