Yoga Education in Schools
Taiwan National Conference
August 30-31 2014
About 80 people, mostly teachers, attended six different workshops conducted by the leading members of the YES Taiwan movement at our school in Taichung. Many of the attendees were inspired to attend by the presence of Dr. Shambhushivananda, the head of Gurukula. For one hour, each speaker introduced their topic through a power point presentation and hands on activities.
Dr. Shambhushivananda first introduced the general characteristics of Neohumanist Education and the global projects inspired by the NHE vision. He explained that all over the world the NHE vision is applied in different ways, but all have the same goal of fostering universal love.
The second speaker was Rashmii from Hualien a small city at the east coast of Taiwan. She talked about her experience teaching kids meditation. She has been conducting yoga and meditation classes for youngsters for the past 4 to 5 years and has a variety of original teaching methods around a character of “The Little Creator”, which she now aims to publish.
The third speaker was Geeta who gave an overview of the history of YES Taiwan: the monthly yoga classes for parents and kids (now called PK yoga), the numerous workshops for teachers (Happy Teachers – Happy Schools), the Peace Mama Program (for parent volunteers giving classes in schools), programs for special kids and classes for adolescents in summer camps. She also mentioned the government support for our activities and publications. The overview was really impressive and showed the tremendous effort of Gurukula volunteers over the years.
The fourth speaker was Dada Caetanyananda, who for 18 years had been in charge of a school project in Medan, where he developed the Ecology of Joy, an educational vision that is basically Neohumanist and specifically trains children in seeing everything as divine. He explained how his “magic school” emphasizes values such as beauty, love and joy to help the children develop cosmic awareness.
The fifth speaker was Karuna, who several years ago stopped her successful career as an editor at a publishing company and now full time works to promote NHE through music (she is associated with several choirs) and developing intuitive art through workshops and training. After several years of struggle, she is now a sought-after speaker in Taiwan as well as in China and gives workshops for professors and other professionals interested in learning intuitive science. Her, and her students’, “heartscapes” (paintings) are fantastic and have been showcased in several exhibitions in Taipei.
The sixth speaker was Caetanya, the founding chairman of the Viira Yoga Association in Taiwan, which organizes yoga related programs for physically handicapped people. He also supports many yoga activities for those with other special needs. He showed us the evolution of the movement and impressed us with the public and government interest the association has been able to attract. Their general meetings are attended by hundreds of people, often supported by members of parliament and the city council of Taipei. They recently published a DVD about ways of teaching Handicapped Yoga.
This conference was unique as it could attract so many people from the public as well as so many skilled leaders in the NHE movement in Taiwan. All in all the conference showed that with Neohumanism as the inspiration we as individuals can transform others by dedicating oneself to the needs of those around them. In this way, this program was not only touching and inspiring but promising for the future.