Gurukul news from Taiwan & China
By Rutger Tamminga
Gurukul in Taiwan has traditionally been mainly active in Kids Yoga teacher training, Special Needs Education service and storytelling. Now we see a new and exciting interest from the general public that is the transformation of family life based on yogic principles and practices. This shows the increasing acceptance of tantric ideas and their application in personal life and the desire of parents to train their own children as little yogis.
From our side, we have promoted four general ways of integrating yoga into family life: Quiet Time Exercises, Hatha yoga and massage, sentient diet and service. Over the past six months Gurukul Taiwan organized the training of 100+ children’s yoga teachers, both for the foundation course and the intermediate program. This was done in Taipei, Taichung and Taiyuan. In Dalian, a city in northeast China, we also conducted a similar training program for 25 teachers. Many of these trainees are integrating Kids Yoga either at home or in their classes. In China, those who previously attended Kids Yoga training, are still active and conducting Kids Yoga picnics, have storytelling yoga classes, toddler yoga programs and so on. As I cannot visit them regularly, I often feel amazed at their dedication and sincerity as they tell me through messaging applications how they practice with their children, and how their children cannot sleep without listening to Baba Nam Kevalam kiirtan music.
At Ananda Dhara, we continue to organize regular outdoor kids and parents yoga activities, which are quite popular with 40 to 50 participants every time. Now we organize each program according to the season and we just completed the Spring Parents and Kids Yoga Day. Actually we see that parents and kids yoga programs such as these in Taipei (where this program has been running for over ten years on monthly basis non-stop!) are a wonderful way for people to learn about yoga, as there are still many misconceptions about what yoga really is. For January we had an adolescent yoga adventure camp, but unfortunately the weather was not good and it got washed away! Now we have planned another three-day activity for September!
To support this expanding interest, Geeta has opened a Gurukul center in the proximity of Taiwan National University and has regular classes, study groups, and collective meditation. This way the core group of Gurukul organizers is steadily expanding. As the number of Gurukul related activities is increasing we are planning to restructure the way we conduct public programs, with some of the senior Neohumanists offering the basic NHE introductory courses.
Some More Taiwan News
By Geeta Li
A Study Circle for NHE is held monthly on every second Saturday.
The targets of our Study Circle are:
- To collect education-related materials on Yama and Niyama;
- To publish an NHE manual;
- To increase the ability of workers in educational services;
- To expand the impact of NHE.
An AMGK Spiritual Education Seminar was held on February 5, 2016 and Dada Shambhushivananda gave a talk on the “Five Kosas of Spiritual Life and an Introduction to Ananda Marga Gurukula.”
A “Parent-Child Yoga” class of play with yoga takes place every month on the fourth Saturday.
A basic-level course on Children’s Yoga Teacher Training was held in March. Yoga teaching and training staff learned how to enhance the balance of physical and mental growth of the children and promote living joy with yoga-related activities. They also learned about curriculum design, and classroom management.