In Taiwan several of our yoga teachers are inspired by the slogan: Yoga in Schools – Peace in the World. With this vision we have been running Children’s Yoga programs for many years: we offer training for teachers; parent /children yoga activities (PC Yoga); Yoga Touch for children with developmental difficulties and special needs; a program for parents who want to teach simple yoga in classrooms (we call this program Peacemamas); and Challenge Yoga for handicapped people. In each area consistency and hard work are paying off.
After the summer of 2011, more than 40 people followed the teacher training program. Several of these join the service programs to develop their skills further. Our course is a fifteen hour program, usually divided over several weeks. The course includes: kids yoga in a collective setting, one to one (Yoga Therapy), quiet time exercises, Yama & Niyama, Yoga Stories, and yoga for bigger children.
The PC-Yoga activities are held on monthly basis in three cities in Taiwan and continue to attract many interested people. In Taipei, where the program has been running non-stop for more than six years, we always attract 30 to 50 people. These workshops are free of charge and consist of two sections: one where children have to do the poses independently and a second section where the parents help the children and get massage. The natural peace and love in these programs is indescribable!
The Education Department of the Western District of Taipei has organized 30 classes for children’s yoga in 9 different schools. They also purchased 300 books of YogaTouch for distribution to the public. This is just one example of the success of children’s yoga in special education settings. Many weekly special yoga classes are ongoing in Taipei, Taichung and other cities.
The Peacemama program consists of parents going to classrooms on a weekly basis and the teaching of chairyoga, breathing excercises, QTE and Stories focused on Yama and Niyama. We just completed a six months introductory training of Peace Mama, and many of the participants independently have contacted schools where they share this program with the children. Supriya does Peacemama programs in seven different schools and the teachers are so excited because their children are changing in a positive way!
Caetanya has been running yoga programs for handicapped people for many years. In fact he has so many classes that it is very hard to get him on the phone. He travels all over the island of Taiwan and gives classes and inspires hundreds of handicapped people to develop meaningful and positive lives. In spite of his own physical challenges he is always supportive of NHE and yoga programs in schools! His activities have even attracted support from several Members of Parliament, who also attend his programs.
All this of course happens with a lot of selflessness from an education team who sometimes have to undergo financial or health difficulties to be able to continue to support these programs. Special mention goes to Tang Taminga, Dada Kaladha’rananda and all members of the education board. With even more determination and commitment we can foresee that the future of NHE in Taiwan will be even brighter!