Narayan is almost five years old (on Aug 12) and I am realizing more and more how important it is for him to get an experience of what we do every day (yoga, meditation, banis, etc). He is like a fireball bouncing all over full of energy. A while ago I decided to commit to taking time every morning to do a daily Sadhana with him to help him with this. Kids these days have so much outside stimuli and are very hyper, so I think it is important to challenge them and teach them how to still their mind and body. This is what I am working on with Narayan.
Every morning we take about ten minutes to sit down together to do some different things. I try to vary what we do every day a little bit…so that he doesn’t get bored with it. I generally start with some basic yoga. Kids when they are really young are naturally very flexible…but as they get older loose this if they do not stretch their body out (we need to take care of our body and our mind!). Narayan isn’t very flexible anymore so we have been working on him stretching out and then doing some various other yoga excercises. If you are interested you can get a great book called "Fly Like a Butterfly: Yoga for Kids" by Shakta Kaur. She also has a website with some yoga for kids. Narayan has fun with this :)
After body is warmed up, stretched out and more relaxed…we do a meditation. This is what I really want Narayan to work on. It is hard for him to still his mind/body and focus internally. So, we have been doing different meditations. Mostly, just sitting still with eyes closed and spine straight, and chanting a mantra (could be Mul Mantra, Wahe Guru to some tune, or others). We have started with just a mere 3 minutes, and it can be hard for him, but he is definitely getting better and more focused. It’s really great seeing the difference in how his energy changes after doing it. He slows down and get’s more centered.
I realize how important it is to take this time to teach your kids these types of things and give them an experience. They may not be really into it when they start out but when they are older and have that experience and base…then they will thank you. It is also a challenge to keep it as a positive thing and not something that they are being forced to do (negative).
I work all the time so it is always something hanging in my mind reminding me that I have to spend time with Narayan to teach him these things. It’s so easy to just get caught up in every day life and be "Busy"…and loose touch with what is most important. So…my point is that all of us parents should take the time to find something to do with our children and teach them. Teaching starts at home with the parents. We can’t expect our children to be stay Sikhs if we have not taught them the reasons and given them an experience that they relate to.