Kindness is a practice. In yoga, Ahimsa or “Non-harming” is the foundation of practice. As a yogi and yoga teacher, this is the building blocks of my life, my Yoga with a capital “Y”. Young children can astound us with spontaneous outbursts of kindness. Yet in another moment we will observe the same child act out of frustration. Taking the perspective of another is a developmental milestone for preschoolers. This perspective is necessary in tasks such as waiting, sharing and taking turns. As a result, young children are not always kind. They are learners, growing in the practice of friendship. Children learn kindness through imitation, through experience and with practice.
In all children’s yoga classes my primary objective is to model kindness. In doing so, I am planting the seeds that will grow and bloom in the future. As parents and teachers, our actions are vital, we are setting the example that children will follow. Treating children with kindness and respect is more than “the right thing to do”, it is a powerful tool, a gift. Just as important, acknowledging simple acts of kindness reinforces that kind behavior is how we treat others.
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