Question: In today’s world, many youth are confused and depressed. I am in the Teacher Training Program and would like to know the best way to integrate Yoga into a high school curriculum.
Answer: In California, many schools are teaching Yoga as one of the programs. Yoga is accepted there. Children, particularly, should be brought up as good Yogis. Grownups are already hard nuts, burnt up clay. The children are still raw clay, you can shape them any way you want. Their bodies and minds are still tender, you can still trim them, shape them. I don’t know whether they do it here, but in India it is a custom when the baby is born, for the midwife to shape the head by squeezing it, making it into nice shape. They do everything at a tender age. The same way you can also shape the young mind. But once you are grown up, it becomes hard. Still, if you are eager to change, you can change, even if you are a hard nut. Nothing is impossible. Anything and everything can be changed the way you want. But for that we have to have strength, capacity, tenacity, and your want should be strong. You can do that: nothing is impossible. God has given you a great mind. The mind can do anything and everything. It is the same mind that creates terrorism and all the other problems in the world. It is the same mind that brought all these beautiful people here. It is all mind, mind, mind. In Sanskrit, “Mana eva manushyanam. As the mind, so the man.”
You are exactly according to your mind, so I don’t have to remind you to mind it.
Don’t we say, “Mind what you are doing?” What does it mean? You have to train the mind. And we say it’s impossible, but, no, perseverance will make it possible. So go into the schools. Don’t tell them right away to stand on the head. Play with the children, then gently, gently, introduce some Yoga postures, some chanting. Everything can be possible. Two days back I read in Yoga Journal that Yoga is becoming very prominent in the schools. There was a study of some rebellious children, they were just asked to do a little pose, a little chanting, and then immediately they calmed down. I couldn’t have imagined that. So Yoga is a tremendous power that can help anybody and everybody, and I am glad to see that Yoga is flourishing well nowadays, all over the globe.
There was a time you couldn’t even talk about Yoga. The minute you talked about Yoga, they thought you were crazy, that you were ready for an insane asylum. Particularly in the medical field, they never wanted to hear the word Yoga. One time, in the 60’s, a Yoga teacher got thrown out of the country, because he said Yoga could help people. Now the same medical field is looking for Yogis. So we can always teach children. Not only high school, even kindergarten. At any stage you can begin to teach.