Newsletter December 2009
Yoga 4 Kidz by Kidz
12-year-old yogini Atma Sundari recently released a CD of yoga for kids. We interviewed her about this project and her experience of teaching yoga to young people.
Q: Sundari, you have been brought up in a unique environment – living in a yoga retreat centre, travelling the world and having two swamis for parents. What are the things you like about living this lifestyle?
SUNDARI: I enjoy being able to travel, exploring different cultures and being able to have a wider insight on life.
Q: I know you’ve travelled to India several times. What are your impressions of India compared to New Zealand?
S: The culture is very, very different. India is a lot more polluted and crazy. New Zealand is quieter and the kids are a lot less innocent. Also India has thousands of years of recorded history.
Q: Which aspect of yoga presently interests you the most?
S: Right now I’m really enjoying the physical aspect, because it motivates me and I feel a lot better afterwards.
Q: What led you to start teaching yoga to kids and what challenges have you faced?
S: I started teaching because I think yoga is good for our minds, bodies and in our daily life. I find that it’s easier for kids to understand yoga when it’s taught by someone they can relate to. With people your age you usually have a similar point of view, similar experiences and a similar insight on life. I haven’t found any challenges so far, and I think that’s because kids listen better to someone closer their age.
Q: Have you found any yoga books aimed at children you like reading?
S: I recommend Yoga Education for Children by Swami Satyananda. This book is really interesting and it’s aimed at young adults and children.
Q: Tell us about your new yoga CD.
S: The CD is aimed at children and teens. With the children’s practice I used a lot of animal postures to keep their interest. I’m hoping to plant a seed in younger children to show them that yoga is fun so when they are older they will use it in daily life. For the teens, I aimed the practice at helping them with balance, focus and stress release so that they can use it in studies, issues and relationships.
Q: What made you want to reach out to other young people in this way?
S: I know yoga has helped me in my life. I want to help my peers in the same way and give them tools for them to use.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote or piece of writing that inspires you?
S: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” It’s from the film Kung Fu Panda.
To purchase Sundari’s new CD, click here.