Yoga for Youth

Note: Yoga for Youth is a proposal to integrate Yoga into the educational landscape. If you are interested in providing private yoga lessons for your child, please contact Kevin Kortan.

Vision: To provide an alternative to typical “physical education” which is neither violent, nor competitive, nor hierarchical, but rather, is supportive of each individual’s growth, self-integration, and socialization.

Evolutionary Yoga™ is a unique synthesis of western and eastern methods that provides a culturally relevant and effective approach to education that is vastly lacking in today’s educational landscape.

Long-term goal: Full integration into the curriculum of the world’s schools, starting with preschool on.

Means of realizing the goal: (1) teach kids, (2) teach teachers and (3) educate the public:

  • Explain the many HEALTH BENEFITS of practicing yoga and related disciplines. Cite medical studies.

  • Show the value of learning in this HOLISTIC, MULTI-DISCIPLINARIAN way, through both theory and practice.

  • DEMONSTRATE THE LINK between many current “educational means and methods” and how they are the roots of conditioned violence.

  • Many kinds of exercise and sports taught in school are largely age-dependent, and are not easily practiced as one matures. Yoga and related practices are LIFE TOOLS that can be used throughout life, no matter what an individual’s chosen endeavor.

  • DISPEL THE MISUNDERSTANDING that some people may have about yoga being a religion. Yoga is like music; music has been used in various religions, but music itself is not a religion. It is the same with yoga.

Further aspects of education through Yoga and related disciplines:

  • Yoga supports each student’s UNIQUENESS within the group, rather than promoting conformity. Just as each cell in our body-mind is unique and works together with all the other cells to create a fully functioning whole, so too does each individual’s uniqueness within society create a well balanced whole.

  • Students learn to COOPERATE with others by learning to cooperate with their own body-mind.

  • COOPERATION replaces competition.

  • UNDERSTANDING replaces imitation.

  • LEARNING replaces conditioning.

  • PROCESS replaces product or “end result as most important”.

  • EXPLORATION replaces execution

  • Students learn to recognize and harmonize with the RHYTHMS AND PATTERNS OF NATURE as manifested within oneself, i.e. – we’ll explore how the internal rhythms of our breathing and heartbeat are related to external rhythms such as day and night. We’ll investigate these interrelationships through the practice of both movement and stillness.

  • Yoga is FUN and FEELS GOOD!

  • Yoga is both SCIENTIFIC and ARTISTIC and provides a comprehensive, balanced approach to body-mind learning. Many sports and kinds of dance create imbalance; complexes of overuse/underuse are very common. When taught and developed in a way that acknowledges one’s individuality, yoga practice brings us into dynamic balance.

  • Yoga offers a SPECTRUM OF ATHLETICISM with a range of dynamics from the subtle to the bold. This range of expression provides an environment that is inclusive of youth of all temperaments, personalities, and athletic abilities. Practices of both introspection and extroversion help to balance and integrate all aspects of the individual.

  • Yoga means, “UNION”. One could look at education as a wheel. If the various subjects such as language, math, science, art, history, etc. are the spokes of the wheel, yoga can be seen as the hub of the wheel where all of these seemingly separate subjects are unified. Students experience education as an integrated whole.

  • Finally, yoga is a discipline.  Discipline means, “TO LEARN”. Through our own experience, we come to realize that there really is no separation between “physical education” and “mental education”, but rather, there is only integrated learning or fragmented learning. When practiced intelligently and sensitively, yoga helps young people to experience themselves as WHOLE.