Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig

School bully, child being bullied in playgroundBullying is not new. Many of us experienced bullying as we were growing up. It doesn’t matter what country, culture, school or neighborhood you grew up in, we all experienced bullying either first-hand or by observing it in others. Our parents did too, and so did their grandparents.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

So why is there so much attention being paid to bullying these days? Is there more bullying now than before? Or do we simply hear about it more because of the constant, immediate news stream that’s everywhere we turn?

For me, it doesn’t matter – for two reasons. First, electronic communication makes bullying – now also called cyberbullying – a much more brutal and intrusive experience. Social media and texting have put bullying on speed and steroids and reaches them wherever they are, any time of the day or night.

Second, even though some may view bullying as an unavoidable preparation for the reality of adult life, it’s still cruel, and I believe that it is, in fact, avoidable when children are practiced in the art of compassion, introspection, and understanding. This applies to the bullied as well as the bully.

Not many of us would say “I am a bully.” But like it or not, we’ve all hurt someone with our words or actions at some point in our lives. Our reasons may vary, but the root is a lack of understanding and compassion – for ourselves and for others. So whether or not your child has complained of being bullied, the basic tenets of compassion, introspection and understanding are worthy of everyone’s attention.

Compassion teaches children and teens that even though we are all different, our differences can be not only tolerated, but celebrated. Compassion allows us to empathize with others and, just as important, to empathize with ourselves. Introspection helps us to look inward and heal ourselves by addressing and understanding our own anger, sadness or fear. All of this leads to understanding.

And with full understanding and acceptance of others and ourselves, there can be no bullying.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

I recently came across a blog entry on, written by a teenage girl who was mercilessly bullied. She tells, in an honest and self-perceptive way, how yoga helped her:

Bullies often have subtle, artful ways of making you feel miserable; they seemed to find all my weak points and aggressively attack them. Cliques spread nasty rumors like wildfire and my so-called “friends” abandoned me. I was taunted for being a late bloomer, for acting like a baby. In turn, I would become very upset and agitated. A few months later, I developed anxiety. Worries about whether other people were spreading rumors about me, whether people hated me, or whether I did something wrong or terribly offensive, tormented my mind. I spent many sleepless nights rolling back and forth in my bed, or standing in the kitchen and eating midnight snacks to help ease my body into a restful sleep.

Instead of bottling up my feelings as usual, I opened up and spoke out more. I finally came to realize that even though I might have been different from my peers, I was completely normal and there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I soon discovered one of the most beneficial treatments of my anxiety: the ancient practice of yoga. After stretching my body in different poses and exercises – my favorites include Sun Salutations and Deep Child’s Pose – I breathed more easily and felt at peace. Never before had I felt so happy and self-assured. Through my experiences, I have found that the only way to overcome bullying is to speak up and develop confidence and interests, as I discovered through meditation and yoga. In taking a breath of life, I have learned to relax my body, mind, and soul, but more importantly, I have learned to love myself.

Always be available to your child to talk about bullying. Tell your child that he can talk to you, or a teacher or counselor at school if he prefers. Tell him that even though it may feel like no one cares about him, you and all of his friends and family do. And if possible, suggest yoga practice as a way to deal with general school stressors. You may find that yoga helps your teen to rise above one of the most devastating elements of growing up.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

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Kids Yoga Teacher Training