MPP Core Team

20 March 2019

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Name of Activity: Suryanamaskar for Mindful parenting

Date and Venue of Event:

  • 9th March: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Primary Section, Ketkar Road,
  • 10th March: Ecole Heritage, Baner

Kind of Activity: Indoor activity

Resource Person: Dr Anand Godse

Objective of Session :

  • Learning Suryanamaskar as a mindfulness practice
  • Incorporating Suryanamaskar as a regular practice in daily life, to foster a better parent-child relation and facilitate parenting skills

 Activity Design:  Experiential focusing on-

  • Demonstration of Suryanamaskar
  • Participant practiced Suryanamaskar with the facilitator
  • Discussions

No of Participants

  • 9th March: Total  39  participants
  • 10th March: 32 Participants
  • Total: 71 Participants

Session Description

The session was divided into 3 parts:

  1. Settling down & reflecting on application of the learnings of the previous session by parents;
  2. Presentation by the resource person & discussion
  3. Circle time and sharing for parents.

The following is a summary of various discussions that took place during the session:

1. Reflecting on application of the learnings of the previous session by parents:

Parents are practicing the following Mindful Practices:

  1. Mayurma;
  2. Reducing Awfulisation;
  3. Attentive Listening;
  4. Lotus;
  5. Stopping putting pressure on children for exams.

The following are the experiences shared by some parents:

  • “At home we all consciously try to stop ‘awfulisation’.”
  • “My daughter did ‘Mayurma’ before her Hindi exams. She scored well because she had studied hard. But she felt that ‘Mayurma’ had also helped. So she has now adopted the practice and I don’t have to tell her to do ‘Mayurma,.”
  • “I have adopted a mindful practice. Everyday I ask my daughter to tell me 10  things that have happened in her life on that day. Now, if I forget, she herself comes and tells what took place.”
  • “We have adopted the practice of ‘Mayurma’. Observing us, my senior KG son on his own did ‘Mayurma’ for the Indian soldier captured by Pakistan.”
  • “I am a teacher. After learning ‘Mayurma’ here, I taught it to my students. Apparently, the children went home and taught it to their parents, who thanked me for introducing such a mindful practice.”
  • “We adopted a mindful practice and stopped putting pressure on our son for exams. The result was rewarding. Our son excelled in the exams.”

2. Presentation by the resource person, demonstration & discussion

The presentation focused on the connection between Suryanamaskar and behaviour and included the following:

Concept of Behaviour

According to Dr. Godse, modern psychology looks at human behaviour from a scientific perspective. Vedic psychology is based on the Bhagwat Gita, Ayurveda and Taittriya Upanishad. Vedic psychology is based on the following concepts:

Pancha Kosha: The Atman has five layers of the ‘Pancha Kosha’:

  • Annamaya Kosha (Pruthvi);
  • Pranamaya Kosha (Breath);
  • Vigyanmaya Kosha (Intellect);
  • Anandmaya Kosha (Bliss).

Our life is a quest towards the Anandmaya Kosha. Mindfulness, as a practice, lies between Pranamaya Kosha and Manomaya Kosha and helps to become more aware our body and emotions and sort out our priorities. This in turn helps in improving Vidyanmaya Kosha and contributes to understand the needs of children.

  • Triguna: Satva, Raja and Tama gunas are the basis of our personality and we keep transiting from one to another.
  • Tri Dosha: The human body has three doshas: cough, vata and pitta.

Various states of human consciousness:

  1. Badha: Does not understand;
  2. Mumukkshu: Aspires to change his / her situation;
  3. Sadhaka: Student;
  4. Siddha: has acquired knowledge, has developed his / herself and works to benefit the society.

Dr. Godse looks at the ‘Suryanamaskaras’ against this platform. According to him ‘Suryanamaskaras’ are a series of aasanas and have the following 4 elements:

  • Aasana or arrangement of the body
  • Prana or breath (inhalation, exhalation, kumbhaka – holding the breadth)
  • Mantra or sound
  • Movement for stability

Importance of Suryanamaskaras:

We go away from mindfulness when there is discord / conflict. Suryanamaskaras are a form of Yoga. They are a ‘Paripurna’ form of exercise because they involve integration of the mind, heart and body. Yoga helps us to evolve from the ‘Badha’ state and reach the “Siddha’ state.

  • The Suryanamaskaras are a form of “Sadhana”. They are a form of self monitoring. They make you look at your own self mindfully and can change behaviour.
  • Suryanamaskaras can be practiced anywhere (indoors or outdoors), they make you one with nature which in turn makes you more alert.
  • Regular Practice of Suryanamaskaras helps one to attain a state of mind which is difficult to waver. There will always be stress in the environment. We cannot reduce that stress. But Suryanamaskaras will make us more peaceful, more alert and more relaxed.

This was followed by a demonstration and practice of Suryanamaskaras. A question and answer session on Suryanamaskaras followed the demonstration. Handouts on the topic were also distributed to parents.

3.Circle Time & Sharing of Parents

Parents shared the following mindfulness practices which they have adopted:

  • “We have a calendar at home on which each one of us makes a note of the junk food eaten and acts of kindness done. At the end of the month, the calendar is reviewed.”
  • I always make it a point to give money to beggars. Once while we were travelling, I was busy with the suitcases and did not notice some beggars standing nearby. My little one came up to me saying, “Baba, there are some beggars standing there and you have not given them anything.”
  • “My child is in Sr. KG. There is a game. It has cards with yoga poses. We look at the cards and do the poses together.”

Key ‘take away’ from today’s session

Parents said the following:

  • “Don’t look at things in terms of benefits and losses only. Enjoy the process.”
  • “Everyday practice of yoga is beneficial.”
  • “Keep one day in the week to do something with your family.”
  • “Enjoy with your children. This time will never come back.”

Outcome / Learning

Mindfulness is a part of positive psychology

Our actions, what we do, are not isolated. They are a cumulative result of our life experiences.

In yoga there is integration of the ‘mind and heart’, ‘heart and intellect’ which helps to regulate behavior and move beyond towards spirituality.

Suryanamaskars are a series of movements for stability. They:

  • Regulate thoughts
  • Help to attain equilibrium
  • Help to do away with unnecessary thoughts, conflicts, dichotomy, duality and move towards unity and equality.
  • Make you look mindfully at yourself: Did I eat more? Did I waste time? Did I spend too much time with my friends? Etc.

Suryanamskars are done mindfully. There is synchronization, comfort and relaxation.

Your child is you. You and your child are not different. You are one. So there cannot be a conflict.

You don’t have to tell your child to go ahead of someone else. Your Child has to surpass itself. He / She has to do good for him / herself. Having faith is important.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be hard and stringent on yourself. Add fun to whatever you do. Bring enjoyment in everything. The childhood of your kids will never come back. Have fun with your kids.

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