Teaching Teens

I found them one evening while walking on the streets of my town, throwing fruit at each other– somewhat jovially, but also violently.

My words on non-violence hit home to them, and they realized someone actually cared. So they began coming over for English lessons, when I realized how much I could actually help them.

Their English is poor, despite attending English-medium Christian schools. While they can understand and communicate verbally, reading level and comprehension is sub-par. So are their mannerisms. They are not that much better in Kannada or Hindi. Through no fault of their own, their prospects are slim: they will end up working in blue-collar jobs after completing 10th standard, or 12th, if they are lucky. They might become electricians, tailors, or receptionists at best.

Until now, I’ve mostly been working with women, young and old, and girls, teaching them techniques for relieving tension and assisting with trauma recovery.

Now, god has brought me a group of teenage boys. Coming from low-caste and low-class backgrounds, these boys have a tough time as it is, working odd jobs like tailoring and newspaper delivery just to help their families make ends meet.

I decided that teaching them yoga could help them best. It would instill good values and allow them to explore the world with positive eyes. Yoga class would go beyond the mat, which I don’t have enough for all of them anyway. Our system is to learn the value through yoga practice, then see how it can be applied to the world by reading newspaper articles on issues plaguing the country and in foreign lands. Our discussions go far, and we even use a world map to chart our travels, learning about the various parts of the world as we go. Soon, I also want to connect them to you: they can learn a lot from peace workers around the world!

Yoga can help these boys beyond a 1- hour class. It can give definition to their lives, allow them to develop their own character and values, and take a hold of their careers.

Maybe then, their futures can be bright, just as they are.

Related Articles

Teaching families and kids: http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/2583?utm_source=MyYogaMentor&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=MyYogaMentor


Meditation for Youth of All Ages: http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/1856?page=3

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kp
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 12:08:13

    What an absolutely wonderful thing you are doing. Yoga has so much value in every facet of life. These young men will benefit greatly from finding a way to apply what they learn on the mat to how they live off the mat. As a novice Yogini I am working to sharpen both my yoga and life skills so that I may join in teaching this beautiful practice to our youth.



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