Fifty-four 9th & 10th grade students participated in this one-day Youth Workshop ‘Power of Teens’ conducted at Amrita Vidyalayam, Secunderabad on June 21st 2014. The focus was to empower them to find their emotional balance and strength as teenagers.
In Amrita Yoga Youth Workshops, we try to confront practical issues not so much by lecturing but by inculcating dynamic positive thinking through activities and games, backed up by yogasanas. Challenges and difficult life situations are introduced into such workshops. The foundation of other techniques such as prayers and mantras create pure vibrations that transform and foster holistic growth. All of these different techniques are practiced as a team.
The techniques taught in Amrita Yoga Youth Workshops have been used for millennia in India. It is fun, interactive and interesting for students to imbibe their Indian heritage and culture in a contemporary style. The students are encouraged to think independently and to develop the mental strength needed to confront different situations in life. Such workshops instill the confidence that helps them discover high ideals for themselves and their ability to maintain the intense inner focus for a spiritual life.
Focus, determination, strength, concentration and patience are the invaluable qualities most needed for present day teenagers. The students were enthralled by activities that demonstrated these values, the main one being the workshop itself. They united in learning about the importance of their lives and striving to work together in a larger community.
Amrita Yoga Youth Workshops can help teens on so many levels. Amma’s Sankalpa (divine resolve) makes the program extremely effective in achieving physical, mental and emotional balance to the fast growing minds and bodies of teenagers. Today’s world is so fast paced, with information and images available at all levels, reflecting a daunting spectrum of cultural values. How to manage in the midst of such chaos? Are our own minds prepared and strong enough to confront the challenges? Can we be the people they talk to about their feelings and insecurities? Such Youth Workshops help them understand and identify their feelings, thus supporting them in expressing and managing real situations rather than escaping or falling prey to them. The students learn to convert the challenging experiences in their lives into stepping stones to success.
The facilitator introduced the idea of the unique power of teens to rouse their immense capabilities. She detailed as to how teenagers are struggling with their emotions and feelings. She referred to Amma’s quote, “Love is the center of life,” and explained how to be centered in our lives in order to attain success.
She said, “Learning to observe our thought patterns, our basic beliefs about life and about ourselves, can be the first step to working towards making a real change in our lives. Recognizing that ‘I am not a poor victim of my situation’ gives not only hope but the power to transcend. There is always a choice in life. Truly accepting that there is a choice, that I am willing to change and that I can create positive change in my life, is fundamental to success.”
The students enjoyed the Shakti Namaskarah asanas, blending the fun with the challenging, and being taught with such enthusiasm and dynamism. The workshop concluded with the sharing of personal experiences:
I have never had such a class in my life. I will never forget these lessons, especially as to how a leader should act. – Tarun, 10th grade.
This was indeed a most memorable day in my life at school, and I will never forget the lessons I learnt. – Bhavana, 10th grade
I have learnt not to neglect my feelings, yet be centered and not carried away by my feelings. – Oshin, 10th grade
Most of the activities related directly to our lives. We truly learnt about our feelings. Shobana Ji and Gunavati Ji made us to dive deep and find ourselves. – Rohit & Atharva, 9th grade
We got to know that we are winners. No one is a loser. We learnt that we should never get depressed by the seeming obstacles we face, but treat them as an adventure, thus converting all challenges to solutions. – Vaishali, 9th grade
It was a life changing workshop, and we thank Shobana Ji and Gunavati Ji for giving us such a great opportunity. – Mounika, 9th grade
We learnt that we all have different potentials within. We learnt the importance of teamwork, determination, unity, concentration, cooperation, and especially to understand ourselves and our feelings. We need to follow one particular path and to keep our goal constant in life, and strive to achieve this even in the face of insurmountable difficulties. It is our duty to understand the uniqueness in us and to concentrate on deepening our understanding. We need to move on with our life because the next moment is not in our hands. Our life is like an ocean with huge waves and our joy is in learning to cope with it. – Bhavana, Vaishnavi, Sripada – 10th grade
Both the teachers taught us what’ life changing’ means. At first we felt it hard to communicate and interact; but after the inspirational and fantastic experiences others shared, we ourselves opened up. This is a very memorable day in our lives. – Ganesha, Harish, Toyaj – 9th grade
I have never seen children voluntarily participating in workshops and sharing their experiences. I was surprised by their willingness to share their experiences. No doubt, they enjoyed every bit of the Youth Workshop! – Brahmacharini Jesna, English Teacher