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From the moment we begin to walk we gain confidence and independence by moving. When kids get moving and involved in activities, they learn new things. Yoga moves the body. In our modern, Western, understanding of yoga, it is an activity that connects us to our bodies but yoga also develops life skills, which lead us to being better humans overall. Through this connection, or union, we build strength, confidence and grounding to better accomplish tasks and meet our goals, whether they are small tasks such as tidying our rooms or large tasks, such as discovering who we are. 

Before we start any physical yoga, the foundational text of yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, advises that we follow certain aphorisms that act as guides for how to rid the body and mind of impurities. Impurities are the obstacles that prevent us from realizing the true nature of the soul. Because most young children have yet to accumulate many impurities, the sutras are the best way on how to avoid them. 

Sauca - Cleanliness

Sauca is a word that means maintaining both internal and external purity. Thinking good, positive thoughts will keep our minds pure. Likewise, keeping our environment and person--clothes, body, belongings, and surroundings --clean and clear, will also keep our vision clean and clear. With purity of speech and thought, the mind will also be purified. Once the mind is purified , then the atma, the soul, will be purified. This applies especially to the yoga practitioner, who should keep himself clean in respect to and in consideration for others, and also as an example to others.  

Santosa - Contentment

Santosa means being happy with whatever we have, practicing inner joy from spiritual wisdom. Santosa is not acquired by amassing material things. Rather, it is contentment from a higher consciousness--the ultimate joy . Happiness from material things lasts only a few hours or days and comes from a lower consciousness. Ultimate joy stays with you. It never goes away. Practice contentment, be happy with what you have. 

Tapas - Self-Discipline

Tapas is the practice of self-discipline, leading to a life of principal. The mind likes to wander. Negative influences distract the mind. Through yoga, which consists not only of physical stretches and strength-building positions but also by following character-building behavior such as not stealing, lying, speaking unkindly, and keeping ourselves and our environment clean, we become discipline and focus the mind to achieve our goals.  

Svadhyaya - Self-Study

Svadhyaya means studying what we have learned from our teacher, not only trying to understand what has been said, but deepening that understanding and expanding our knowledge by reading and thinking more about the subject we are learning. Self-study is to engage the  mind to further our studies. The teacher cannot push, he or she can only guide. When the teacher shares what they know, it is up to the student to find out more about the teachings. They can then better understand the teachings and how they apply to the student's life and interests.