At a time when schools impose increasing demands on students and children’s stress levels are sky-rocketing, an education system which enables children to realize their full potential and is dedicated to their overall development is an urgent necessity. Isha Samskriti and Isha Home School, at the Isha Yoga Center, provide an ideal environment for children to unfold in harmony within themselves and with the world around them. To complement classes like English, Mathematics and other typical school subjects, the children are also taught a unique blend of yogic practices, Indian classical arts such as Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music, and martial arts such as Kalarippayattu, which bring balance and stability to the child’s body and mind.
A Graceful Performance
12 children from Isha Samskriti and 7 from Isha Home School participated in the National Kalarippayattu Championships 2013-14. The championship was held at Central Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram, from 30 June to 2 July. Conducted by the Indian Kalarippayattu Federation, the championship drew around 400 participants from 14 states. The team participated in Kaiporu (hand wrestling), Maipayattu (body movements), Chavuti Ponga (high kick), and Parija & Valum (sword & shield). The Isha Samskriti boys and girls won 5 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals in the junior (14-18 years) and sub-junior (under-14) categories and the Isha Home School children won 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
The children impressed not only the judges but also the other teams who complimented them on their graceful performance and for their strict adherence to the spirit of the rules. The students were accompanied by their trainer Bijeesh, and their Gurukal, Anandan Gurukal, head of the T.C Samigurukal Memorial Kairali Kalari Sangam. The Kairali Kalari Sangam has been a prominent Kalari sangam for over 100 years and is based in Kozhikode.
13-year-old Lokesh, who won medals in Maipayattu and Chavuti Ponga in the sub-junior category, was excited by the experience of his first Kalarippayattu championship. Speaking about his performance and his experience of being there, he said, “When I was first told we were going to the championship, I did not really take it seriously. But once I got there, I was inspired and decided that I would do everything as an offering, rather than as a competition because we are taught to focus and give us ourselves to the practice completely. I noticed that because we also practice yoga, we were finding it much easier to do various body movements as compared to the others in the competition. Next year, I want to practice the sword and shield and go for the championships.”
A Life-oriented Education
Isha Samskriti was founded by Sadhguru and is envisioned as an offering to children. Children begin between the ages of 6 to 8 and receive a life-oriented education until the age of 18. Isha Samskriti allows them to explore their innate capabilities rather than imposing merely informative education on them. It establishes the right situation for the child to seek a deeper experience and inner understanding of the fundamentals of life. Located at the Isha Yoga Center, at the serene foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains near Coimbatore, Isha Samskriti provides an ideal environment of dedication, discipline and focus, allowing them to develop into dynamic, capable and dedicated human beings.
Home Away From Home
Isha Home School aims at providing high quality education in a home-like setting. This intimate and nurturing environment ensures that the child inculcates the values of being a responsible member of society while still retaining his or her sense of individuality. The child grows up in an atmosphere where students of multiple ages live together in ‘houses’. Each child forms a sibling-like relationship with fellow housemates and each household is headed by house-parents, who are also the child’s teachers. Certain subjects are taught by specialists, who visit the home to give instruction. The school allows the child to progress at their own pace, while also ensuring that they are prepared for the board examinations at an appropriate age.