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A Note from Sabina Higgins on the Importance of Yoga

We are living in a very difficult time, as the world is combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us are affected in many ways by the virus, and there are many vulnerable groups for which the virus is life threatening. Young people may not be as much in danger from the virus itself, but the crisis has a largely invisible impact on many of them.  

In the present crisis, keeping physically and mentally well is crucial. I think this time could be used to do great good, by giving the young people the tools to cope with their concerns and anxieties. It is a strange challenging time for young people, and to come through it with strengthened character they have got to resolve to stay positive and stay active and beat off any negativity or lethargy.

I know that one of the greatest ways they can do this is by taking up the practise of Yoga, this will not only be exciting and a lovely experience in the present time but they will be giving themselves a lifetime gift that will give them the tools to become and remain healthy in body and mind and spirit.

This is testified to by the thousands of people in Ireland, and the millions around the world, who practise it. It can be done on one’s own, every day, in a small space with no equipment required.

Once a person understands and experiences this technique, of the stretch and the relaxing and the holding still, the body itself understands and responds and has the enjoyment of observing the progress.

Many primary schools already do Yoga in school and there are many teachers who have done the training in Yoga for Children. I have advocated for Yoga as an integral part of the education system, as the benefits that would flow to the individual and society would be innumerable.

Now is the opportunity to give this great skill and tool to our children, by teaching it online as part of the daily educational programme on television. It would be just a matter of 20 minutes a day and I believe Yoga schools have already approached RTE with a structured programme and are ready to go online.

There are potential benefits of Yoga for the coming generations, which are facing all kinds of challenges on both a personal and ecological level. Of particular concern is the major problem of gender and domestic violence everywhere, and the misuse of modern technology to bully and hurt even at times to the point of suicide.

The regular practise of Yoga can help people deal physically and mentally with the pressure of living in today’s society. People would have the ability to be conscious of themselves and have an awareness of where the tension was building up in their body, causing such anger and frustration. They would be able to have the technique and the tools to be able to consciously relax, and also control their breathing, and maybe respond positively and take whatever action they can rather than responding negatively.

Yoga is a valuable resource at this time when the world really needs it and when the planet itself is under threat.