Snatam Kaur's Kundalini Yoga for Children

The children. Long after we're gone, our children will carry forth the legacy we create for them. No one takes this knowledge more to heart than Snatam Kaur, internationally known musician, composer and kirtan leader who travels with her band on the Celebrate Peace Tour, inspiring visions of peace in children of all ages.

“I am a musician on a mission,” she says. “One of our greatest passions is working with children who I call disenfranchised. It's hard to put a name to it, but there is a whole population of children in our country who are removed from basic privileges that are considered normal for many of us.

This population is surprisingly large, but through the Celebrate Peace Tour we have been blessed to partner with some of the organizations in this country that are working to improve the lives of these children. We have visited children in juvenile halls, foster care homes, and poor neighborhoods. We offer music, yoga, and stories all aimed at giving the children we meet a sense of positive self-esteem and some basic yogic tools for mental peace and clarity. Most importantly, we like to have fun!

“This is the way you make the love grow,” goes the chorus to one of the songs on her CD, Feeling Good Today: Songs & Mantras for Children . Featuring Snatam's strong, silken voice and the voices of seven children – the Children's Kundalini  Yoga Choir–the songs make impart universal messages of peace and positive expectation, making mantra and music fun for children of all ages.

Sitting with the children, clad in traditional Sikh attire – a white dress and white turban – this diminutive woman uses her voice and the songs and stories she has composed to commune heart-to-heart with them and get them moving and breathing and feeling the joy of being alive.  

Snatam tells them the story of Shanti, a little Indian girl who climbs a mountain and practices peaceful interaction with a scary cobra, flies like a bird and meditates with a bear in the peace inspired by chants she learned from her parents. Snatam's accompanist  on guitar, Guru Ganesha, gets the children laughing, and tabla master Krishan Prakash leads the children in a great bear shore as Snatam and the children act out the story in a series of yoga postures, singing along with Shanti as they climb their own imaginary mountain.

As Snatam demonstrates the postures and mudras, the children follow with heartfelt enthusiasm. The songs in the story – some in Sanskrit, some English with ancient sacred Sanskrit lyrics incorporated – are chants they'll be singing long after she's gone on to the next school or orphanage. Laughter abounds, and love reigns.

Yes, this is a wonderful way to make love grow, and a powerful way to teach our children that peace resides within all of us if we will but take the time to go inside and find it. For families who don't have the luxury of having Snatam around on a daily basis, the story of Shanti and the yoga postures and songs are demonstrated on the video, Shanti the Yogi: Mountain Adventure. Marvelously interactive, this video is joy to watch and a wonderful way to introduce children at home to the peace that comes with yoga and sacred chant.

Snatam will present a children's program in San Diego at 3pm on Saturday, November 14th, at Sanctuary Studio, 1590 Truzton Rd., Bldg. 176, Suite 205. $10.