Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta (Sectorial Secretary of New York Sector) and Acarya Diiptimanananda Avadhuta (Sectorial Office Secretary) visited the Morning Star Yoga Preschool on a beautiful sunny morning of August 15, 2016. It was the first time both of them visited the school and they had the chance to meet with sister Mahajyoti and she showed them around the school and discussed the specialties of the school, history and her work with Neohumanistic education and Ananda Marga Gurukula. The parents want to send their children to yoga preschool, therefore the school is now in the process of changing it’s name, adding Yoga to it – Morning Star YOGA Preschool!
The Morning Star Preschool was founded in 1983 by Mahajyoti after receiving inspiration from Baba on her visit to India. When she came home to Denver from India after taking a strong determination to start the school, everything worked out logistically and financially and by His Grace the school started. The school has by now benefited thousands of children that some are now already grown up and sometimes pay a visit to remember fond childhood memories.
The Morning Star Yoga Preschool has Neohumanistic education principles as the foundation of school and encourages creativity, problem-solving capacity, care for nature and most important love and kindness towards all each other and all beings.
Some of the activities include:
Painting, songs, block construction, play dough, puppets, manipulatives, drawing, rhymes, puzzles, drama, neighborhood walks, socio-emotional role playing, cutting & pasting, yoga, nature study, dramatic play, self help exercises are a few of the activities that are generally incorporated into our weekly programs as well as literacy, math, and science experiences. We have a collective curriculum and theme study as well as customized individual curriculum for each child. All activities are age appropriate. [http://morningstarpreschool.net/htmlpages/parentshandbook.pdf]
The principles of Yama and Niyama are clearly stated on the introduction flyer that the parents get so emphasize the deeper foundations of the teachings. The parents are expecting that their children are going to yoga preschool. The school has passed all inspections from the authorities and was this year designated as level four preschool.
The children learn simple meditation and yoga techniques specially adopted for children and learn how their breath is related to their state of mind by doing “breath cards”, simple breath awareness exercises printed on cards that they choose according to their own liking during the yoga class quiet time.
The school is small with well-educated and dedicated staff and only takes eight students in each class. Every child can feel safe and develop with the guidance of the teachers. But they have also found that the elder group of children, 4 – 5 years old are the best teachers to the younger ones (2 ½ – 4 years). Now the elder group is leaving the school and entering public school Kindergarten. The younger ones will miss them and take over their role as the elder group guiding the younger ones. For more information about the school see their website:
Mahajyoti has been very active in developing Neohumanistic educational standards within the framework of Ananda Marga Gurukula and has given numerous presentations and workshops in USA and around the world. The school has served as a model for how Neohumanistic education can work successfully in preschools and Mahajyoti and her teachers are continuing to explore new ways to bring out the best development of the children and foster love and kindness that will become the base of their entire life.