Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Teen tutor helping kids chill out

While most teenage boys can be found covered in bed covers and snoozing away on a Sunday morning, Anshule Takyar spends his teaching meditation to kids.

The 16-year-old Auckland International College student started teaching children aged 5 to 12 years old the fundamental steps to meditation last September. His classes have become such a hit that adults are joining in too.

Anshule is used to people raising their eyebrows when they hear he teaches meditation, but the Year 12 student said he was simply passing on the invaluable skill of relaxing, which his grandfather introduced him to four years ago.

His meditation class has grown from three to five students when it first began to between 10 and 15 students now, with six adults also regularly attending.

"Even though I teach it in a way that is suitable for kids, for adults who haven't done meditation before it's also a good way for them to get started.

"If an adult teaches kids meditation, I don't think you would get that much engagement and they would just think that's just another old adult trying to teach me something. When it is a kid to another kid, it helps them really engage and be like, 'this is something I can do too'."

His classes are based around Hindu meditation and students are taught to keep their backs and arms straight and have their hands in the correct position to promote good posture. Some other techniques are also thrown in.

"In Hindu meditation we believe when you have the correct posture your brain also is in the ideal state."

Anshule followed the same rule of thumb he taught, which was that a person should practice one minute of meditation each day for each year they have been alive. For him, spending 16 minutes a day meditating gave him a chance to relax and unwind after the stress of school and exams.

Jyoti Parashar, the vice-president and education chairwoman at the temple, said this was the first time she had come across a 16-year-old who taught meditation.

She said meditation was important for one's holistic wellbeing and it was a "dream come true" when Anshule offered to start taking kids' meditation classes - she did not think they would be as successful if an adult was taking them. She said Anshule was like a big brother to the students and being experienced in meditation meant he was also in touch with his emotions.

The free classes are held at the Bharatiya Temple in Mt Albert and anyone is welcome.

- NZ Herald

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