Healthy Living, Food and Yoga
While fostering the development of body, mind and spirit, the Neo-Humanist Curriculum cultivates the outlook of healthy living and maintaining ecological balance. We strive to create an environment where children grow accustomed to making healthy choices and understand the role they play in the vastly interconnected web of life around them.
One special aspect of New Day School is our vegan diet. We serve a fresh hot lunch each day as well as two snacks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Following the principles of yoga, a healthy diet is the foundation to a healthy body and mind. In all foods served, we avoid artificial preservatives and colorings and encourage unprocessed, organic foods. We provide a balanced diet, with an emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
New Day children enjoy a garden-to-plate program through the experience of growing their own organic produce. With the school’s garden teachers, the children are led in planting, tending and harvesting the school’s kitchen garden.
New Day School Food Policy
New Day offers fresh Sentient Vegan food to the children and staff that excludes all meats, eggs, fish, dairy, onion, garlic, mushrooms, wine, black tea and coffee. To accommodate children with severe nut allergies, we are a nut-free campus however we do use coconut and seeds like sunflower or sesame. See our Food Policy.
Morning snack: coconut milk oatmeal, raisins & apples
Lunch: marinated tofu, brown rice, green beans, carrot sticks
Afternoon snack: rice cakes with sunflower seed butter & celery sticks
“When the underlying spirit of humanism is extended to everything, animate and inanimate, in this universe – I have designated this as Neohumanism. This Neohumanism will elevate humanism to universalism, the cult of love for all created beings of this universe.”
– P.R. Sarkar founder of Ananda Marga and Neo-Humanist Education
Children of New Day School have ongoing yoga classes to introduce them to Ananda Marga yoga practice. Each yoga class has the following aspects:
Asanas (yoga postures) are used to promote health by helping the body’s endocrine system. They are postures held in coordination with the breath. In Ananda Marga, children are only prescribed asanas after the age of 16 because the body and glands are still developing. However, at NDS we do simple postures that promote coordination, concentration and familiarity with one’s body in yoga class. We hope that by making yoga fun and interesting to the children, that the children will be inspired to take up the practice of asanas when they (and their bodies) grow up.
Kiirtan (chanting) is used to create devotion and a peaceful mood in the mind and helps prepare the mind for meditation. In Kiirtan we sing a mantra, a collection of sounds that is used with an ideation to uplift the mind. The Sanskrit mantra “Baba Nam Kevalam” literally translates to “Only the Name of the Beloved.” The essence or ideation of this mantra is that everything in this Universe is an emanation of pure loving consciousness, and we want to know and relate to the greatness or the unlimited divine potential that lies within each one of us. As the children sing kiirtan together, they feel a sense of togetherness and joy that brings calmness and peace.
Meditation helps one connect to that greatest potential that lies within. When we sit to meditate, we learn to control our busy mind and bring it peacefully inward. As the children close their eyes in meditation they are introduced to the concept of stillness and quiet. By modeling meditation to the children we are planting the “seed” of meditation which will teach the children to look deep within and recognize their greatness.
Each yoga class and sequence is taught through a story. The stories interject fun and playfulness into our yoga class and are used to teach ethical values, kiirtan and meditation. The stories also help teach the inner meaning or spirit of the yogic practices in a simple and interesting way for the child. Lastly the stories help keep the yoga classes innovative and engaging so that the children help create and express the story with the teacher.