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Yoga & meditation impacting the lives of youth

By Shama Kaur , Family Flavours - Sep 10,2023 - Last updated at Sep 10,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Shama Kaur,
Kundalini Yoga Teacher & Wellness Mentor

 

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and constant connectivity, today’s youth face three unique challenges that can take a toll on their overall well-being. First and foremost, youth are overly stimulated from constant connectivity and information overload.

When social media content is used as a measuring stick to which youth compare themselves, this creates self-esteem issues. Secondly, the information is often misleading or inaccurate, which impacts their decision-making and their views of the world.

Thirdly, the more time youth spend in front of screens, the less time they spend in social interaction and physical movement which leads to a sedentary lifestyle and difficulty assimilating in social settings.

 

Navigating challenges

 

Amidst the chaos, yoga and meditation provide powerful tools that can help the youth to navigate these challenges and foster a balanced and fulfilling life.

The tools available address various aspects of their physical, mental and emotional health.

Here are five key areas where yoga and meditation impact the lives of young individuals positively:

1. Body health: Physical well-being is crucial for overall health. Yoga provides a holistic approach to maintaining a healthy body. 

Through asanas (yoga postures), young practitioners can improve strength, flexibility and posture, while enhancing body awareness and balance.

Regular yoga practice supports better cardiovascular health, boosts the immune system and reduces the risk of chronic ailments. 

Cultivating a positive relationship with the body through yoga encourages a sense of selfcare and respect.

 

2. Conscious eating: In today’s fast-paced world, mindless and unhealthy eating habits may be prevalent among youth. Yoga promotes mindfulness, including mindful eating. By incorporating mindfulness techniques at mealtimes, such as being fully present, chewing slowly and savouring each bite, young individuals can develop a healthier relationship with food.

This awareness helps them make conscious choices, fostering a balanced and nourishing diet that supports their overall wellbeing.

 

3. Mindful navigation of the digital world: Excessiveuse of social media has become a prevalent issue among today’s youth, impacting their mental and emotional health. Kundalini Yoga and meditation offer invaluable tools such as the 3-Minds Framework or the philosophies of the 3 Gunas to help them evaluate information and make decisions that are aligned with reality.

Through regular practice, young individuals can cultivate a sense of self-awareness, reducing dependence on external validation and fostering a positive self-image.

 

4. Regulating emotions and controlling impulsivity: The teenage years can be emotionally challenging, as young individuals navigate various pressures and transitions. Yoga and meditation provide effective techniques to regulate emotions and control impulsivity.

Breathing exercises and mindful practices help teens develop emotional intelligence, cultivate selfcompassion and manage stress. By learning to pause, observe their emotions, and respond thoughtfully, youth can develop resilience and emotional stability.

 

5. Improving decision-making, long-term planning and understanding consequences: Regular meditation has been shown to have positive effects on the frontal lobe of the brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex.

By positively influencing the frontal lobe, regular meditation develops youth’s ability to stay present and centered. Thus, youth can approach decision-making with increased discernment, weighing the potential outcomes and making choices aligned with their long-term goals and values.

Yoga and meditation provide invaluable tools for today’s youth to navigate the complexities of modern life. By incorporating these practices into their daily routines, young individuals can cultivate a healthy body, develop mindful eating habits, regulate emotions and makinformed decisions.

Empowering today’s youth with the transformative benefits of yoga and meditation lays a strong foundation for their overall well-being, self-discovery and resilience as they embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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