The global mental health epidemic is growing in severity. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of the leading causes of disability and early death.
Along with improved access to mental health services, it is widely accepted that learning coping strategies in childhood is one of the best forms of creating resilience in the population.
This is where Kundalini Yoga comes in. When we think about all the reasons that this lifestyle benefits us as adults, it should come as no surprise to discover that practicing as a child can have some long term, profound effects.
In this guide, we will explore the four main reasons that children, even as young as babies, can benefit from practicing the main tenets of Kundalini Yoga: meditation, kriyas, and breathwork.
Mindfulness is a seriously useful skill for anyone, but the younger we start, the more impact it can have. It is the practice of being present in the moment, acknowledging and feeling the emotions and sensations as they come, and letting them go.
From a child’s perspective, this is a great self-regulation tactic, and it can be started young with a bit of gentle parental affirmation, acknowledging the emotions as they come, and learning to let them go together.
As the child grows this can become more profound and meditative, but even in the youngest participants it can be reaffirming, building resilience and strength.
Learning Coping Strategies
At any age, when we are overwhelmed we rely on the coping strategies we have encountered before. These coping strategies can range between the healthy (breathwork, meditation, mindfulness) and the unhealthy (drink, disassociation, other reckless behaviors).
Kundalini Yoga in children begins to equip them with healthy, productive coping strategies for dealing with stress and upset, meaning that they are more likely to turn to these as they grow older. This allows them to self-regulate, de-escalate confrontation, and make progress in the face of adversity, throughout their lives.
A Language for Mental Health
A difficulty faced by many people struggling with their mental health is that it can just be so hard to talk about feelings. When children practice Kundalini Yoga, their emotional intelligence is also developed.
In turn, this allows them to talk about mental health in a language that many adults are not equipped with. They are able to explain how they feel, why they feel that way, and what they think might help to improve their situation. This skill cannot be understated in children, especially as they move into adulthood.
A Sense of Purpose and Perspective
Like with anyone, a sense of perspective and purpose is essential in children. When they learn the skills associated with Kundalini Yoga, they are gifted with this sense of purpose.
It allows them to feel the connection with the Earth, the universe, and their environment, and reinforces a sense of perspective regarding their place amongst these things.
Big or small, regular Kundalini Yoga practice can benefit all of us, and all you need is a good quality yoga mat to get started!
In the fight against the global mental health crisis, encouraging our children to engage with it can have a truly positive impact on them, both immediately and in their lives going forwards.