Today’s world is offering many challenges to our children and families. Challenges that our society and its pivotal structures are ill-equipped to effectively support. One need only to look through a critical lens and see that we are attempting to raise our children in an outdated paradigm of rules, regulations, demanding structures, and very little nurturing and compassion.
A new approach is required to attend to the new challenges our children and families are facing – bullying, social media, video games, poor diet, and other social dynamics are causing an increased prevalence of conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, ADD. These are all contributing factors that make it difficult for a child of any age to identify with and stay connected to their true self.
Over the last 20 years, I have studied mental health and worked in schools and treatment centers for at-risk youth and those suffering from a spectrum of mental health conditions. Our schools, communities and mental health facilities are so institutionalized that most treatments deal with the symptoms, but do little to really address needs related to deep-rooted complex trauma. When I realized this, I moved to India for two years to research and study yoga philosophy as a means to addressing mental health. I discovered that one of the most holistic ways to invite healthy self development is by addressing all four pillars of development – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – in doing so, we are able to nurture and foster the development of the whole child. Even as adults, we can return to the roots of our childhood to heal old wounds, address trauma and move toward a place of health, healing and ultimately, wholeness..
There are many ways to apply universal spiritual concepts rooted in yoga philosophy in child friendly ways. We can craft sequences of yoga poses, breathing practices and creative visualization. We can use stories, and activities that weave together spiritual lessons. We can also incorporate practices, tools, and techniques to develop Universal Spiritual lessons for kids, EFT Techniques, Aromatherapy and sound healing for Kids. All of these techniques and principles can be modified to nurture children with behavior issues like Anxiety, Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and other mainstream diagnosis.
By incorporating yoga practice and philosophy, as outlined by the Eight-Limbed path of Patanjali, into our daily life, we will give children the tools they need to become healthier, happier, more compassionate, creative, intuitive, thoughtful and connected. At the same time we are also causing an evolutionary shift in family, school and community dynamics.