Breathing, centering, feeling how you feel without resistance and without action; what if I had had these tools as an adolescent?
What would I have considered as viable options to the risks I took, the dangers I sought, and the chemicals I ingested?
I grew up in a house that had little security, an alcoholic parent, the other living away from the home, often out of the country, economic uncertainty, poverty and fear. What was I to do with feelings? There were no adults to provide certainty or guidance, and my job as the eldest was to provide those things for my younger sibs.
If the statistics on WHEN one starts to use drugs and alcohol are correct; the earlier one starts drinking and using becomes a strong indicator that one will become addicted to substances. I did, I am, I am in recovery.
What if you had options?
Well, a recent article in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that early interventions with “Yoga Based Breathing Techniques” can help reduce impulsive behavior in teens (Drugfree.org Newsroom entry on July 15, 2013). Correct, yogic breathing techniques (simple, easy to learn, portable) can help reduce not only impulsive behavior but stress levels and increases conflict resolution skills.
The study done in Los Angeles followed a group of teenagers, some who participated in the YES! (Youth Empowerment Seminar!) and some who did not. There were statistically significant positive results indicating that the students who participated reported less impulsive behavior than before.
We have the knowledge- we have the tools.
Bring yoga techniques into the schools NIROGA Institute in Oakland has been offering training for this for years and has teachers ready to go. I used to teach at San Jose Job Corps until their funding got cut. Lets bring effective programs such as these into our schools. We can train teachers, we can train aids, we can teach the kids. For as little as 100 breaths a day we can give our kids choices.
Lets do it!
Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200, RTY500 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training that she holds with her good friend Kent Bond E-RYT500. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at www.yogarecovery.com