I have been in education for over fifteen years, mostly working with teenagers. Teenage years are synonymous with peer pressure, complicated further with identity crises; added to that is the pressure to study and perform well, technological distractions and parental expectations. This is also the time when parents start experiencing unfamiliar distancing from their growing child. Suddenly, the warmth and the beauty in the relationship is replaced by conflict over the perceived vices – technology overuse, irregular sleep timing, food choices, the use of social media, performance in school, the list goes on.
At this stage, parents start doubting their parenting methods and teenagers feel that their parents no longer understand them. This is the crucial stage when parents can take the initiative and introduce the age-old yogic techniques to bring back synergy in their relationship. These yoga practices offer you ways to spend quality time with your young ones for as little as five minutes a day! Use Yoga to bridge the gap and create important breakthroughs.
OHM, the sound of creation
To begin with, encourage the child to sit in a yogic posture or any comfortable position and start with chanting OHM 3-5 times. This creates a strong, blissful energy vibration that flows inside and outside the person. It reduces stress, helps remove negativity, and also increases concentration and mental alertness. There will be a few noticeable differences after regular practice of Ohm chanting besides many physical and spiritual benefits.
Deep inhale and deep exhale
If we notice, we all have the tendency for shallow breathing depriving our cells of oxygen. So, let’s do some deep inhalations to breathe in more oxygen and long exhalations to remove all the carbon dioxide. It is also a time for mentally affirming to your child that they are inhaling good health, power to finish their work and so on. While exhaling they can visualise that all the blockages which are hindering their growth is being removed.
Suggested Read: Yoga: Divine Oneness
We want our children to grow up to be balanced individuals, to be creative as well as logical thinkers. Perform with them this balancing Pranayama. Sit with cross legs with your back straight, your right hand in Vishnu mudra and left hand in Gyan mudra resting on the thigh. Start inhaling from the left nostril, close the left nostril and exhale from the right; follow this in reverse by inhaling from the right and exhaling from the left nostrils and continue this cycle. For beginners, try to exhale slowly again affirming the removal of negative emotions. The exhalation should take double the time you have taken to inhale.
Anuloma Viloma balances body temperature, treats anxiety and depression, increases concentration, sharpens memory and makes the mind steady. Practice this for two to three minutes each time.
Spending these few minutes mindfully with your child will bring out multi fold benefits, which you will observe over a period of time. It will help you as well as your child to connect with self and with others at a deeper level. These five minutes will surely bridge the gap and build a lovely bond between you and your teenager.
Revive and cherish this ancient gift of yoga breathing practice!