Yoga: The adolescent phase is a time of immense change for young individuals, both internally and externally, often leading to heightened emotional states. This period presents significant challenges in managing and understanding these emotions. The teenage years are known for emotional turbulence, primarily because the emotional part of the brain, known as the limbic system, undergoes increased activation during adolescence. Internally, young people experience hormonal fluctuations and the refinement of neural networks that generate and regulate their emotions.

Externally, they encounter profound shifts in their social dynamics, including relationships with parents, peers, and romantic partners. Simultaneously, the demands from school and society escalate. The intensity of emotions during this developmental stage often leads to elevated levels of dysfunctional affect, impacting the overall well-being and mental health of young individuals. It can be likened to riding an emotional roller coaster, making it crucial to address their emotional state.

Fortunately, there is a simple tool that college students can utilize to combat stress, anxiety, and depression—yoga. The practice of yoga yields positive effects across various psychological, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological domains. It fosters mindfulness and self-acceptance, teaching young people to be attuned to their breath, body, and mind, promoting self-awareness. Research suggests that yoga can effectively reduce anxiety in children and adolescents while enhancing their skills in regulating emotions.

Engaging in regular yoga practice heightens young individuals’ awareness of their body, mind, emotions, and patterns of reaction. This increased self-awareness proves valuable in building resilience, promoting mental health, and fostering overall well-being. Moreover, yoga serves as an invitation for individuals to connect with their responses to life and facilitate personal growth. It opens up a profound dialogue encompassing the entirety of their being, involving the body, mind, and breath. Additionally, yoga provides guidance for leading a fulfilling life by training practitioners to observe their state of mind and emotions.

Consistent yoga practice not only helps young people feel better but also cultivates a sense of gratitude and well-being. Furthermore, yoga is increasingly recognized as an adjunct therapy for enhancing the quality of life, offering a gateway to achieving a state of flow. Regular yoga sessions facilitate mindfulness, enhance self-awareness and tranquility, and strengthen the ability to focus and maintain happiness throughout the day. Needless to say, yoga serves as a pathway to improved spiritual and emotional health.

Dr.Rajeev Rajesh, Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru