Do you have ‘almost teenagers’ and have heard horror stories of the impending years pressing upon you as a parent? Are you already in the midst of struggling with the highs and lows of your teen who is riding the hormonal waves of those blessed teen age years? The good news is yoga can be a lifesaver in helping prevent the swings and difficulties that can make kids act like the monsters so often associated with the teen years. Practices may prove more effective in the years leading up to puberty – especially – as yoga triggers the continued balance of hormones and brain-hemisphere harmonization present in younger kids.
One of the main causes of the horrors of puberty is the body’s inability to handle the influx of hormones. The brain, which was previously working in harmony, accessing both hemispheres equally, begins to pendulum between the two causing discord in the system. Endocrine glands get thrown off and mood swings are soon to follow. What if you could prevent all this through simple yogic practices? According to scientific research, kids who practice yoga between the years of 7-11 tend to enter into puberty at later age and experience little to no hormonal imbalance normally associated with such a change. Yoga is amazing as it can help prevent teens from becoming the monsters that hormonal swings often make them.
One of the main factors in maintaining balance in the body is the activity of the pineal and pituitary glands, both active and balanced in young children. As a child reaches the age of seven, these glands face slowed production and the pineal gland often stops growing and producing at the rate it did previously. If children, by the age of 7 or 8 will begin simple yogic practices such as sun salutations, basic breathing techniques and mantra repetition, the pineal gland will continue normal functions and entering into puberty will be a smooth and gentle process, says sources.
Eight-year olds in India learn three practices to foster total physical, mental, and spiritual development. These are Sun Salutation for the body, alternate nostril breathing for the brain and mind, and mantras for the deeper mind and spirit. These practices can slow the onset of puberty and balance its effects by acting on the subtle channels that flow in the spine. Mental development then has time to catch up to physical changes.
These subtle channels in spine are the energy channels which correlate directly to the function of the pineal and pituitary glands. When these subtle channels are open and active, the glands in the brain can produce the needed hormones for balance and both hemispheres of the brain remain cohesive and mutually communicative. When the pineal gland is stimulated, it’s production of melatonin stays active, which inhibits sexual development. By practicing simple techniques including several minutes of candle gazing (trataka) the process of puberty can gently be delayed and entered into gracefully when youth are more mentally and psychologically ready.
Due to all the additional hormones and additives in foods today, children are entering puberty even earlier and experiencing issues such as obesity on top of it all. With the addition of yogic practices the health and well-being of our children can be assured as well as calming those sometimes ‘monsterous’ years teens.
The practices that can help most, when practiced between age 7-11 (and by teens as well) are Sun Salutations, Nadi Shodhana Breathing and Mantra (sound repetition). Here is an example of a simple sun salutation:
Written by: Stasia Bliss