By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
How many of your students told you that they attended classes to improve their personalities? Just a quick guess: None of your students considered Yoga for improving their personality. Yet, personality improvement is a by-product of an improved sense of awareness. Yoga practitioners learn to become conscious of their thoughts, words, and actions. Additionally, one’s actions tend to reflect a deep sense of thoughtfulness.
Anyone who practices any form of Yoga, on a regular basis, knows that the results go much further than longer, leaner muscles and greater flexibility. The breathing and meditative portions of a daily Yogic lifestyle can bring peace and understanding to the mind. Pranayama and meditation can teach one how to cope with daily stress and anxiety, while learning how to find overall peace within one’s self. The breathing techniques, alone, can be an extremely useful tool to apply in all aspects of life.
Personality Development for Young People
Yoga can also help young people develop and grow positive personality traits. Meditation and Yoga encourage inner reflection by sitting quietly, tuning out extra stimulation, noise, and negative thoughts. This promotes the ability to learn who you are, what makes you happy, what makes you uneasy, and what is important in your life. Sometimes, life gets too busy, which causes impressionable young people to go with the flow of a group, instead of thinking about the long-term consequences. Yoga gives people, of all ages, the time to truly reflect, and make choices based on their own thoughts and feelings, rather than others’.
Yoga instills a desire and ability to feel gratitude for life. Through steady practice, young people learn to be mindful of each moment. They learn to appreciate all of the small things that happen during each moment. Perhaps it is a smile from a friend or the beauty of a wildflower. When young people learn to be grateful for the things in their lives, the little stresses and annoyances of daily life become less important. When you do not allow yourself to place importance on unimportant things, you become more grateful for those things that truly do matter.
Many young people, today, are not made to feel accountable for their actions, thoughts, or feelings. Sometimes, parents are making excuses for their children or getting them out of binds, without asking the child to take responsibility. Yoga and meditation can help young kids realize that they, alone, are responsible for their actions, and how they act, affects how others perceive them.
As youngsters struggle to find out who they are, the road can sometimes be rocky and full of twists and turns. Pranayama and meditation allow young people an outlet to find an inner sense of calm and peace. When a youngster possesses this important inner peace, others can easily recognize it. An inner peace allows you to make the best choices in life.
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