Watch children and you see their natural postures are yoga asanas. Children sit in sukhasana, and perform acrobatics and antics that come to them naturally. Even infants unconsciously form yogamudras with hands. One is born with yoga, but the modern mind is preoccupied and we forget our natural inclinations. But youth today are rediscovering yoga, which is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning union.
Yoga had been on the decline because young people now give more importance to a competitive job market, and relationship issues, and battle negative emotions, rejection, and failure. But in such a scenario, yoga is necessary, as it helps them regain physical health and become calm, relaxed and balanced. Benefits: Youngsters report that by practising yoga, they exude strength, confidence, dynamism and inner calm, are more disciplined, think rationally, develop patience and smile more.
At many of the camps of the Art of Living, participants are youths and young adults and they learn special Sri Sri Yoga, which helps them become flexible both in mind and body, and helps them better cope with the stressful and competitive world they live in. Balance is the essence of Sri Sri Yoga. It is primarily Hatha yoga which the students learn.
This is integrated with other paths of yoga for full blossoming of the human potential. The routine best suited for young people is one that incorporates asanas (Hatha yoga), pranayama (Hatha yoga and Kundalini yoga) and meditation, a form of Raja yoga. Together with this, the routine taught combines knowledge that can be applied in day-to-day life or Jnana yoga, and seva which is Karma yoga. The last thing that is integrated into this programme is satsang or Bhakti yoga. Such a state of balance empowers the body to naturally energise and heal itself of problems, both physical and mental.
Yoga also helps younger people to lose weight and cures them of chronic diseases such as insomnia, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and migraine. But for youth, this is often secondary. They are more concerned with the energy and sense of wellbeing which yoga fills them up with, giving them a swing in their step.