The benefits of yoga for children have been gaining such widespread acceptance that many schools in the United States and the United Kingdom have begun incorporating some forms of yoga and even meditation into the curriculum. A new study shows that Kundalini Yoga in particular may have numerous benefits for children in the care of the state and their caregivers.
Kundalini yoga, or “yoga of awareness” as its practitioners describe it, is a regular practice with pranayama, meditation, kriyas, and of course, asana. Through regular practice, they tap into their kundalini energy (spiritual energy or life force) which originates at the base of the spine.
The practice is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra.
As reported by Science Daily, The University of Nottingham in the UK published a study in the Journal of Children’s Services entitled, “Kundalini Yoga as Mutual Recovery: A feasibility study including children in care and their carers.”
The study focused on how a regular practice of Kundalini yoga can benefit the mental health, well-being, and resilience of children in government housing and care.
The study was conducted in East Midlands where researchers tested a 20-week Kundalini yoga program in three children’s homes. They reported that the homes where participation in the program was high, had higher potential for fostering a sense of community and togetherness.
They also added that the children who participated in the program not only had improved mental and physical health, but may have far-reaching social and emotional benefits instilled in them because of the Kundalini yoga practice.
According to Dr. Elvira Perez the lead author of the study, the children may be able to take their yoga practice into other aspects of their daily lives such as having a regular routine when going to bed or even interacting positively with others.
“The findings are very exciting as they suggest that the practice of Kundalini yoga, involving both staff and children in care, is a plausible intervention that can lead to individual and social benefits. This could have potentially huge, wide-reaching benefits for children in care as well as for all the staff working in residential settings,” she said.
All of the participants in the study reported that they felt more relaxed and within themselves, and they felt more open and positive towards others – they also said others treated them more positively as well.
Perez hopes that the findings of this study will help create guiding principles when designing intervention programs for at-risk children and children in state care, as well as those who work with the children.