According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the foundation, suicide occurs “most commonly when stressors are greater than the current coping ability of someone with a mental illness.” According to the Jason Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to preventing youth suicide, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged between 10 and 24. To prevent teen suicide, teaching young people how to cope with stress is essential. Yoga can play a role in prevention.
Kimberly Wilson of PEAK Kids Yoga decided to teach yoga to children because of the high suicide rate among teens in her city. She wanted to help them learn healthy ways to cope with stress.
Wilson wrote an email saying, “I strongly believe in bringing mindfulness programs into our schools.” “Our schools are dedicated to teaching lifelong skills and essential subjects, but they will be useless without mental and emotional health. Yoga aims to fill this gap.
Recent studies confirm Wilson’s belief about mindfulness. Behavioral Cognitive Practice released a study that showed mindfulness practices reduced suicidal risks and thoughts in 2012. In 2010, an article published in Psychology suggested that yoga could be a therapeutic intervention for troubled adolescents and children. According to the study, yoga can help adolescents struggling with anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression, and eating disorders.
Michael Jaidev DeNicola, through his organization Wild Awakening, takes boys between 13 and 16 on wilderness trips lasting several weeks to treat behavioral problems. DeNicola was inspired to start an organization that combined yoga and wilderness therapy for boys struggling with his yoga practice. AFSP reports that men are 3.5x more likely to commit suicide than women.
Wild Awakening Expeditions focus on three main components: Kundalini Yoga and backcountry hiking. They also emphasize healthy food, which promotes empowerment, growth, and mindfulness. DeNicola says that strong pranayama, which focuses on breathing awareness, is an effective Meditation technique for boys.
Yoga can be portrayed as flowery and feminine at first glance. DeNicola says that by the time wilderness trips are over, boys have agreed that yoga is a great way to build physical and mental strength.
DeNicola says that the boys who went on his expeditions quickly embraced meditation. DeNicola initially made meditations optional, but “What did each boy choose before going to bed?” “Come meditate,” DeNicola said.