There’s a lot of people espousing the usefulness of yoga in Rouse Hill, and, now, there’s a programme in Sydney aimed at helping troubled kids and delinquents; Youth Off the Streets. Run by the non-profit Yoga Foundation, hopes to provide kids dealing with abuse, addition, homelessness, mental illness and other issues, with support and life skills.
This programme is based on a 2017 report from the US, aimed at looking at the effect of yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques on teenagers. The US juvenile system then noted that these helped in dealing with anxiety, drug use, and eating disorders, as well as improving resilience, body image, as well as the kids’ ability to control their own emotions and their sense of agency.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Helen Stallman, from the University of South Australia, explains why yoga in Rouse Hill and anywhere else are good, saying that these self-soothing techniques help people stay calm and feel calmer throughout their lives. It’s a good foundation, a good way to cope, instead of what some people usually turn to, like drinking, or overeating.
Stallman also points out that its more than just the yoga, it’s also about having the courage to ask for help. The techniques do help with giving people something to help cope when they feel upset or angry.
The programme operates out of five independent high schools across Sydney, and openly confesses that they’re not there to provide all of the answers to the kids’ lives, only to give them the support, and skills that they need to get their lives in order.
Still Sciberras, who possesses a Master’s in Health Psychology, is one of the people responsible for handling the programme and its participants, says that it helps kids mellow out; she says that these kids are always in ‘fight or flight’ mode, and the stillness meditation provides helps them introspect, awareness, and then controlling their feelings.
Sciberras says that the kids initially make fun of the activities, but, over time, they show appreciation of it, as it lets them look into themselves, and settle down, even giving them an option for dealing with outbursts.