As part of our Anti-Gun Violence Youth Employment Program, the Mediation Center is launching a “Youth Blogger” series of special posts authored by youth interns in the program. Read the post below by Youth Blogger, Dayania.

PhotoGrid_1449248318472As a youth intern, I recently participated in a yoga class at the Mediation Center. Yoga was interesting and a new experience for me. Before this, I always misjudged yoga and its purpose. It’s true what they say – you can’t really understand the purpose of something until you experience it.

I tried to go into this session with as much of an open mind as possible. Ignoring everything I thought I knew about yoga. I never really realized the hard work that goes into such an activity! Breathing is the core part of the whole thing. Realizing how to breathe properly is what controls your focus and helps you balance your life more. It’s funny how habitual breathing has become that we don’t even realize we’re no longer doing it right. I practice this breathing when preparing to play my clarinet. It’s really important that you fill up your diaphragm with as much air as possible so you can fully access all your potential. Breathing is really important to humans. Besides the fact that we need it to SURVIVE physically. We need it to sustain ourselves in general. The more unbalanced your life is the harder it is to breathe the proper way.

breathe-1Our lives are so chaotic and unfocused that we forget to focus on the small things. I have a really chaotic life so there is really not one moment where I am only focusing on one thing let alone only focusing on myself. Learning the many ways to step away from that chaotic things I endure everyday helped me be more willing to go against them and conquer them.

This activity is much different from exercising. It trains my mind. In this activity we focused on our toes. When was the last time you focused on your toes ? Besiiiiiidesssssss when we get our mani/pedis girl! It was eye opening . It went against everything I believed I knew! It was hard. Balance plays such a big part in our lives. If I cannot balance my emotions and everything going on inside of me how can I possibly expect my life to be any less chaotic?
Tiffany Viruet, the yoga instructor, said that what you put out is what you will take in. That’s why taking 15 mins out of your day just to think and focus on the little things you don’t usually do is so important.
You are stabilizing yourself so it will ultimately stabilize your whole life. Producing positive energy will also lead to other eventually producing the same.

balance-is-the-key-to-lifeWith so much going on in the world and what’s wrong with it, everyone should have a method that allows them to step away and relax and breathe. These kind of problems come with age. Think about it ! When I was 3 I didn’t need to be taught how to relax it just came easily. As life went on and I got older, I started to do more and the real world made me start to value the little things less. Like stopping and breathing for 3 seconds . It’s like you ask yourself what’s more important school work or breathing and we ultimately choose the thing we value more, which is really sad. Yoga is that training we need to make the little things intentional again. It was a great experience that I really enjoyed. It helped really balance myself in a sense where it gave me the skills to ground myself when I’m in any difficult situation. I definitely encourage my friends to try yoga!