Editor’s Note: Bullying affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. If you or someone you know is the victim of bullying, don’t stay silent. Reach out to a trusted person to help support you and find a way to end the bullying. You can also use practices from Kundalini yoga to heal the emotional damage caused by bullying, and help you through the situation.
Bullying is a serious problem that faces many people. Kids may be bullied because of their skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or any other factor that makes them appear different or vulnerable to a bully. Statistics report that 30% of teens are involved in instances of bullying, either as the victims or perpetrators. Bullying can take the form of physical violence, verbal harassment, gossip and rumor spreading, and increasingly through online bullying on social media sites. Bullying is not only limited to children and teens, and can also happen to adults in the work place or other social arenas.
Victims of bullying can suffer from emotional trauma, increased physical illness, and self-destructive behavior as a result of the bullying they experience. In the most extreme and tragic cases, bullying victims may be driven to suicide or to perpetrate acts of violence like the high school shooting that took place in Columbine, Colorado.
If you’re being bullied, it’s important to talk to someone about what is going on. It could be your parents, a teacher, a supervisor at work, or anyone else who can help you to deal with what is happening. Bullying often attacks your self-esteem, and may make you feel like people don’t care about you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Your family and friends want to help you through whatever is going on, so make sure you reach out to them and allow them to support you.
While not a magical cure, yoga can also be an avenue of support for victims of bullying. Working with Kundalini yoga kriyas, meditations, and mantras can help to repair damaged self-esteem, improve feelings of self-worth, and give people tools to help process their feelings.
To help improve your self-image and self-esteem, work with the navel center. A strong navel center, or third chakra, will help to increase feelings of self-worth, and diminish feelings of self-doubt. Try Advanced Abdominal and Navel Strengthening in Transformation Vol. 1 to work on your navel center. The exercises can be challenging, but with time you’ll increase your physical and emotional strength.
Also try the Meditation to Bless Yourself in I Am A Woman. Spend some time each day offering yourself the gift of love and blessing, and gently increase your self-image.
When you’re being bullied, it’s normal to feel anger towards the bullies. But holding on to that anger isn’t healthy, and can cause you to lash out at other people, including the people who can act as your support system. To help deal with the anger you feel towards the people who are bullying you try the Kriya to Relieve Inner Anger in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body, and the Burn Inner Anger Pranayam in Praana Praanee Praanayam.
To protect yourself from the negativity of bullies try Meditation for Protection and Projection from the Heart in Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart. This meditation builds up the arc line and creates a field of protection around you. It will help your heart to feel protected from the negativity that bullies are directing towards you, and also helps to increase your self-confidence.
You can also do “Surrounding Yourself with Protection Chii-a Kriya” in Reaching Me in Me. Yogi Bhajan taught “There comes a moment in your life when nothing works. If all shelter and hope is gone. When the enemies overcome and friends have left. Do this meditation.”
To deal with the stress and tension caused by bullying, try the Kriya to Throw Off Stress in I Am A Woman. This kriya includes a meditation with the mantra “Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful.” You can also try “Last” Meditation (also called Last Resort Meditation) in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World. This is a meditation that Yogi Bhajan gave for the times when nothing in life seems to be working, and when you feel that there is no one you can go to for help.
Alternate Nostril breathing is a quick and effective way to help calm yourself down in the moments after bullying happens. If you can find a quiet place that’s great, but you could also do Alternate Nostril breathing discreetly while sitting at a desk or table wherever you happen to be.
The meditation “Long Sat Nams to Neutralize Tension” is another way to help yourself relax after a bullying incident. The mantra “Sat Nam” will reaffirm your True Identity, and the extended chanting will help to slow your breathing and calm your mind and body. You can find this meditation in Relax and Renew.
You can also do the Transforming Negativity to Love Global Sadhana meditation to help you remove feelings of negativity, and help you to love yourself more. This practice is a combination of a Kundalini yoga meditation and a guided meditation for Self-Love that takes only 20 minutes a day, and can powerfully transform how you feel about yourself and the world around you.