Life comes with challenges, but with mindfulness, young people can learn to ride life’s ups and downs with clarity and calm.
In an encouraging and conversational tone, Gates straightforwardly presents mindfulness to a young audience without oversimplifying the content. The first part of the book explains the science of mindfulness and presents breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation as practice methods. Interspersed are appealing graphics: quirky illustrations of people of diverse shapes, gender representations, and skin tones; memelike quotes that offer encouragement; and short statements from young people using the practices in their own lives. The book ends with several mindfulness “challenges”—practice sequences that build daily. The practices instructed are a blend of traditional mindfulness techniques (body scan, mindful walking, etc.) and new strategies particularly relevant for young people (listening mindfully to one’s favorite music). Gates never strays toward dogma; readers are constantly encouraged to try the practices and notice their experiences. She makes it clear throughout that mindfulness is not about changing one’s life but about being more present for life as it is, one breath at a time. One unfortunate drawback is that some of the examples of potential stressors do reveal an assumption of privilege (schools offering modern dance, going on a ski trip with friends).
Overall, a worthy contribution not only to the market, but also within the broader canon of resources on Western yoga and mindfulness. (Nonfiction. 11-16)