30 Aug Why do Teens need yoga?
My Teen yoga classes have been developed with respect to the anatomical and physiological differences between teens and adults. The Teen Yoga classes give each student their own yoga practice and a safe way to exercise, create life-long healthy habits and improve self-esteem and confidence.
Classes are dynamic, challenging, inclusive and fun! Amongst most adults who practice yoga on a regular basis there are probably only a handful who have been lucky enough to have been taught yoga as a child or Teen. If you have a regular yoga practice I’m sure you have often lamented “If only I had started this when I was young.”
Body Awareness Yoga is a great supplement to sport. It creates body awareness and can prevent injuries occurring and can help to heal existing ones. Yoga is the reason that many sports stars such as Ryan Giggs have had a long career.
Yoga is a very useful tool in highlighting the areas of strength and weakness in our bodies.
As soon we start practicing yoga we are more aware of how we sit, stand, move or play our chosen sport. I literally cringe when I see teenagers hunched over their iPhone or iPad! Send them to yoga! Even a weekly hour long yoga class can have a profound effect on our daily postural habits.
Anxiety and Stress Through yoga we can learn that anxiety is not useful or necessary – it’s a learned behaviour and habit that can be unlearned. The mindful movement and deep focused breathing in yoga soothes the nervous system. We learn that we can manage feelings of anxiety and replace these feelings with more positive and reasoned ones.
The teenage brain is incredibly adaptable. Practicing yoga as a young person can eliminate or reduce mental health issues. Increasingly, yoga is being used by adolescent mental health experts as part of the treatment for a variety of mental health issues
Focus- Yoga Chitti Vriti Nirodha” Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.
Teens are subjected to more information, stimulation and noise than ever before. How can they focus and learn at school when their brains are constantly bombarded? Their brains are becoming hardwired for instant gratification and in turn teens are becoming more impatient.
No wonder stress and anxiety levels and mental health issues are becoming the norm for teens. Yoga teaches us patience, considered actions and awareness. Teens need it more than ever! Anyone who has a regular yoga practice knows how it calms the chatter in the mind and allows clearer thinking. When trying to learn and absorb information this is so useful.
Many schools who have introduced yoga are astounded at the improvement in behaviour and teens ability to learn.
Social Conscience Yoga is not a dogma or a religion but there are codes of conduct in the Yamas and Niyamas. They are not rules but guidelines on how to live and treat yourself and others. They open to interpretation and discussion.
Discussing them with Teens is incredible! We often have the most insightful and profound conversations. Once we are aware and have brought them to life through discussion we start to incorporate them into our lives. The deeper aspects of yoga inform how we live in the world and how interact with and treat other people.
One school introduced yoga and an unexpected result of regular yoga classes was a massive reduction in bullying. Reason alone to teach yoga to teenagers.
About the author I teach yoga to adults, teens and families in schools, yoga studios and privately. I am always amazed how teens “get” yoga and I love teaching young people.