Making yoga relevant and fun for the kids and teens in our lives is so important. With little exposure to quality kids and teen yoga, many teens may perceive yoga as boring. Or they might think that you have to be flexible or wear certain clothing. There are often so many incorrect assumptions made about yoga.
But, we can change this. Yoga, at its core, is all-accepting, regardless of ability or circumstances. And offering yoga to teens can help them with their health, growth, and development.
“Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, yoga teaches teens techniques for coping with the unique issues they are faced with every day—insecurity about their changing bodies, the enormous pressure to fit in, stressful schedules and uncertainty about their beliefs and their futures.” –Erica Rodefer
Also, we know that the brain continues to develop throughout the early to late teenage years.
“The prefrontal cortex is the area behind the forehead and is known as the -CEO of the Brain-, for its ability to plan, organize and regulate mood. The development of the prefrontal cortex gives you the ability to concentrate and think, rather than act on impulse, and is critical to being successful throughout life stages, whether in academics, career, or relationships. “ –Dr. Marilyn Wei
Research shows that yoga during this timeframe can help teens cultivate “executive functions” such as creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline.
Here are some easy ways to engage pre-teens and teens in yoga:
Pre-Teen Hip Hop Yoga
Each young person should get a turn if they choose. The first one picks their song and gets to lip sync and dance. The rest of the group is behind the singer, with a yoga sequence practiced beforehand. Have fun and be creative! Try to incorporate all 3 elements of yoga in your sequence: movement, breath, and rest.
Older Teen Yoga Tips
Let teens choose:
- Placement in room
- Journal topics
- How they participate
Teens usually like to understand the “WHY”, so be sure to explain why yoga is helpful. Also, this may not come as a surprise, but teens like to rest! Allow plenty of time for them to cultivate peace, stillness, and calmness.
For more information on this topic, here are a few of Bloom Yoga’s favorite teen yoga resources:
And don’t forget to keep a look out for upcoming yoga videos on our Bloom Yoga YouTube playlist!
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