Yoga can be beneficial to all, but especially teenagers who might be going through physical and emotional changes. It aims to restore the balance between the mind, body and spirit, while helping teens find a sense of confidence and inner peace. According to best-selling author Thia Luby of “Yoga for Teens,” imbalances of the chakras -- life force -- and body chemistry can manifest in the form of mood swings and rebellion. Practicing yoga regularly can help teens maintain balance within their chakras and keep their minds and bodies strong. Discuss the benefits of yoga with your teen and demonstrate various yoga poses that can help them cope with everyday life.
Mountain pose is considered a foundation pose in yoga and is where teens should begin for standing poses. Teens have a tendency to slouch while sitting at school and at home, causing tension in the back and shoulders. Mountain pose teaches proper body alignment and improves posture. It also relieves tension and stress because the pose aims to create a sense of relaxation by standing tall and engaging in deep breathing. Teens should begin in this pose and hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
Cat pose is a gentle, rejuvenating pose that relieves stress after a long day of carrying heavy backpacks or hauling books back and forth to class. Arching like a cat allows teens to better focus on their deep breathing, while increasing flexibility of the spine. Cat pose can also loosen muscles in the upper neck and back and provide menstrual pain relief. According to Yoga Journal, the cat pose is typically paired with the cow pose on the inhale for a continuous flow of yoga poses.
Teens can replicate the steady, gracefulness of a tree to create and maintain body balance. This basic balancing pose is performed on one foot to teach body awareness while strengthening the spine, calves, thighs and ankles. Like many yoga poses, the tree pose promotes positivity, keeping teens calm and happy. Tree pose should be held for 30 seconds to one minute. After exhaling, the standing leg should be reversed and the practice repeated for the same length of time.
Child’s pose is a calming resting pose that is beneficial to try at the end of a yoga session. The head is lower than the heart, boosting circulation to the face while relieving anxiety, stress and fatigue. As the torso stretches forward, the spine is lengthened and the thighs, hips and ankles become more toned. It’s important to breathe deeply during the child’s pose. As a resting pose, child’s pose can be performed from 30 seconds to three minutes.