Yoga for Teens

         

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Teen yoga classes are springing up in studios as well as schools across the nation, and these are not your mamma’s yoga classes. Often including popular music with shorter class times, these classes effectively address the prime needs and desires of the teen and tween crowds.

For body and fitness conscious teens, yoga offers a unique and engaging supplement or alternative to sports and gyms. Whether you’re a teen who runs track, plays on the volleyball team or wants a fitness activity apart from teams and sports, yoga offers total body as well as mind-body benefits.

Some teens, and many guys, find their way to yoga because they hear of sports figures who use yoga practice to take their game to the next level. Yoga offers an effective adjunct to strength and speed intensive activities and not only balances the possible detrimental effects, but enhances strength and speed by growing functional capacity and flexibility.

Yoga can offer an independent total body workout for teens who recognize the value of exercise, strength, flexibility and stress reduction, but don’t go in for team sports or gym environments. Often teens have seen their parents practice and find their entree during a summer day when their schedule’s open, and then go on to embrace the practice and make it their own.

With growing independence and sense of self, the possibilities for self-directed practice are appealing. Once basic principles are mastered, yoga can provide a tremendous outlet for the creativity, energy and self-expression teens embody.

Teens are simultaneously occupying adult and dependent worlds, with adult viewpoints and capacities developing while still being under the protective - and sometimes limiting - wing of parents and family. With hormones spiking and falling, new experiences abounding and wings stretching, the meditative and stress-relieving aspects of a yoga class and practice can be understandably appealing.

Many schools, coaches and Physical Education teachers are incorporating yoga moves into the PE curriculum as well as adding yoga classes to the schedule. Capitalizing on the functional strength and added flexibility as well as gains in focus and concentration yoga imparts, schools are recognizing the value yoga can add to their offerings.

For teens who are preparing for exams and college entrance, yoga offers a unique and potent way to cultivate the focus and concentration they need to succeed in what may be new experiences. Entrance tests can last hours instead of the minutes of the usual high school class and applications take a patience all their own.

Finding healthy, fun, cool alternatives to adult venues and activities like dance clubs and down town areas can be challenging, and yoga provides a social setting, as well as a fitness and meditative focus. Many studios are creating specifically teen classes and teachers are focusing on this demographic for this very reason. Having the regularity of a class in the atmosphere of a studio can be an imaginative alternative to other gathering places. When the studio has tea or juice bar attached, the possibilities are even greater.

If you’re planning a Yoga for Teens class, keep these points in mind:

  • Shorter classes appeal to teens, try a 45 minute class instead of 55 minutes or longer.
  • Set a fun and friendly tone with popular music.
  • Partner poses can be a fun social addition to teen yoga class.
  • Ask for their input and find out their unique motivations.
  • Use name tags on the ends of new students’ mats so everyone can be called by name.


If you’re a teen looking for a yoga class, keep these things in mind:

  • Vinyasa classes are usually fast moving and flowing. They can difficult to learn at the very first, so be patient with yourself. If you’re looking for a workout, they are a great possibility.
  • Seeking quiet, relaxation and stress relief? Go for a restorative or meditation class. These are embodied practices of active relaxation and will pleasantly surprise you with the results.
  • If you’re already super flexible, go for strength building and find a class with longer poses and more standing and balancing poses. If you’re working on flexibility, basic classes with an experienced teacher are the way to go.
  • Think about carving out time for yoga just before and even during finals week. You’ll find it pays you back with more energy and efficiency rather than taking time.
  • Ask for yoga classes as part of your school’s PE curriculum. There are now standard courses just for teaching in schools.

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