Teenage yoga is a beautiful approach to assist your adolescent cope with the many mental and physical changes that come with growing up.
Starting in early or mid-adolescence is the perfect time for kids to practice yoga since it helps them manage stress and anxiety.
In addition, kids who practise yoga are less likely to skip school or feel threatened by social interactions due to its ability to teach self-awareness and empathy for others.
Yoga is a fantastic option for adults who want to keep active and healthy. It can assist your adolescent in developing a healthy body and mind in a structured manner.
However, teenagers may find yoga practice intimidating because they believe they aren’t flexible enough to perform it.
Let us first look at the benefits of yoga for teens.
- Stress Reduction – Yoga is an excellent stress reliever. Yoga practice entails practising breathing methods that can assist the body’s energy flow and reduce stress.
- Weight Loss –Stress can lead to overeating, which can result in weight gain. Hormonal changes in teenagers can also cause weight gain. In each of these instances, yoga can help you avoid gaining weight.
- Building strength- When done correctly, yoga stimulates you physically and in a safe manner. Many individuals are unaware that several yoga positions can aid in the development of bone and muscular strength.
- Improved Breathing- Yoga combines breathing exercises and postures that promote physical and emotional well-being. Yoga encourages youngsters to focus on their breathing to build awareness and to relax by breathing correctly.
- Improves Posture – Many yoga asanas can help you to improve your posture. Teenagers and toddlers who carry large backpacks sit or stand with a slumped-over posture. Yoga positions encourage you to keep an upright posture, which strengthens your spine.
- Improves Concentration – Yoga breathing techniques help to focus the mind. Yoga teaches children how to focus on the task at hand by using their breath.
Now that we know the benefits of yoga for teens, let us look at some yoga asanas and postures to help improve their mental health.
1. Standing Forward Fold
This position strengthens the knees and thighs while stretching the hamstrings and calves. The posture also extends your spine and strengthens your abs. It can also help you relax and de-stress before an exam.
- Standing with your feet slightly apart is a good idea (hip-width).
- Bend softly and hinge forward from the hips. Your spine and hamstrings stretch when you lift your head down and thrust your hips up.
- Bend your knees to the point where your palms are flat on the ground.
- For three to four breath cycles, stay in this position. Then, slowly inhale and exhale via your belly button.
2. Downward Facing Dog
Downward dog reduces tension, stretches the hamstrings and calves, strengthens the hands and legs, and energizes the body.
- With your hands and knees on the floor, prepare for the posture. Your knees should sit parallel to your hips, and place your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Spread your palms and carefully glide your hands forward, keeping your fingers pressed against the mat for grip.
- To form an inverted V with your body, turn or curl your toes under and steadily push your hips up. At this point, your knees should not be touching the ground.
- Make sure your knees are slightly bent and your feet are hip-width apart.
- For three breath cycles, stay in this posture.
3. Cobra Pose
The Cobra position extends the shoulder, abdominal, and chest muscles. It also improves flexibility and strengthens the shoulders and hands while allowing you to take in more air.
The posture is also beneficial to one's mood. It is not to be confused with the upward-facing dog position.
- Relax by taking a big breath.
- Lie on your stomach on the floor, legs straight. The tops of your feet should be in contact with the ground.
- With your hands beneath your shoulders, pull your chest up a little.
- Maintain a comfortable posture with your shoulders. Do not pull them up to the level of the ears.
- Slowly elevate your torso higher while slightly straightening your elbows. This stance is similar to that of a cobra with a raised hood.
4. Mountain Pose
It is an excellent asana for stretching and straightening your spine, especially if you sit slumped all day at school. In addition, the Mountain posture is a great way to relieve stress and tension in your body.
- Stand with your shoulders down and to your sides in a comfortable position.
- Keep your feet together at all times.
- Slowly raise your hands and connect them in a salutation (Namaste) or as if you were praying.
- Slowly extend your arms over your head and lean backwards to face the sky.
- For 10 seconds remain in this position.
5. Triangle Pose
The triangle position stretches the muscles in your thighs, hips, and groin. It relieves tension and relieves back pain and constipation while strengthening the back, hips, and thighs.
- Stand with your arms at your sides and your back straight.
- As you settle into the posture, take a deep breath with your belly button and relax.
- Extend your legs three to four feet apart, extending them to the sides.
- Make a 90-degree turn with your right leg so that it points to the right. Make sure your right kneecap and ankle are in line.
- Move your left leg inside a little so that your toes are at a 45-degree angle.
- Stretch your arms to the sides with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Inhale as you bend your body to the right at the hips. Keep your palms open and your hands straight.
- Your left hand would be on top, pointing up into the sky, while your right hand would be extended out and pointing down. Place your right hand on the floor, or your right ankle or foot, whichever is closest to you.
- Your shoulders should be parallel to one another. Then, slowly turn your head to examine your left thumb.
- Hold this position for a few breaths.
6. Tree Pose
The tree pose is a great way to strengthen your body’s equilibrium. It works the thigh and calf muscles, as well as the torso and groin. This position is beneficial for flat feet and can also assist with sciatica.
- Maintain a straight posture. Keep your feet close together.
- The right leg should be folded and put on top of the left thighs, with the toes of the right leg pointing downwards.
- The right leg should be parallel to the left leg at all times.
- Extend your arms in front of you.
- Take a deep breath in and try to create the Namaskar mudra with your palms.
- Balance the posture for as long as you can since balance is crucial in the Tree pose.
- Straighten your spine and feel the stretch from your toes to your fingers.
- Bring your arms and leg down with a deep breath.
- Carry on with the left leg in the same manner.
7. Corpse Pose
The savasana, or corpse position, is so named because it resembles a dead body’s calm and restful posture.
It assists you in entering a meditative state, which decreases stress and aids in tissue cell repair and regeneration.
The savasana is an excellent way to conclude a vigorous or fast-paced yoga session.
- Lie down.
- Allow your legs to separate by placing your feet around hip distance apart or to the mat’s outer edges. Toes are relaxed and pointing outward.
- Allow your arms to fall naturally to either side of you, palms facing up in a receptive attitude.
- Take a few deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth to release any remaining effort in your body or thoughts.
- Take at least 20 deep breaths here or as long as you like.
8. Child’s Pose
Your back muscles, hips, thighs, and ankles are all stretched in the child’s posture. Therefore, backache can be relieved with the proper practice of this asana. In addition, this position helps you sleep better by relaxing your body.
- Kneel on the yoga mat and close your eyes.
- Slowly ease yourself into a sitting position by resting your hips on your heels.
- Bend forward and place your brow on the mat.
- Maintain a straight line with your hands and stretch them out in front of you. The back muscles will begin to stretch a little.
- To maintain the chest open, spread the legs apart and place your tummy between the two legs.
- At least three to four breaths should be held in this position.
9. Bow pose
In the Bow posture, your thighs, hips, back, chest, and shoulders get massaged. This type of asana gives you renewed strength and vigour.
- Begin by laying down on your stomach.
- Bend your knees and use your hands to grip your ankles.
- Lift your chest off the ground by pressing your feet away from your head, ankles into your hands, knees hip-width apart.
- Take at least three deep breaths here.
10. Warrior Pose
The warrior posture provides a burst of energy and allows you to relieve stress with easy movements. It also helps to build muscle. You may do the warrior posture in three distinct ways. For novices, this is a basic one.
- Stand upright with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
- Extend your legs beyond the hips and spread your feet out to the sides.
- Stand tall by stretching your arms to the sides. It’s best if your arms are parallel to the ground.
- As you exhale, softly bend your right knee.
- Slowly move your right foot 90 degrees to the right while turning your head to the right. Your right leg and knee should create a correct angle.
- Turn your left foot 15 degrees to the left.
- Continue to stretch the arms and hold the position for four to five breaths.
11. Safety measures
Though yoga is generally a safe form of training, it does come with some precautions.
- Yoga does not advocate the use of extreme postures, and if they are to be adopted, students are advised to do so under expert guidance.
It is because certain poses can damage the muscles and other supporting structures of the body if performed incorrectly or without caution.
- Some poses are known to be good for blood circulation. It is usually the case for poses that involve the arms, like in the downward facing dog posture or headstands.
However, if you are not used to exercising this way, you should avoid these positions.
- Yoga practitioners often wear loose clothing when it comes to yoga practice. However, avoid tight garments because they may hinder your natural movements.
- High school students must not perform yoga by themselves; it’s better to enrol them in yoga classes.
Teenagers are generally prone to different health problems. Inadequate nutrition, lack of physical activity, smoking, and drug abuse are only some contributing factors to these conditions.
Yoga offers numerous benefits that can help teenagers maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid diseases.
By developing awareness of the body through yoga, teenagers can improve their health in the long term and gain its benefits as early as possible.
In addition, they will learn to respond positively to life’s challenges and cope well with stress without compromising their physical being.
The poses help to strengthen and relax the body and mind. The disciplines are made up of many different types with various techniques, from asanas (postures) to pranayamas (breathing exercises).
The more you practice, the more benefits you will receive, and it is up to you how much time you have to spend each day.
The benefits vary with each person; some people may only see minor improvements while others may significantly improve themselves.