It may be beneficial to master some basic poses and actions before joining a yoga session for teens. It can boost self-esteem and help a teen decide whether or not to continue practising yoga.
You can practice the exercises with a yoga teacher first and then teach them to your teen if you have one. Alternatively, your teen can read the instructions and then try the tasks.
It should be noted that perfection is not essential. Instead, please read the directions, perform the activity, and review them again to see what you missed.
The following exercise promotes basic elbow and shoulder awareness. The elbow awareness practice may only need to be done once or twice. Shoulder exercises can be in and of themselves and raise awareness.
EXERCISE FOR BASIC ELBOW AWARENESS
Straighten your elbow and concentrate on one arm. Then gently bend it. Repeat many times while remembering how your elbow feels when it is straight. Rep on the other side.
Keep in mind to repeat the action gently and smoothly.
AWARENESS OF THE BASIC SHOULDER
Following are four basic shoulder mobility exercises performed by a teenager at home. These can be done as a shoulder warmup for any activity, including yoga.
Raise your shoulders while keeping your arms down. Lift them as high as you can. Pause, then slowly let go.
Imagine that you can continue lifting your shoulders while keeping them lifted.
Repeat several times.
Depression in the Shoulders:
Do the inverse now. Lower your shoulders. Although the amount of movement will be little, there should be a noticeable sensation of muscle activation. Take a breather and then relax. Repeat several times, focusing on calm, smooth activation and relaxation.
Scapular Protraction (Shoulders Forward)
Move your shoulders forward while keeping your arms by your sides. Take a breather and unwind. Repeat several times. When you move your shoulders forward, notice how your shoulder blades separate. When you relax, you should see them shifting slightly inwards.
Scapular Retraction (Shoulders Back)
Then, bring your shoulders back. Take note of how your shoulder blades glide towards each other. A powerful sensation of muscle activation should also be felt between your shoulder blades and spine. Relax and do it again.
This movement can be used as an overhead shoulder exercise. It can also be used as a warmup for downward-facing dog and sun salutations.
Raise one of your arms above your head.
- Raise one shoulder. Feel your shoulder blades rise. Take note of how your collarbone is elevating. Repeat a couple of times more.
- Straighten your elbows after elevating your shoulder. Relax and do it again.
- Add the wrist, palm, and fingers last. Raise your shoulder, straighten your elbow, open your palm, and spread your fingers to make them feel long.
Repeat this several times more, and then do the same with the other arm.
LIFT OF THE CHEST
A sunken chest can reflect and encourage low self-esteem in youth of either gender. This chest raise exercise can help you gain awareness and control of your upper body and ribs. It may also assist in boosting confidence and improving posture.
This exercise can be performed while sitting or standing erect.
Concentrate on the sternum. Raise your sternum. Please take note of how your front ribs feel as they raise. Check to see if you can feel your ribs pulling down.
Relax before repeating.
Once you’ve gotten a feel for your back ribs pushing down, you can try to force the lifting of your sternum by actively tugging your ribs down. If you do this repeatedly, you can convert it into a breathing exercise. In order to inhale, pull your back ribs down. Exhale by relaxing your muscles.
This exercise will also help you develop your back muscles.
The chest drop is a complement to the chest raise.
Pull the sternum and front ribs down while sitting or standing erect. It is possible to unwind and allow your ribs to sink. Make the action active instead. Feel your abdominal muscles squeezing your front ribs.
Relax and do it again.
Stop the forward bend before you feel any soreness in your low back. If that fails, skip this exercise.
WEIGHT SHIFT FROM FRONT TO BACK IN STANDING
Weight shifting is a simple approach to gaining awareness of and control over your centre of gravity. It can help you reconnect with your body.
Stand with your feet slightly apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Shift your body forward while keeping your spine erect. Take note of how your forefeet and toes press into the floor. Just enough to allow you to relax.
- Repeat a few times, going gently and notice how your feet’s pressure changes as you shift your upper body forwards and backwards relative to your feet.
- Once you have a basic feel for pressure adjustments, the instructions can get more specific.
- Shift your weight forward enough so that your forefeet and toes press down evenly.
- Maintain equal pressure during the pause.
- Then, return to the rear edges of your heels. With your weight over the rear borders of your heels, pause.
- To maintain equilibrium, you may find yourself waving your arms back and forth. That’s all right.
- Rep with a pause in either position.
- Another alternative is to alternate your weight between your front and middle foot. For the middle position, press down evenly with your heels and forefeet.
- Shift forward so that your toes and forefeet are evenly pressed down.
- Then, shift back so that your forefeet and heels are evenly pressed down.
MEDITATION ON FRONT-BACK WEIGHT SHIFTING
Weight shifting can be turned into a form of meditation. The idea is to adjust the speed and pattern of the exercise such that it is smooth, peaceful, and naturally relaxing.
Take note that the fourth component of the rhythm in the exercise below is to relax.
This is a four-part activity!
- Shift your weight to your toes and forefeet.
- Raise your heels.
- Keep your weight forward and your heels lowered.
- Return your weight to your heels and forefeet.
Recognizing when part of your foot is only softly touching the floor is a feature of weight shifting. As a result, when shifting forward, you’ll be able to tell when you’ve moved far enough forward that your heels only gently contact the floor. You can then lift them. Keep your weight forward when putting your heels back down so that you may lightly touch your heels down. Take a breather here. Then reverse your weight.
SHIFT IN LATERAL WEIGHT
Begin with weight on both feet and knees slightly bent for the lateral weight shift. You can change the posture of your feet so that they are parallel or turned out to varied degrees.
Shift to one foot from the centre. Maintain a straight posture with your torso. Shift your pelvis, ribcage, and head as a single unit to one side.
Take note of how the foot you’re shifting towards presses down harder than the other.
Repeat on the same side a few times before switching.
SHIFT OF LATERAL WEIGHT WITH A FOOT LIFT.
After that, add a foot raise. Change to one foot. Then, without moving your upper body, try to lift the opposite foot. As you try to elevate your other foot, you may observe that the foot and ankle of your standing leg tighten. Lift the foot just high enough that skin contact is no longer felt. Pause, then place your foot back down. Then, move to the centre.
This can also be converted into meditation.
- Change to one foot.
- Raise the other foot.
- Put your foot down.
- Transfer weight to both feet.
This can be done several times on the same side.
LOCATING YOUR WEIGHT
When practising the lateral weight shift, whether with or without a foot lift, one thing you may do is adjust such that both feet press down with equal pressure.
You can practice standing with even pressure on both feet while in a mountain position, whether your feet are together or apart. You can also opt to place your weight forwards, towards your toes and forefeet, or more centrally, between your forefeet and heels.
POSE OF A TREE
Shift your weight to one foot for the tree position. Shift your weight forward so that your toes and forefeet press down, but your heel remains stationary. Place your second foot onto your inner thigh and lift it up. Press your foot against your thigh slowly.
Tree Pose in Yoga
- Take note of how your foot influences the thigh of your standing leg.
- Extend your arms to the sides or join your hands in prayer in front of your chest.
- Fix your gaze ahead and slightly downward, using a gazing point that will help you stay balanced.
Repeat on the other side.
TWIST IN THE STANDING
This standing twist can help you become more aware of your hip joints, pelvis, waist, and ribs.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees straight. Draw your ears away from your shoulders, allowing your head to glide back and up and the back of your neck to seem long.
Rotate your hips to the right. As much as possible, keep both knees pointed straight ahead.
Turn your sternum to the right, and thus your ribcage. Turn your head to the right to add a neck twist.
Scan your awareness through your body for each breath while holding this stance.
- Try to deepen your pelvic rotation while keeping your knees straight ahead.
- Then, while feeling both the fronts and backs of your ribs, strive to deepen your ribcage turn.
- Then, if you’re turning your head, make sure your neck is long and try to deepen the turn by shifting your eyes as far to the right as feasible.
If possible, repeat the scan two or three times before relaxing. Allow a few moments to relax before repeating on the opposite side, if necessary.
SHIFT IN SEATED LATERAL WEIGHT
If you are confined to a desk chair, you can perform a seated variation of the lateral weight transfer.
You can move your ribcage to the right while sitting in a solid chair so that your right sitting bone presses down. Then go back to the centre.
Repeat many rounds before shifting to the left sitting bone.
After that, aim to find the intermediate position with your weight evenly distributed across both sitting bones.
TWIST IN THE SEATING
The seated twist is another alternative if you’re locked in a chair at a desk.
Maintain even weight on both sitting bones when performing the seated twist on a chair. Turn your ribcage to the right without moving your arms. Stretch your neck and turn your head to the right. Feel the fronts and backs of your ribs, gradually intensifying the turn to the right with each inhale and exhalation.
Rep on the opposite side.
You can try the seated twist in either direction, with your weight on one of the sitting bones or the other.
TILTS IN SEATED PELVIC
A pelvic tilt is another exercise that may be done while sitting. Learning the seated form of this exercise initially may make learning the standing version easier.
Lift your sacrum so that your pelvis tilts forward while sitting near the front of your chair with your feet even on the ground. Maintain your torso upright and pay attention to how your lumbar spine bends backwards. Return to your starting point. Repeat several times.
Practice noticing changes in your pelvic tilt. Alternatively, pay attention to the change in lumbar spine bend.
Then, from the starting posture, lower your sacrum so that your pelvis tilts backwards. Take note of how your lumbar spine flattens.
Repeat several times.
When practising this exercise, make an effort to move gently and smoothly.
When performing this exercise while standing, make sure your feet are at a comfortable distance apart. They can be turned out or parallel. In addition, keep your knees slightly bent.
THE UPRIGHT LUNGE
Warrior Pose is akin to the upright lunge. It can be used to stretch the front of the back leg’s hip. It can also be used to strengthen the legs.
Step one foot back from a standing stance. Maintain a straight back knee while bending the front knee.
high lunge in yoga
Adjust your feet’s location so that they are roughly hip-width apart from side to side. Furthermore, space your feet far enough apart from front to back that your front knee is over a point between your toes and midfoot when viewed from the side.
Maintain an erect posture with your arms by your sides (or hands on your front knee).
Try pressing your rear foot down without moving your body. Try forcing your front forefoot down while keeping your heel from lifting. Alternatively, without allowing your hips to elevate, press down via the front heel.
Leg activation should increase as a result of foot-pressing activities. Hold the activation for a few breaths, then relax it. Slowly and gently activate and relax. Rep two or three times more. Then swap sides.
If you’re using yoga blocks for your hands, consider relaxing your arms gradually after activating your legs. When you relax your legs, revive your arms (by pressing down with your hands).
Once you’re comfortable with your legs, add your arms and torso. First, move your legs. Then raise your arms. Then, raise your shoulders and extend your elbows.
If you maintain your arms elevated, you can alternate between raising and pulling your front ribs on occasion. The raised arms make the pose more akin to a warrior pose.
The pyramid posture is a standing forward fold that can stretch and strengthen your hamstrings at the back of your thighs.
Place one foot forward and the other back. If your balance is good, you can have your feet around hip-width apart or narrower. Keep your heels about a leg’s length apart from front to back.
Step forward with your front foot. Turn the back foot out to a comfortable distance. Both feet should be flat on the floor, and the knees should be straight.
Bend forward and place your hands on your foreskins. Alternatively, if you have yoga blocks, position them on either side of your leg. Alternatively, if you can touch the floor with your knees straight, do so. Draw your earholes away from your shoulders to create the illusion of a long neck.
You can begin by concentrating on your front leg. Allow your heel to lift as you press down through the forefoot. Relax and do it again. Then, try pressing down through your heel without allowing your hips to twist. Repeat several times, pausing in the relaxed position each time. Then, repeat with the opposite leg.
Swap sides after practising both legs or after completing the front leg and then the back leg.
Experiment with activating one or both legs and maintaining the activation when standing up upon exiting the pose.
HALF-MOON WEIGHT SHIFT
A half-moon pose is a one-foot balance pose. You can execute it while balancing on one foot with your bottom hand elevated or on the floor for more support.
half moon yoga pose
When the hand is on the floor, the initial variation of this position includes a weight transfer.
Turn one foot out ninety degrees while standing. Shift your weight to that foot while keeping your hips square to the front. Bend to that side and position the bottom hand directly ahead of the turned-out foot on the floor.
If you can’t touch the floor, place your hand on a yoga block or a firm chair, or bend your standing leg knee.
Shift your weight forward so that your hand presses down harder. Then return to your standing forefoot and relax your hand. After a few repetitions, add a hand lift after shifting to your forefoot. Keep your torso still and your elbow bent to lift your hand.
Stand up and do it again on the opposite side.
To make the position easier to do, keep your weight on your forefoot while reaching your hand to the floor.
The following variant entails maintaining the body immobile.
Try pressing down through your forefoot with your palm on the floor without allowing your heel to elevate or your body to shift. Relax and do it again.
Try pressing down with your heel next. If your weight is over your foot in either option, you can try adding a hand lift.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (MODIFIED DOWNWARD FACING DOG)
The following is a basic variation of the downward-facing dog stance.
Begin on your hands and knees, hands in front of your shoulders. Push your chest and hips away from your hands so that your arms and spine form a straight line when viewed from the side. Adjust your legs so that your knees are beneath your hips or slightly ahead of them.
Yoga for beginners knees down downward dog
With your hands, push the floor forward while your feet push it back. To keep your feet from slipping, you may need to push down with your feet and back. Maintain the tension created by pressing your hands and feet into the floor, and move your ribcage away from your hands with your shoulders. As a result, your ears will be closer to your shoulders.
Hold for 5 to 10 calm breaths before relaxing. Rep three times or more.
Keep your head in line with your arms while keeping the stance. Focus your gaze on a point in front of your feet.
To rest in between repetitions, get down on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips.
- Downward facing dog is an inverted pose that places the head below the torso. Relaxation can be aided by focusing on a spot between the hands and the feet. In an arms-over-head position, it can also assist in opening the chest and stretching and strengthening the arms.
- The downward-facing dog should not be practised if you have carpal tunnel syndrome since it places weight on the hands and wrists. If you have any shoulder or arm injuries, you should also avoid them.
TOP OF THE TABLE
The table top could be thought of as a complement to the downward-facing dog stance.
- In downward dog, your arms are analogously “above your head.”
- They are equivalently behind your back on the tabletop.
Begin in a seated position, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind you on the floor, fingers pointing forward.
Lift your ribcage with your shoulders. Your shoulder blades will become closer together. They will also have the sensation of moving down your back. Your ribcage will rise in relation to your shoulders since your hands are on the floor.
Repeat a couple of times more.
Lift your hips after raising your chest.
Press into your forefeet without lifting your heels, with your hips elevated. Then, without allowing your hips to lift any more, try pressing into your heels. Muscular activation should be increased in either instance.
Maintain greater muscle activity while gradually elevating your hips and possibly your chest.
Relax and repeat a few times if desired.
Try the same stance with your fingers pointing back. Be warned that this alternative, fingers pointing back, can be painful on the elbows and may necessitate more coaching.
POSE WITH BOUND ANGLE
A sitting yoga practice known as bound angle pose or butterfly pose.
Sit with your spine straight, your feet together, and your knees bent out to the sides. Place the feet near the front of the pelvis. If this creates knee pain, move the feet forward more.
A woman in constrained angle posture performs yoga asana baddha konasana
Sit up straight, spine straight, and hands on the floor behind you. Extend your knees slightly outwards and forwards. You might feel some muscle tension in your hips or upper thighs. Repeat this action, relaxing first and then activating, to determine whether it helps you lower your knees closer to the floor.
The groin muscles can be stretched using a bound angle position.
Girls experiencing menstruation pain may benefit from a reclined variant of this pose.
reclined butterfly posture in yoga
POSE OF THE CORPSE
The final position when ending a yoga session is the corpse pose.
Lie down on your back with your feet spread and your arms by your sides. Raise your palms. Close your eyes for a moment. Rest for at least five minutes.
YOGA POSES WITH BENEFITS FOR TEENS
Why should teenagers do yoga?
Yoga is beneficial to teenagers for a multitude of reasons. Combining yoga asanas with breathing methods, or pranayamas, can have a huge impact on both the body and the mind.
- Yoga teaches good coping techniques to teenagers, which helps them cope with worry. It can also teach them problem-solving skills. Yoga can help teenagers enhance their emotional stability, mental clarity, and stress management.
- Yoga teaches teenagers to remain in the present moment, which helps them stay focused. They can learn this by following step-by-step directions for yoga positions and other exercises. They can also practice being relaxed while gradually exposing themselves to more difficult or uncomfortable yoga poses.
- Yoga can help teenagers improve their body image and self-esteem by teaching them to feel their bodies.
- During the adolescent years, several bodily changes occur. While dealing with these bodily changes, yoga can assist in maintaining emotional well-being.
- Yoga practice can assist fatigued youngsters in rejuvenating and awakening by improving their breathing. It can help in alleviating anxiety and stress. It may also aid with mood fluctuations.