Did you know that 80% of Americans do not follow the suggested exercise guidelines? Teenagers should undergo at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense activity per day to develop and enhance their bones, muscles, and cardiovascular system. As a result, they are receiving enough physical development support.
In America, there are almost 22 million youth aged 13 to 19, accounting for nearly 15% of the population. Yoga is an excellent activity for teenagers since it can be tailored to each individual’s aptitude and practised at varying intensities. Yoga can help kids achieve their goals, whether they desire to better their emotional, physical, mental, or all of the above.
HOW TEENS YOGA CAN ASSIST
Two adolescent girls practising yogaA teen is someone aged 13 to 19. Teens are typically eager to explore new activities when they enter adulthood in order to navigate their newly found independence. During these years, they frequently struggle with identity, feel misunderstood, and are subjected to misinterpretation. Teens’ problems are frequently disregarded, undervalued, or dismissed.
Yoga for teens, thankfully, is a thorough system that may not only avoid but also help resolve these concerns. It can help kids regulate their emotions and other frequent difficulties, allowing them to traverse their adolescent years more efficiently. Here’s how it’s done:
Obesity and overweight: Weight problems among teenagers continue to develop, impacting one in every five (20.6%) adolescents aged 12 to 19. Overweight people are more likely to acquire a variety of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, joint discomfort, sleep apnea, breathing problems, and even psychological consequences. Many yoga weight-control programs can assist youngsters in combating obesity by encouraging slow and moderate weight loss. They use long and frequent yoga sessions, nutritional components based on yoga, residential components, and home practice. Yoga has been linked to a lower BMI and can be a healthy approach for teenagers to prevent being overweight and live a better lifestyle.
Bullying: Adolescents are subjected to bullying far too frequently, which can result in psychological harm. Yoga boosts self-esteem by developing inner strength. Yoga’s meditative parts can be highly good and uplifting for teenagers, allowing them to see their defects in a new perspective. This can help to counteract bullying and offer people an opportunity to get to know themselves better so they don’t take it out on others. Yoga influences power by educating practitioners not to react reactively and to be their best selves. This assists you in discovering your inner power and calm. Yoga can help us all achieve a place of contentment and put an end to bullying, whether you are taking your frustrations out on other people or having them do the same to you.
Acne: Acne on the face is common in youngsters as they enter their adolescent years. It is one of the most common problems among teenagers and frequently causes emotional anguish. Acne-causing chronic inflammation is frequently linked to an unhealthy lifestyle. Teenagers may experience chronic inflammation as a result of poor diet, weight gain, and stress. Yoga, by encouraging a healthy diet, can help youngsters learn to live a healthier life. Furthermore, practising yoga as a soothing practice can help to reduce stress. The combination of eating healthier, reducing stress, and participating in yoga as a moderate form of exercise promotes a healthier lifestyle, which reduces the inflammation that causes acne.
Self-esteem and body image: Almost all teenagers have low self-esteem and a negative body image at some point. Low self-esteem is a mental illness that causes people to see themselves as inadequate and, in severe situations, worthless. Yoga can help teenagers dramatically improve their body image if they approach it with an open mind. Yoga is a tool for body appreciation, inner reflection, and healthful movement, and it improves the body image and mental health of active practitioners. You can escape the world and turn your emphasis to what is inside you by focusing on the inner journey that gives individual awareness of body, mind, and breath and engagement in the present moment. It promotes gratitude for yourself and your body, which can help to eliminate negative self-image. Although most people indicate that yoga helps them increase their self-esteem, some people report negative effects from comparing themselves to others in their class. It is preferable to locate a yoga instructor that emphasizes gratitude and a class with a varied collection of students. This will help them focus on themselves, ultimately improving their self-esteem and body image.
Stress: Many kids become overburdened with daily obligations such as school, low self-esteem, relocation, and other stressful situations. When this occurs, their minds and bodies are wired to react to perceived danger by activating the fight, flight or freeze response. This causes an increase in heart rate and blood flow, as well as nausea. The same mechanism that triggers the fight, flight or freeze response can also deactivate it. This relaxation response aids in the relocation of your sense of well-being. Teens who practice this response and other stress management techniques have more control in difficult situations. Yoga, which promotes relaxation and teaches awareness of the body, mind, and breath, can help teach these skills. Furthermore, the most stressed parts of the body are the neck, shoulders, and back, which can be relieved with basic yoga poses and stretches. Incorporating yoga into stressful situations in your life can reduce stress and increase productivity. This could be before a test, before bed, or when studying for teenagers. There are yoga classes specifically tailored for teenagers that teach them stress management skills that they may apply in their daily lives.
Teens spend 45 hours a week on average in front of screens, which leads to cyber addiction. Parents are getting increasingly anxious that their children’s reliance on-screen technology will lead to addiction. This addiction might lead to decreased attention span in the classroom. Yoga allows teenagers to detach from technology and focus on themselves. Yoga encourages people to live healthier lifestyles by reducing their reliance on the internet and video games. People begin to sleep better, eat better, communicate more effectively, and increase their involvement in activities outside of their homes. These modifications can provide kids with mental clarity, allowing them to realize their harmful relationship with video games or social media and take a step back. Furthermore, it can alleviate the stressors that arise when teenagers are removed from their devices, thereby aiding in the removal of the addiction.
Underage drinking: Alcohol is the most often consumed substance among teenagers in the United States. Yoga is an excellent exercise to engage in when dealing with substance misuse or addiction. This is because yoga is soothing and helps to improve the mind-body connection and awareness, both of which are harmed by substance misuse. Teenagers who participate in extracurricular activities are considerably less likely to drink alcohol because social interaction gives them the purpose and self-esteem that they seek when they resort to alcohol. It assists people in remaining calm, grounded, and making better decisions.
YOGA’S BENEFITS FOR TEENS
Teenagers are going through a lot of mental, physical, and life changes at this age. Teaching yoga to teenagers can help them navigate these transitions with ease. Some of the numerous advantages of yoga for teenagers include:
- Yoga can help youngsters become more aware of their bodies and improve their physical health. Pose sequences increase flexibility while developing balance, strength, coordination, and stamina.
- Improves optimism: Because of hormonal fluctuations, teenagers have heightened emotions. Yoga helps individuals develop hope while looking forward and avoiding intrusive thoughts and negative sentiments.
- Develop self-control and discipline: Yoga promotes mindfulness, which reduces impulsivity, increases patience, and improves attention. It also promotes bodily awareness. This assists teenagers in navigating and coping with obstacles.
- Yoga is a non-competitive activity that allows practitioners to focus on themselves, which improves self-esteem and body image. Many kids suffer from low self-esteem as a result of peer pressure, bullying, and body image difficulties. Yoga teaches teens to be grateful, which allows them to think rationally and accept their bodies.
- Improves concentration: Yoga helps youngsters manage their concentration and pay attention. Improving student attention span might help them do better in school and other extracurricular activities in which they want to flourish.
YOGA RISKS FOR TEENS
Teenagers should enrol in smaller classes so that the instructor can pay close attention to them. They should strive to enrol in a course that matches their skill level. Avoid enrolling in a more advanced class. If they are not physically prepared, they may experience stress and worry, which is the reverse of what they should expect from teen yoga courses. It is recommended that individuals consult with a doctor before participating in a yoga session if they have any existing medical concerns. Before commencing the yoga session, make sure to inform the instructor of any existing physical ailments or limits they may have so that they may provide you with modified postures if necessary.
TEENS YOGA POSES AND EXERCISES
Allow us to introduce you to some different yoga positions and practices that will assist in
- Improving your breathing,
- Balance, and
- Stress reduction through relaxation
Teenagers benefit from alternate nostril breathing because it helps them feel more balanced and peaceful. Before you begin the exercise, make sure you have a few minutes to spare. Begin by sitting comfortably and placing the thumb of your right hand on your right nostril. Exhale slowly through your left nostril and count to 5, then inhale slowly through your left nostril and count to 5. Then, using your right finger, seal your left nostril and repeat the process. Repeat this process (exhale, inhale, switch sides) numerous times.
Benefits: There are numerous advantages to practising breathing exercises on a daily basis. These benefits include reduced stress, increased lung function, enhanced cardiovascular function, a lower heart rate, and overall improved well-being.
Risks and contraindications: Although this is generally safe for most people, you should consult your doctor first if you have asthma or any other lung or heart issue. Stop immediately if you suffer shortness of breath or dizziness. If you become agitated, you should discontinue the breathing practice.
Begin on your hands and knees, with your knees exactly beneath your hips and your hands under your shoulders, in Downward Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana). Turn your toes under, spread your fingers for support, exhale, and lift your knees off the ground. Push back and raise your tailbone away from your pelvis toward the sky. Allow your heels to move toward the floor, and press your hands into it. Bring your head between your arms and stretch your shoulder blades away from your ears. Maintain this posture for 2 to 5 minutes.
This yoga pose provides numerous advantages. These advantages include lower-body stretching and upper-body strengthening. It can also increase blood flow, which improves circulation. The downward-facing dog can correct posture that has been harmed by backpacks during adolescence while also strengthening foot muscles.
The downward-facing dog should not be practised if you have carpal tunnel syndrome since it produces numbness and weakness in the hand and fingers, which should bear the majority of your weight in this pose. Furthermore, if you have a hip, arm, or shoulder injury, you should avoid this yoga posture.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (supra buddha konasana): Lie on your back, bend your knees, and bring your feet as close to your pelvic bone as possible. Open your knees to the side so that your feet touch. You can alter this by placing bolsters under your knees, depending on your flexibility. Hold your arms on your belly or out to the side for five minutes while taking slow, deep breaths. This yoga posture can also be performed upright and is known as the bound angle stance (buddha konasana).
Benefits: This pose stretches your hips, inner thighs, groin, and knees thoroughly. It stimulates blood flow in the pelvis, which can alleviate menstrual cramp pain. The kidneys, ovaries, heart, and prostate gland are all stimulated by the reclining bound angle stance. It is beneficial for people who have flat feet, sciatica, asthma, or high blood pressure.
Risks and contraindications: This position should not be attempted if you have a groin or knee injury. You should not force this stance, and if your flexibility isn’t quite there yet, try a modified variation of it.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A TEENAGER ENGAGE IN YOGA?
The amount of yoga you should practice depends on the benefits you want to achieve; nonetheless, consistency is essential. If you want to get the various benefits of yoga, you must practice on a regular basis. Although attending a yoga session once a month may help ease tension, it is just temporary. If you want to improve your stamina and flexibility, you should attend a yoga class at least three to four times every week. Speaking with a yoga instructor about your goals and ambitions can assist you in developing a strategy to guarantee you practice yoga on a regular enough basis to attain them. Going to a class becomes superfluous over time, and it might become a practice that is completely incorporated into one’s life. Some youngsters even enrol in Yoga Teacher Training programs to further their knowledge and practice of the discipline.
WHAT KIND OF YOGA IS SUITABLE FOR TEENS?
There is no one type of yoga that is optimal for teenagers. It varies tremendously depending on what you want your child to get from it. Examine your child’s age, physical shape, and experience to determine the most appropriate and engaging yoga. Some forms suitable for a youngster under the age of twelve include, but are not limited to:
Hatha yoga: A series of standing and sitting asanas poses that focus on stretching and breathing are common in Hatha yoga. It is thought to be the finest yoga for beginners owing to its leisurely pace, and it is suitable for children over the age of four.
Yin yoga: Yin yoga is characterized by slow, deliberate movements that stretch deep connective tissue and enhance flexibility. It is simple enough for most children over the age of four to enjoy.
Nada yoga: Also known as “the yoga of sounds,” nada yoga is a great approach for young children to get started with yoga by focusing on meditation and relaxation. It promotes the growth of the intellect and body while also increasing confidence and self-esteem. Yoga can be started at a young age.
Restorative yoga is a slow, contemplative form of yoga in which supports are used to support the body while holding poses for extended periods of time. This is the finest type of yoga for parents who want their children to feel relaxed and content. It is advised for youngsters over the age of eight who have had some previous yoga experience.
Vinyasa yoga combines breathing with a series of moves that flow together to provide a rapid and fluid routine. It is frequently performed to music with beats that correspond to the sequence, giving it high energy and enjoyable to engage in. Vinyasa yoga ranges in difficulty and is best suited for older children around the age of twelve who have prior yoga experience.
Bikram Yoga: These are also known as hot yoga classes. They heat rooms above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in order to boost humidity to 40%. These 90-minute lessons incorporate two breathing techniques and a series of 26 poses with the goal of emptying out body toxins and strengthening muscles. Bikram yoga has dangers, including overheating, and it is not recommended for people with high or low blood pressure or any cardiac problem.
Iyengar Yoga: This style of yoga emphasizes the structural alignment of body parts through asanas. It differs from other styles of yoga in three ways: precision, sequence, and prop utilization. Iyengar yoga is great for anyone wishing to gain strength and stability because poses are held for longer periods of time.
WHY SHOULD TEENS PRACTICE YOGA?
- Yoga is beneficial to teenagers for a multitude of reasons. However, the following five factors have led to an increase in the number of youths enrolling in yoga lessons in recent years:
- Yoga teaches good coping techniques to teenagers, which helps them cope with worry. Yoga practised by teenagers results in more stable emotions.
- Yoga teaches teenagers to remain in the present moment, which helps them stay focused. This is accomplished through proper yoga postures and meditation. When dealing with external stress and high school exams, kids can use yoga practices to relax.
- Yoga promotes self-esteem in youth. It is non-competitive, unlike many other sports popular among youth, allowing people to focus on themselves while practising appreciation and feeling fulfilled.
- Many bodily changes occur during the adolescent years, and yoga can help teens cope with them. It accomplishes this by uniting mind and body while sculpting and toning muscles.
- Yoga aids fatigued teenagers by relaxing the mind and minimizing overstimulation. This helps kids stay awake and attentive by reducing the tension and stress that their days frequently bring.