As a yoga teacher, secondary school teacher of over 20 years and a mother of a 14 year old daughter, teen yoga is something that I’m becoming more drawn to and want to champion in and outside of schools. Mindfulness is already infiltrating primary schools around the country and yoga is simply this but you use the body to help you focus on the present.
Whether practising as adults or children, yoga has the same benefit, only the teenage mind is still developing and this is the time to give it those tools which we adults have been desperately striving for. Have a look at the following link to give you an insight into the adolescent brain: The life Centre .
Whether teaching adults or children my approach to yoga is one where the breath leads and everything falls into place. When we focus on the breath the mind becomes still. The overwhelming physical and mental changes teenagers endure can be frightening and stressful. A regular yoga practice will help to reduce these emotions and give them the skills to adjust their physiology, their posture and their breathing and help them to develop strategies on how to access a state of relaxation and composure before test-taking and other stressful situations they will inevitably encounter inside and outside of school.
My aim is to try to make yoga for teenagers a practice as acceptable as hockey or football, however some of the myths surrounding it need to be busted and the stereotype image of the perfect body in the perfect posture needs to be broken.
Here are some of the benefits and misconceptions about yoga to share with your teenager:
- Yoga is for everyone
- You do not have to be flexible, in fact it creates flexiblity
- Yoga is not a religion
- Yoga is helps you to learn about your body and develop a positive body image
- Yoga can be practised throughout your whole life
- Yoga helps to calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety
- Yoga helps you to focus
- Yoga helps you to have a more positive outlook
- Yoga improves self-esteem
Below are some links to websites about teenage yoga if you want to learn more:
I recently taught some taster sessions at John Frost High school with KS4 girls and have a lot of experience with teaching teenagers yoga during my 17 year as a Modern Languages teacher in a Secondary school in Brighton. I am a qualified German and French teacher and have an up to date DBS. I still do supply teaching in Secondary schools around Newport which will hopefully allow me to introduce yoga into schools in the near future.
If you think your child’s school would benefit from these sessions please let me know.