By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

There is a huge demand for teen stress management services, and Yoga teachers are sitting on a multitude of solutions for teens and their families. The reason is simple: Teens are at risk because of internal and external pressure.

This may seem like it is nothing new to most parents, but according to a survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), at Columbia University, teens are more likely to resort to illegal drugs or alcohol, due to high levels of stress.

Again, this should come as no surprise to adults, as the adult behavior is identical. Many adults use illegal drugs or alcohol, due to excessive stress. Teens will naturally copy familiar adult examples, which they have observed, over time.

On another note: If young celebrities, and professional athletes, are abusing themselves, why should we expect teens to be any different? These are who our children perceive to be role models.

The television is no longer a reliable “babysitter,” for young children or teens. Parents are challenged to censor entertainment, and become better examples than traditional role models. This comes at a time, when many middle-class parents may be working two jobs each, just to make ends meet.

What difference can Yoga make in the daily lives of teens? One major difference is bonding time with family and parents. Many families do not eat their meals together. This turns contemporary families into strangers, who live in the same home. From the time a child is born, there is a need for solid relationships, with the rest of the family unit.

If relationships within the family have become strained, due to divorce, separation, death, fighting, or illness, there is still time for mending family ties.

Professional counseling should be a consideration, as well as, participation in non-competitive activities. This is where Yoga can fit into the family’s weekly schedule. When families make an appointment to practice Yoga together, this will solidify the individual relationships within.

Yoga teachers and studios should run workshops or surveys to monitor local demand for family, teen, kids, or “mommy and me” Yoga classes. These classes make a difference in your community and will save the lives of “at risk teens.”

For parents who are seeking family-oriented classes, but cannot find them in their area, they can learn what they need to know from local Yoga teachers. If this is not possible, learn to develop a safe practice from Yoga books, videos, and courses. Your children can learn with you, as there are a number of videos and books designed for their age. Make sure that safety is your primary concern, and you will enjoy your bonding time.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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