By Jenny Park
There doesn’t seem to be a Yoga teacher training course that is specifically designed for reaching out to teens. It may be based on the perception that teens aren’t interested. Maybe some instructors get so much positive feedback from working with younger children that working with teens looks difficult at best.
There’s no doubt about it, being a teenager can mean going through some tumultuous times. The hormones, the growth spurts, and the insecurities are just a few of the issues that teens face. High school can be a difficult time period, even for the most well adjusted teenagers! Recent studies have shown that Yoga may offer some stress relief as well as instill a sense of calm for many teens. And stress relief is good for almost anyone, regardless of age.
During junior high and high school, teenagers become more aware of their bodies. This can often lead to feelings of self-consciousness and even negative body images. However, asana, pranayama, and meditation can be a way for kids to connect with their bodies in a healthy way so that they can develop a more positive self-image. This can go a long way toward boosting self-esteem. Another positive aspect to Yoga is the improvements it can bring about in posture as well as concentration. Having bad posture can lead to back and neck pain and can affect teens for the rest of their lives. Learning to stay focused and on track is a very important life skill that Yoga can teach people.
Although many teens are active, some of them do not enjoy competitive sports. This can be for many different reasons, including embarrassment of how they look or the fear of not being good enough. However, Yoga is definitely not competitive. It teaches a person to look inside and not outside for validation and respect. It can also lead to better sleeping patterns and greater energy levels.
Yoga training emphasizes healthy living and the importance of respecting and growing the mind-body connection. Teens who practice Yoga may be more likely to stay away from alcohol and other substances (including certain unhealthy foods) that will harm their bodies. They will learn that their bodies should be nourished in ways that are healthy and respectful. It can teach them about discipline and strength but it can be fun at the same time. Teaching teenagers about the benefits of Yogic techniques can often lead to healthier lifestyles that can impact them for years to come.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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