Why is Yoga good for Teens

The teenage years are some of the best years of our lives, a time for discovery, changes and opportunity and yet they are also some of the most challenging years of our lives.  Dealing with growing up, school demands and social changes can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and concentration issues.   Sports and other physical fitness activities are a great way to channel these mental roadblocks.  Sometimes competitive sports are not for everyone, and do not ease the mind as well for some people. Therefore, exploring the benefits of teen yoga can be invaluable.

Many top athletes use yoga to build their strength and their focus so it is just as useful for the competitive teen boy rugby player as the teen girl who isn’t so keen on sport – everyone benefits; it helps all people become more aware of themselves both physically and mentally and it helps people relax.

In learning to relax young people gain more space in their heads, the more they relax the easier it is to let go of problems and memories as they surface, thus creating more space in their minds. This extra mental space can help young people find new solutions to their problems or new perspectives about various levels of their development – in some teens this also results in a change in the way they do things.

“Yoga is something that every child should be taught as a life skill. It is a practice that enables them to understand and experience how their bodies and minds works, and puts maintenance of their physical and mental wellbeing within their own control”
– Dr Peter Davies, School of Integrated Health at the University of Westminster

We retain 10% of what we read but 75% of what we experience” 

The physical benefits of teen yoga are vast and include:

* Builds strength of muscles and bones

* Increases muscle flexibility and mobility

* Helps improve posture through healthy movement patterns and ideal posture alignment

* Assists in development of coordination and balance

* Develops skills to relax and breath control awareness.

These physical benefits are valuable to teens and yoga instills a fit and healthy lifestyle in them while they are still young.  While these physical benefits are great, teens also need methods to channel their mental barriers.  Balancing the stresses of school, a social life, peer pressures, and other daily demands can be very challenging for teens.  Yoga is a healthy way to work out these pressures.

Some of the mental benefits of teen yoga include:

* Learning techniques to manage stress by redirecting thoughts and calming the nervous system

* Improves decision making by teaching teens to make choices that respect themselves and others

* Develops concentration skills by finding the ability to focus through breath and bodywork

* Helps provide a healthy body image by providing a strengthened internal perspective

* Helps strengthen self-image/self-esteem in a place free from media and other cultural influences

* Assists in learning to manage stress/anxiety/depression by providing a healthy way to explore the body and mind.