Yoga for Tweens and Teens

If you think about it our tweens and teens hardly ever enjoy relaxing moments that don’t revolve around T.V. or the computer. Their lives are infused with competitive activities, whether academic or sports related. They’re also programmed to compare themselves to everyone around them. In my experience of teaching yoga to this range of kids, I have found that many of them really enjoy stepping out of their regular activities to try it.

I’m not going to say that every young person who I ever have taught ran up ranting and raving afterward, but when you see forty middle-schoolers in relaxation, perfectly still and quiet, it is amazing. Just like adults, they too crave a quiet time for their mind and physical movement that challenges them, but that doesn’t hold them to any set standards. Many of them especially enjoy yoga because it’s different than the usual P.E. and the breathing exercises stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, producing an overall, relaxed feeling.

Yoga may or may not be something to help your growing child, but it may be worth a couple sessions, just to see if it helps them let go of a little stress, or even helps them find another form of exercise that can help them stay healthy. A moderate practice, even just starting with one day a week, can take the edge off of teen depression. Try to go with them to a class at your local gym, or look for a class offered by your county. Ask them if they will give it a try with you and you might be amazed by how both of you feel after just one hour of practice.

Many teens are doing yoga as an alternate P.E. credit as well. At both gyms where I work, I almost always sign a sheet for one or two teenagers at the end of an evening class. This form just verifies that they attended their P.E. Looking back at my younger life, I often wish that I had taken my father’s advice more often (he was the one who introduced me to yoga and jogging). His motto was that if you’re feeling down, then try exercise before moving onto other remedies.

Don’t forget that Saturday, January 27, is Yoga Day USA. See if you can find a class for you and your tween or teen to try together.

Related articles:

Keeping Kids Fit
Yoga in Public Schools
Fit Family – Miami Moms Take Action