by Chelsea Brady

 

Over the last 5 years in teaching yoga to teenagers, I have witnessed amazing transformations happen in my students. I have seen the shyest possible people emerge from their shells and become comfortable speaking to a group, watched timid teens face fears and challenges, and observed tightly wound individuals learning to relax and find ease in their bodies. There are countless reasons I think a yoga practice is valuable during teenage years, but here are my top 5:

 

1. Promotes self awareness

 

Students learn to see connections with themselves and the world around them. Yoga puts teens in touch with their feelings, allows them to feel more comfortable in their body, and experience all that they feel. Yoga has incredible benefits for the brain and nervous system and regular practice can produce endorphins to make teens feel mentally and emotionally stable and empower them to make decisions about what feel right for their bodies.

 

2. Stress Release

 

Let’s face it: teen years are super stressful. Balancing school, extracurricular activities, friends, and family can be a lot of pressure for teens. In yoga teens learn healthy ways to manage stress and practice consciously relaxing their bodies.

 

3. Advantage of Starting Young

 

Young bodies are naturally more flexible and adaptable. They typically do not have patterns of tension like adult bodies have. Teenagers have an advantage in starting a yoga practice while they are young because they can set the stage to have a conscious relationship with their bodies for the rest of their life. There is less risk of injury and a quicker rate of muscle growth and repair.

 

4. Build Trust and Connection

 

The yoga studio is a place where we welcome the diversity of thoughts, opinions, appearances, and values of one another. We practice respect for one another, respect for ourselves, and respect for the space around us. We have check-ins at the beginning of every class to practice speaking to what is true for us and listening to what is true for others. We practice partner and group poses that build trust, connection, and forge friendships. The skills students learn about how to work together can be applied in ever other area of their lives.

 

5. Discover Strength and Confidence

 

Our bones are dense and create a strong structural foundation for the body. Practicing consciously aligning the body can help teens tap into the strength that is intrinsically inside of them. Attempting poses that are physically challenging can cultivate a sense of mastery and achievement and help to boost confidence.

 

Chelsea Brady believes yoga is medicine for the body, mind and soul. She is passionate about sharing yoga with all ages and abilities. At Luma she teaches kids, teens, and adults. No matter the age she works with, Chelsea’s focus is on breath, mindful movement, balance, strength and alignment. Her classes are light-hearted, creative, energizing and inspire connection to ourselves, one another, and the natural world. In May of 2017, Chelsea will be joined by Lynda Meeder to teacher Luma’s Tween + Teen Yoga Teacher Training to adults who desire to bring the tools of yoga into their work with adolescents. Want more info on our training? Click here.