How (and Why) Should We Get Teenagers Practicing Yoga?

Via on Apr 3, 2012

I’d like to get a conversation going.

In response to a conversation with my friend, Ed, about whether we should be encouraging teenagers to practice yoga and integrate the principles of yoga into their daily living. Why should they practice? How should they practice? What would be good about teenagers engaging in asana? What can we do to engage youngsters in this practice?

From Ed:

We all know the benefits of practicing yoga: reduced stress; increased strength and flexibility; better posture; injury prevention and the general belief among yogis that it makes you feel great. So how come more kids don’t practice yoga? Yoga would certainly help teenagers reduce the daily stress from school and may help to improve a teen’s confidence and socialization skills. This will have a direct impact in creating a healthy lifestyle, a balanced family life and possibly improved grades as well. If teenagers see yoga performed in popular music videos or know that famous actors like Robert Downey Jr. do yoga, will they be more inclined to try it?  Please share your thoughts as to how we can get our teens to start practicing yoga.

Please, share your thoughts!

~

Editor: Kate Bartolotta

About Lauren Hanna

Lauren Hanna, E-RYT 200, MSS Candidate, is a social worker by day and yoga ninja by night. It was in Pittsburgh that she first discovered the thrill of yoga and her love for social welfare and animal rescue work. With her cats Lotus and Calia in tow, Lauren hopes to someday combine her love for yoga and animal welfare with her career as a social worker. Lauren likes to dream a lot about saving the world – one puppy, kitten and human at a time. Lauren also loves cobblestone streets, arts & crafts, action movies and writing books with her Grandmother. If she had a billion dollars she'd probably spend it all here. Follow her @laurenfoste.

967 views

5 Responses to “How (and Why) Should We Get Teenagers Practicing Yoga?”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posted to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  2. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook.

  3. Lisa Flynn says:

    Such an important question – thank you! I do think the key is gaining their interest and engagement. Our experience has been that once teens start yoga, most love it fairly immediately as their bodies and minds crave the sense of connection it provides.

    Here are a few articles related to this question from our blog, The Kids' Yoga Resource:

    Making it Personal: Helping Kids Understand the Power of Yoga is Key to Commitment – http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2010/11/making

    How to Get Teens to Do Yoga – http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2009/09/how-to

    Seacoast Yoga Community Launches Teen Yoga Network Offering Free Classes to Teens: http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2012/03/seacoa
    (This initiative will be expanded nationally in the coming months. Stay tuned for the website directory to be located at http://www.teenyoganetwork.org, where yoga studios can join in this important effort to encourage teens to begin a yoga practice)

    Thanks for getting us thinking about how and why to encourage yoga for teens!

    Lisa Flynn, founder/director, ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms http://www.childlightyoga.com http://www.yoga4classrooms.com

  4. yogaj says:

    Thank you for bringing this topic some attention.

    I believe the number 1 reason teens should begin a yoga practice is to start building their toolbox for handling what life throws their way. Yoga is empowering. Teens learn to trust, find strength-physically and mentally, they will find a community and a safe and creative space to grow and explore.

    We can start to get our teens doing yoga by getting out there and engaging them. Start with the pre-middle school age (5-6th grade) incorporate more than asana. Journaling, meditation and fun. Bullying begins to sprout at this age. Let's nip it in the bud, and teach self-love, self-understanding and coping skills. We can use our own creativity and experience to CREATE this experience for our teen community. I am beginning this project in my hometown, as well as creating opportunity for the parents to be involved for part of the program as a bonding opportunity/trust/and relationship building. We'll see how it goes, but I need to try. I believe so much that if I had this opportunity as a teen it would have set the foundation for real growth and confidence in my young adult life. We won't know what works for engaging teens unless we simply get out there and try something, anything!

  5. [...] could have used some type of yoga—one that built self-esteem in a humorous environment, or one that could have shown me to follow [...]

Leave a Reply