NEW Teen Yoga Resource HOT OFF THE PRESS
Faced with a room full of hormonal teens on yoga mats: what do you do? how do you connect? How do you get them engaged?
Teaching teens is unlike instructing any other age group. They’re not kid and not yet adults. They still like to play but don’t want to be treated like children. They crave approval but will give you tons of attitude just to keep things interesting and establish their independence.
This manual walks you through how to teach teen yoga. It provides wise, practical and time-tested tips, tools and techniques that help teens manage stress and develop physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. These methods can be implemented immediately with adolescents as well as in your own life.
- Benefits of yoga & mindfulness for teens
- Authentic teen teaching
- Differences between early and late teens
- Adolescent neuroscience
- Mindfulness techniques for teens
- Yoga Nidra
- Yoga for balancing hormones/endocrine system
- Yoga for teen athletes
- Building community
- Yoga for at-risk youth
- Body image & self-esteem
- How to teach yoga philosophy to teens
- Meditation for teens
- Ayurveda for teens
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to guide our lives, our thoughts, our yoga and meditation practice. I’ve collected inspiring messages and quotes for as long as I can remember, posting them inside my school locker, writing them in my personal journal and using them to direct my yoga classes. I trust you will enjoy this collection. You may also want to check out our Inspiring Words Pinterest Page.
- “Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners.“ Shakespeare
- “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.“ Arabian Proverb
- “The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.“ Sogyal Rinpoche
- “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” Proverb
- “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I cam changing myself.” Rumi
- “The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” Yogi Bhajan
- “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” Plato
- “You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” Gene Mauch
- “You only lose what you cling to.” Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha
- “The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” Rumi
- “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Do not ask for less responsibility to be free and relaxed—ask for more strength!“ Shengyan
- “The creation of a thousand forest is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” Jason Crandell
- “We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” Eat, Pray, Love
- “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.“ Rodney Yee
- “Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem.” Anonymous
- “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” BKS Iyengar
- “Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” Bob Harper
- “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Anonymous
- “The beauty is that people often come here for the stretch, and leave with a lot more” Liza Ciano
- “Don’t just do something—sit there!” Unknown Yoga Quote
- “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh
- “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.“ Krishnamacharya
- “Don’t waste a good mistake. Learn from it.” Robert Kiyosaki
- “Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” Ymber Delecto
- “Whenever you see a successful person you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah
- “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde
- “Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety.” Baxter Bal
- “You can do anything, but not everything. Anonymous
- “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” Jason Crandell
- “Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time, we can learn to direct attention where we choose.” Eknath Easwaran
- “Do not speak unless it improves on silence.” Buddhist proverb
- “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” The Bhagavad Gita
- “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Buddha
- “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier
- “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” Mary Radmacher
- “Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things.” Matthieu Ricard
- “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” Dalai Lama
- “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.” BKS Iyengar
- “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. “ Jim Rohn
- “The yoga pose that you avoid the most you need the most.” Anonymous
- “Take the time to just do nothing. It will open up a completely new world of insight for you.” Scott Shaw
- “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak
- “Intelligence comes into being when the mind, the heart and the body are really harmonious.” J Krishnamurti
- “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra
- “Make the driving force in your life love.” Dr. Oz
- “Happiness is an inside job.” William Arthur Ward
- “Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong, but just to watch it and to move with it.” Krishnamurti
- “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Lee Runbeck
- “Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.” Rumi
- “Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different from the way they are.” Allan Lokos
- “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun
- “Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.” Swedish Proverb
- “Silence is not silent. Silence speaks. It speaks most eloquently. Silence is not still. Silence leads. It leads most perfectly.” Sri Chinmoy
- “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee
- “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Gautama Buddha
- “Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.” Sting
- “Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.” Daisaku Ikeda
- “We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” Hermann Hesse
- “Creating space frees the spirit to bring in what it truly desires.” Deb Reble
- “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” Osho
- “She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures and doubts, but because she continued on despite of them.” Beau Toplin
- “Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet tot he mind.” Tryon Edwards
- “Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.” Deiter F. Uchtdorf
- “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul to another.”George Elliot
- “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” G.K. Chesterton
- “Life is meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Nothing ever is, but is always becoming.” Plato
Mindful eating is a way to enjoy and find pleasure in one of the most ordinary things we do. Most of the time we are so busy devouring, mindlessly, we miss the satisfaction and true enjoyment of consuming food and drink. Being conscious of what you eat involves taking the time to truly observe, savour and appreciate what we put into our bodies. It also includes using our best wisdom and knowledge to choose wholesome foods, being conscious of what is involved to get them to our table.
Enjoy this mindful eating meditation practice.
Listen to this guided Mandarin Meditation
Yoga is well known as a great full body workout and a way to manage stress. These same benefits apply when teens do yoga. As well, there are a myriad of other ways in which yoga helps alleviate many of the concerns specific to the chaotic world in which teens live.
1 – Reduce Stress
First yoga helps teens de-stress. Between academic pressure and the social jungle that is Junior and Senior High School, teen lives are extremely stressful. There is a significant amount of peer pressure. They have to make decisions which impact the rest of their lives. Their schedules are filled to overfull with school, sports, part-time jobs and a social life. Their hormones are completely out of balance most of the time. Yoga helps teens deal with all of these challenges. It teaches them to look inward for inspiration, to connect with themselves. Furthermore, it provides training in relaxation techniques and breathing exercises which promote calm and stimulate the relaxation response.
2 – Improve Physical Fitness
Second yoga is a full body workout which builds strength, increases flexibility, improves balance, develops coordination, reduces fatigue, clears the mind, stimulates the immune system, and invigorates the entire body. Yoga means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’ and works at bringing into harmony the body, breath and mind. A regular yoga workout will stabilize core muscles, engage the mind, and challenge teens on all levels.
3 – Develop Confidence
Third yoga helps teens develop confidence and improve their self-esteem. The physical changes inherent in adolescence often lead to poor self-image. Yoga focuses on accepting they body as it is today while working toward improvement. Learning to stand with proper posture, to carry oneself with confidence, to find the beauty within and without are all repercussions of a regular yoga practice. In addition, yoga helps to develop creativity and is a means for self-expression through journalling, yoga dance, flow sequences, guided meditation, and other outlets.
4 – Build Healthy Habits
Fourth yoga provides a foundation for lifelong health to all teens regardless of ability, gender, race, age, or socio-economic status. The yoga mat is a level playing field. There are no tests, no competitions. Athletes will discover a wonderful cross-training tool. Non-athletes will learn to appreciate and care for their bodies and minds. Teens who engage in self-destructive behaviours can find a healthy and challenging way to experiment and push boundaries. Teen yoga classes are a place to feel comfortable, to receive positive reinforcement and encouragement, and to provide a means for lifelong health and vitality.
Teens truly can benefit from yoga. They are at a perfect age to develop good habits. Their innate curiosity and desire for self-expression work beautifully to create fun and dynamic yoga classes. Yoga in turn empowers them with confidence and peace, allowing them to live their lives to the fullest.
It is becoming more and more popular for professional athletes to use yoga. The Los Angeles Lakers (basketball), the Miami Dolphins (football) and the Chicago Cubs (baseball), the New Zealand All Blacks (rugby) use yoga as a training tool for the entire team roster. Individually Pete Sampras (tennis), Annika Sorenstam (golf), Sean Burke (hockey) and Evander Holyfield (boxing) along with many others practice yoga to stay at the top of their game. Truly yoga is a perfect cross training technique complementing and expanding each athletes abilities.
Yoga extends athletic training by:
- Increasing core strength
- Improving pulmonary efficiency
- Reducing performance anxiety
- Preventing sports injuries
- Improving concentration
- Increasing flexibility
- Enhancing range of motion
- Developing balance and focus
- Increasing endurance
- Teaching relaxation
- Relieving stress
Teen athletes can access these same benefits through developing a regular yoga practice which works with their sport(s) of choice.Teens who incorporate yoga into their training will find they are healthy, injury free, and better able mentally to be at the top of their game.
The most effective way to use yoga for athletes is with Sun Salutations. Sun Salutations offer a full body workout achieving greater strength and flexibility. They are ideal as a warm up routine, to use on ‘down days’ when there is not a practice or game scheduled, and during the off season. Simply performing Sun Salutations for 10 minutes a day will improve athletic ability.
A second way to use yoga is through developing mental concentration. Practicing yoga works your mind making it stronger, better able to respond and react. In addition, by practicing relaxation, visualisations and yoga breathing on game day athletes calm the mind, prepare the body, and focus energy and intent. These skills will take what you have gained through practice and provide a competitive edge.
To get the most benefit from yoga, teens should enroll in a Yoga for Teens class. These classes cater specifically to teens developing physical and mental abilities. Alternatively many sports teams now offer yoga cross training. If yours does not, talk to the coach and other team members to see if this can be arranged.
Host Donna Freeman discusses how to work with kids darker sides with guest Cheryl Crawford, founder of Grounded.
Discover how addressing kids darker states of mind can relieve their perceived expectations of always having to be happy. This awareness leads to lighter and brighter clarity.
Learn how allowing and recognizing shame, doubt and fear in the lives of youth, helps them to feel whole, to recognize themselves and to know they are perfect just the way they are today.
Cheryl will provide specific examples from her work with at-risk and under-served populations in Atlanta.
If you enjoyed this interview rate and review the show so others can find it.
+100 more on the Yoga In My School podcast on iTunes.