Beginning a yoga practice can much be like building a snowman…where do we begin?
Often summertime offers kids an opportunity to break away from the rigid schedules and busyness of school and slow down a bit. The slower schedule of summer can also bring about an opportunity to introduce children and young adults to new ideas or ways of being. Kids minds may be better able to attend to ideas of mindfulness and meditation as ways of addressing their anxiety and stress they may often encounter over the school year.
Mindfulness is the act of becoming more in the present moment and can be achieved through breath work (pranayama) or meditation (watching our thoughts with non-attachment) and/or yoga postures (asana).
Although many studios (including DRISHTIQ Yoga) offer yoga classes for kids and teens- there are also many great articles online that help explain mindfulness to kids and resources online and on the app store that help parents and caregivers foster a mindfulness or meditation practice with their kids.
Watching mediation videos like Amy K's mindful moment or using apps like Smiling Mind can allow kids the opportunity to practice meditation or mindfulness in small amounts of time each day. These resources can give them tools they need to understand how becoming more present in each moment, slowing down the breath, focusing the mind away from the worries about the past or fears or anxiety about the future.
YOGA IN SCHOOLS
DRISHTIQ Yoga is excited to work with our community to bring yoga and mindfulness to area teens and young adults. We've been privileged to serve area schools staff and students as well as local Girl Scout/Boy Scout troops and other social and educational settings. We are here if you need help or have an opportunity for us to come in and share our expertise with the students or population you serve.
Just give us a call or stop in so we can chat!
For teachers and students alike, gearing up to go back to school is not the most exciting thing in the world. Besides seeing your friends and meeting new teachers, the school year brings stress and anxiety for everyone.
Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to sleep before midnight on the first-day-of-school-eve as I lie in bed, anxiously contemplating what will happen the next day and where my summer had gone.
It's common for you or your children to feel stressed on the first day; who am I going to sit with at lunch? What if my teachers don’t like me? What if I fall down the stairs and make a complete fool of myself? With this, the cycle of stressful classes, homework and tests also begins. And to make a healthy learning environment, we need to eliminate some of that stress. Here are a few tips to help you or your child transition into a stress free school year:
4 Reasons Teens Should Practice Yoga
1) Stress management: The transition from elementary school to middle school and high school can be difficult for teenagers. The pressure to fit in while their bodies are changing can be extremely overwhelming. Practicing yoga can help draw their attention away from peer pressures and schoolwork and towards the present moment. Their minds focus more on their breath and advancement into their poses rather than the outside world. Leaving class, they feel as if they’ve hit the refresh button with the stress lifted off their shoulders.
2) Eases tension in the growing body: A teen’s body is changing rapidly during this period in their life. Practicing yoga helps their organs to remain healthy despite the changes and everyday stresses. Yoga also helps to release the tension in their tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments while strengthening their bones. Certain poses can help to soothe cramps, headaches, and digestive issues. It’s important that we try to send teens into adulthood with as healthy of a body as possible. When healthy habits are developed earlier in life, it’s easier to maintain them as we grow older.
3) Mind-body connection: Yoga promotes a connection between the mind and body that helps teens to form a positive image of themselves. Self-esteem is a never ending roller coaster to most teenagers; one day they’re feeling the best they’ve every felt about themselves, and the next they’d rather stay in bed than be seen in public. By having a steady yoga practice, teens develop a healthy mindset that translates into a positive body image.
4) Increased flexibility and better posture: Through various growth spurts, the body’s muscles become tighter. Because of this tightness, it’s hard to maintain flexibility. Through practicing yoga, teens can increase their flexibility and get rid of the tightness in their muscles. Many of the poses in yoga promote proper posture. Teens are often hunched over from heavy backpacks, slouching in chairs, and spending large amounts of time on computers. With regular practice, teens can lift their shoulders and engage in proper posture.