By Faye Martins and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Are Yoga poses for teens beneficial? Can Yoga make a difference in the lives of our teens? Yes, many teens engage in Yoga to try and feel better about themselves or make themselves feel better. In fact, teens have a higher risk for suicide and often need enhanced self-worth. Some of the warning signs that teens may be contemplating suicide include intense emotional changes. Sometimes, teens feel they have no reason to live, increase alcohol or drug use, and withdraw from social life.
About Teen Suicide
If you notice any of these changes in your child, then you need to get help as soon as possible. One thing that can help a teen keep suicide out of mind is Yoga poses. By performing a sequence of Yoga postures every day they will hopefully start having more positive thoughts and less negative ones. Teens have major depressive episodes and anxiety disorders. Our teens can take control of their lives with a daily Yoga session and a dose of optimism.
Young adults are also more likely to commit suicide than people of other age groups because they need coping tools. Postures, controlled breathing, relaxation, and meditation offer coping skills. One of the big reasons for youth depression is loneliness. Of course, it’s never been easy for teens to fit in. Another reason for deep negative thoughts is that teens are not exercising, but their anxiety turns inward. Yoga poses for teens help them feel better as postures release endorphins and serotonin that serve as natural antidepressants.
There are many risk factors that increase the chance of teens committing suicide, including a family history of mental illness and troubled relationships. Yoga can be an effective tool for dealing with stress, depression, and anger management. Yoga postures target the core muscles while also offering cardiovascular training. Moreover, teens learn to focus on things they’re grateful for and practice breathing deeply to release internal tension.
For optimal results, teens should work with a Yoga instructor on how to modify poses to suit their abilities specifically. Nevertheless, videos are available for learning how to use props. Equally important, some teens are very fit and need a physical challenge. At the same time, each student has specific needs for challenges or modifications. In a classroom setting, a good instructor is able to answer any questions from their past experience with other students.
Yoga poses for teens are a method for coping with stress and overall emotional health. The poses presented in the videos can be modified. There are different benefits also that come with practicing this method such as reducing anxiety, heightened self-esteem, and stronger mental health.
Higher Risk for Suicide
The psychological factors that make teens susceptible to suicide are many, but depression is one of the worst. Substance abuse also puts young adults at risk. Regardless of the exact cause and percentages, mental and emotional health need tools for coping. Financial, legal, medical, romantic, and occupational problems can put teens at higher risk for suicide. Many of us never realized how much isolation can negatively impact society, until we witnessed COVID lockdowns.
Teachers can aid in the cause with body-positive education (a teaching philosophy about the inherent worth and beauty of one’s body). Body-positive education ensures that their classrooms do not embody a single standard of beauty, or an absence thereof. Body positive educators also promote alternative ways to express oneself. Additionally, this might involve therapy, physical activities like Yoga, and other alternative therapies.
Yoga poses are a great way for teens to get involved in the local community, and meet like-minded people. Yoga can also be a good way for teens to meet in their free time. Making time for practice gives teens bonding time. Yoga poses for teens are a regular cross-training activity for sports teams. Teens will automatically have something to talk about when meeting their friends. Teens also bring up what they’re learning from Yoga with their families as it has many benefits for overall health.
Yoga for Teen Health
When athletes get injured, they often turn to Yoga as a cross-training method. Yoga reduces stress levels, which is important since it’s often difficult for athletes to sleep when recovering from an injury. Yoga has many benefits so it’s perfect to incorporate into a team workout or routine. Teens who are still developing their bones and muscles can benefit the most. Regardless, teens can protect themselves by consulting with their family doctor about exercises and sports they should avoid.
Cross Training Aspects
Yoga is a great way for teens to cross-train their bodies for sports. It can improve muscle tone, flexibility, and strength which are all factors in sports performance. Combined with a healthy diet, Yoga can help teens stay lean, fit, and toned. Yoga’s low-impact nature also makes it perfect for anyone. Teens with joint injuries such as back pain or ACL injuries can learn to modify their practice.
Cross-training, which is about diversifying your workouts, is great for teens. Yoga can help strengthen the core muscles and improve overall balance. This helps teens with both in and out of seasonal training. Whether students are playing or trying out for a team, they benefit from incorporating Yoga into their workouts.
What Can Adults Do?
If you are a concerned parent, grandparent, teacher, or Yoga teacher you want to reach out to schools and sports teams. Most community services that work with local teens have programs that need help. However, some communities have limited resources and little knowledge concerning Yoga for teens. Therefore, a small group of adults and teens can make a big difference in a community. Lastly, teens and young adults need healthy activites for mental and emotional health.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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