This content was created for Where Parents Talk by a Guest Contributor.
Yoga is an exercise enjoyed by many and is available to everyone willing to practice, regardless of age. The practice of yoga can provide calm and tranquility, although these characteristics may not always be suitable for pre-teens and teens. Children at the age of 10-14 are easily distracted, making meditation hard to do. While teens around the age of 15-20 have a sense of awkwardness and are easily embarrassed when striking unusual positions.
Just like any physical activity, there are always first-time jitters, especially with teens. With enough guidance, practice, and sessions, pre-teens and teens will learn to enjoy yoga more. This article will talk about making yoga fun for these individuals and the benefits it can bring later on in life.
TAILOR FIT YOGA FOR PRE-TEENS AND TEENS
Most of the time, following the systematic yoga method, is not appealing to the younger generation. This is because organized yoga can be a dull and straightforward exercise, making the practice seem tedious at times. A teenager’s mind is preoccupied with other things, and they can quickly get distracted when ideas are not appealing to them. You can tailor fit yoga sessions to their liking to empower them to have fun in the process.
Injecting some enthusiasm into the practice is a great way to get a teenager’s attention. You must also engage with the same energy as them because most teenagers are bursting with high energy levels. The environment is just as important to them as the exercise, and it is best to make this appealing. Do this by incorporating vibrant colors into the surroundings. Lastly, create a non-judgmental space because the teenage years are where we develop most of our insecurities.
INJECTING ENTHUSIASM FOR YOGA
A great way to inject enthusiasm into yoga is to play music in the background. You can choose songs that teens are listening to nowadays, and you will be surprised at how effective this is in grabbing their attention. You must also engage with them with high energy and a sense of excitement. You can easily do this by making the tone of your voice perky when directing them to do specific yoga techniques.
SET THE ENVIRONMENT AND MOOD
We cannot control what a teenager’s mood will be on every session, but we can maintain the cues and triggers around the environment. Using vibrant colors in your yoga surroundings can significantly increase the visual appeal of the practice. It is good to find out the different interests these teenagers have, so you can use the idea to decorate the environment. With enough thought, this technique can ignite the passion for yoga in some teenagers.
Yoga mats are also an excellent opportunity to apply this technique. There are different colors and designs to a yoga mat, and you can even customize yoga mats to heighten the teenager’s interest even more. Yoga mats are a yogi’s best friend.
CREATE A NON-JUDGMENTAL SPACE
Because we are dealing with teenagers with their eye-rolls and mood swings, it is essential to create a non-judgmental space to practice their yoga. Do not tolerate bullies and always correct wrong actions in the group. Encouraging them to open up about their insecurities before every session is also a great way to help the individual feel comfortable in the space you’ve created. After all, yoga is a practice that exercises the mind, body, and spirit of an individual.
OPTIMIZE LEARNING YOGA FOR PRE-TEENS AND TEENS
The best way to encourage a group of teenagers to practice yoga is to learn more about each individual and tailor the session to their needs. This may take time and effort to do but will be worth it in the end. You can incorporate storytelling and play into your sessions to make them more engaging. Also, consider the different learning languages of teenagers: visual, kinesthetic, logical, verbal, musical, and inter/intrapersonal.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS FOR TEENS WHEN PRACTICING YOGA
Yoga comes with a lot of essential life tools that these teenagers can learn over time. Here are some, to name a few:
- Improves self-esteem
- Increases confidence
- Practices physical and internal strength
- Improves focus and attention
- Heightened self-awareness
- Increases awareness for others
The practice of yoga can help individuals clean their minds, bodies, and spirits, making sure that these three are always healthy. It only fits to be able to share the practice with our younger generation to take advantage of the different benefits yoga can bring to their lives in the future. I hope this article has shed some insight as to how we can grab a teenager’s attention and empower them to engage in the practice of yoga. Optimize your yoga sessions for the group, and you will be surprised at how excellent the results can be. Namaste.