5 Benefits of Yoga for Teenagers | 10 Poses to Practice
You might not think of it as an activity for your kid to do right off the bat, but yoga for teenagers provides plenty of benefits.
Not only is it a great way for these kids to cope with their emotional or mental problems, but yoga for teenagers is also perfect for helping with simple body movement.
If you’re looking to get your teenager into yoga, we highly recommend doing so. In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the benefits of doing yoga for teenagers and some poses they can try out today!
Yoga for Teenagers
When you think of activities for your teenager to do, you generally don’t think of yoga. Instead, you’ll probably think of a sport like basketball or baseball. However, yoga is one of the best activities you can get your teenager into.
For one, it matches well with other activities like a sport since it helps keep your teenager flexible and healthy. Let’s take a look at some of the best benefits that come from teenagers doing yoga.
5 Benefits of Doing Yoga for Teenagers
Credit: Suzanne Gribble Yoga
1. Increase Flexibility and Mobility
No matter what type of yoga you do, your body will be required to stretch the different muscle groups. This will allow your teenager to move their body more freely and helps especially if your teen plays a sport.
2. Improve Your Energy
Believe it or not, yoga can help improve energy levels all across the board. Despite most yoga stretches being slow movement, the exercises will get your blood pumping. This gets your energy up and helps you get going.
Furthermore, yoga is largely breathing exercises. Once you’ve gotten the breathing exercises down, you'll know how to conserve and use your energy more effectively.
Another indirect way yoga can help improve your energy is by the other health concerns it eliminates. Yoga can help increase blood flow and improve overall digestion, both of which can attribute to improving your overall health.
3. Improve Your Posture
Yoga is the art of moving correctly. As such, a lot of the exercises help build a strong core which in turn helps you improve your posture. The more body awareness a teen has, the stronger and taller they’ll be.
4. Lower Stress and Anxiety
High school can be a really stress-inducing time for teenagers. Yoga’s movements and calming nature can help reduce the anxiety a teenager might feel while going through this period.
5. Reduce Weight Gain
Since this is a period of growth for most kids, overeating or eating junk food in general can lead to excessive weight gain. During yoga, you burn more calories than you think. As such, doing yoga can help balance out any gained weight during this growth phase.
10 Yoga Poses to Practice for Teenagers
We’ve been talking about all the benefits that come with practicing yoga as a teenager but we haven’t talked about any poses to practice. Here are ten yoga poses teenagers can practice today!
1. Wind-Relieving Pose
To start the wind-relieving pose, lie on your back with your feet together and your arms besides the body. Then, breathe in and as you exhale, bring your legs to your chest and squeeze your abdomens with your clasped hands.
Breathe in again and, as you exhale, lift your head and chest to meet your right knee. From there, hold the pose for a few seconds. Afterwards, you can repeat this pose with the right leg and then both legs.
2. Corpse Pose
To start the corpse pose, lie flat on your back with your feet apart and pointing to your outside. Your arms should stay on either side and your palms should face upwards. Try to relax your entire body while breathing slowly and gently.
After you’ve stayed in the same pose for the next 10-20 minutes, roll to your right and lie there for 1-2 minutes. As you become more used to this pose, you can increase the amount of time you’re in that pose.
3. Butterfly Pose
For the butterfly pose, you’ll need to start by sitting on a mat with your spine straight upright and your legs spread straight out. Bend your knees and start to bring your legs together such that the heels of both your feet touch each other.
Put your hands together, place them under the feet, and grab them. Then, bring your feet as close to the groin as possible. Inhale and then press your knees and thighs down to the floor as you exhale.
Afterwards, begin to flap your knees and slowly increase the speed. Flap for around 15-20 times. Once done, inhale and while exhaling, bend downwards with the spine straight and chin facing upwards.
Bring your knees into the ground by pressing your elbows into them. Then, inhale deeply, bring your torso up, and slowly straighten your legs in front of you.
4. Eagle Pose
The eagle pose is one of the more complicated poses. However, once mastered, it can provide a slew of benefits. Start by standing in a tadasana. Then, lift your right foot so that you can balance your body on the left foot only.
Move your right thigh leftwards so the right foot can be supported by the lower calves on the left foot. Extend your arms straight out and then keep the upper part of the arms parallel to the floor while pointing the lower part of the arms upwards.
Intertwine your hands so that the left hand is above the right hand. Then, engage the left elbow into the right elbow and shift your palms so that they face each other.
Raise your hands upwards in the posture you’re in. Stay in the pose for 15-30 seconds. Then, gradually unwind, return to tadasana, and repeat the same pose but by starting with the left foot and arm.
5. Upward Bow Pose
To do the upward bow pose, start by lying on your back with your knees bent upwards. Then, bring your hands next to your ears, elbows facing upwards, and fingers facing towards the toes.
Inhale and when you start to exhale, push your buttocks towards the ceiling. Afterwards, press into your hands, firm up your shoulder blades, and arrive on the crown of your head. Before you start the next part, take three deep breaths
6. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Start by facing downwards with your knees directly below your hips and your hands underneath your shoulders. Then, spread your hands and press into your index fingers and thumbs. Follow this by inhaling, turning your toes, and upon exhalation, lift your knees up off of the floor.
Next, you’ll want to lift your bottom towards the ceiling and start to slowly straighten your legs. While pushing your thighs back, move your heels towards the mat or floor and bring your head between your arms.
Stay in this position for the next 2-5 minutes. To leave this pose, bend your knees and transition this into sitting on your heels.
7. Plank Pose
To do the plank pose, you’ll need to be in downward-facing dog pose first. While in downward dog, bring your torso down so that your body makes a straight line. It shouldn’t necessarily be parallel, but the body should be straight.
Straighten your legs and, while doing so, ensure that your stomach doesn’t sink towards the floor. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
8. Deer Pose
To do the deer pose, start by sitting in butterfly pose and swing one leg behind you. Both legs should be 90 degrees, but generally, you can adjust the position since you are looking for sensations in your legs and hips.
Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes. Afterwards, bring your back leg forward and repeat this exercise by starting with the other leg.
9. Mermaid Side Stretch Pose
The mermaid side stretch pose is a great pose for beginners. To do this pose, start by sitting on the floor with both legs folded to the left side. The right hand should be placed on the floor to maintain support.
Extend your left arm above your head and bring it as close as you can to your ear. Extend your spine as far upwards as you can so that it can’t go any further.
Begin to reach over towards the other side of your body as far as you can. This should expand your torso even more. Reach as far as you can without damaging the integrity of your shoulder.
Repeat this stretch two to three sides before switching to the other side.
10. Bound Angle Pose
The bound angle pose is one of the more simpler poses you can start practicing today. Start by sitting on the mat in a normal seated position. Bring the soles of your feet together and pull them to your pelvis so that your knees are facing outwards.
Afterwards, lengthen your spine and press the soles of your feet together by holding onto them from the outside. If you can do so, press forward to keep your spine elongated and your collar bones spread.