Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yoga: The New Way for Teens to Beat Stress


By: Dyan Eybergen

There have never been any quick fix solutions to dealing with the pressures of a teens life: peer pressure, competition, the search for independence and belonging, school, hormones, family conflict. For a large number of teens the anxiety evoked by everyday life can lead them down a path of sexual promiscuity and alcohol and drug abuse that affects their overall well-being, ultimately resulting in depression. Its not surprising to learn then, that suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens.

Yoga is a non-competitive activity that fosters an environment of calm and relaxation. It offers an opportunity to hush the busyness of the mind and calm stressful emotions. Through an introspective approach, yoga teaches teens about the power they have over their own thoughts and feelings. They learn that they are more than just their emotions and at the core of their very being, they have the ability to control and redirect the stress in their own lives.

Benefits of teen Yoga come in a variety of ways:
  • induces a feeling of relaxation giving the mind a break from worry
  • increases energy and focus
  • improves sleep
  • learned breathing and relaxation techniques transcend the Yoga studio where teens have less difficulty getting homework done and feel less stress during exams
  • improves physical fitness=increased confidence
  • discourages junk food eating
  • increases flexibility that protects joints from injury during other sports
  • builds self-awareness through understanding of the connection between mind and body=healthy self-esteem
  • improves digestion
  • boosts the immune system

Parents or teens looking for self soothing strategies to combat the pressure experienced by the turbulence of adolescence need only look up and find the nearest Yoga studio. A calming, centered milieu where physical movement and mental training combine offers a natural alternative to clinical approaches to managing stress in teens.

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