During the last few weeks of teaching Teen’s Yoga classes in Brisbane, it has become abundantly clear: Teenagers NEED yoga in their lives!
On Wednesday 18th January, I ran the second Teen’s Yoga and Clay event at Inna Bliss, Camp Hill studio in Brisbane and it was a HUGE success. Every teenager has come through that workshop touching on a sense of calm they didn’t know they wanted.
I had one of the girls say at the end: “I thought they clay would be my favorite part, but I loved the yoga more.”
The truth is- Teenagers are CRAVING Yoga, but they just don’t know that’s what they want.
Honestly, the Teenagers Yoga class offering in Brisbane is quite minimal. They also need a specific kind of teaching- not just an adult class slowed down. I am seeing a greater demand for Yoga classes specific to teenagers and I’m incredibly excited to continue to build in that space.
WHAT’S HAPPENING DURING THE TEENAGE YEARS?
As a high School teacher of 8 years, I saw the huge developmental phases Teenagers go through, from Grade 7, all the way to grade 12!
When you consider the High School years, they are so formative! They provide the building blocks for adult life and beyond. The school journey starts at Primary School where you build some of the basics and everything’s pretty playful and fun. When High School comes, it’s a totally new beast to tackle!!
Grade 7 sends student’s right down to the bottom of the pond. The dynamic of the school setting for any student starting High School is completely daunting! They’ve now become the little fish in a new, exciting and terrifying pond.
Throughout the High School years, teenagers experience A WHOLE lot of changes. From their bodies, to their own personal changes in beliefs and values, to their discovery of self, to peer pressures, the social group they fit into, and SO MUCH MORE!
This continues all the way through and seems to intensify during Grades 8, 9 and 10 being the most challenging for some. For others, it can continue all they way through to the senior years as the added pressured of knowing their career path for the rest of their lives comes in.
Boy Oh Boy!
It’s natural for us all, as humans, to have feeling of fear, doubt, worry and insecurity- a build up of these can absolutely lead to anxiety rising as we travel through the many challenges of life. During the teenage years, these feelings can occur very frequently. The most challenging part is the lack of tools taught to deal with these feeling when they do arise.
Often times the focus in the classrooms is to teach to the curriculum and to teach the content in which they need to know, often times for the assessment. The curriculum leaves very little room for wellness and wellbeing to be taught and it’s quite unfortunate.
What you then see is a difficulty to first connect with anxiety, a sense of overwhelm as feelings aren’t validated within a classroom space and school setting, and a lack of tools to help deal with them.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FOR TEENAGERS TO LEARN?
As soon as your schooling finishes, whether that be at Grade 12, or sooner, how well you can connected to YOURSELF during the teenage years will determine how your transition into “real life” will go.
When your schooling is finished and you enter the world beyond school- it’s the tools that allowed you to discover yourself that will be most beneficial.
So why don’t we emphasize a connection to SELF more deeply during these formative years?
In this sense, it should then be VITAL for teenagers to develop a Yoga practice during the teenage years.
During the developmental stages of ages 12-17, young adults have SO much to learn about themselves. They start to move away from their parents and sometimes even rebelling against them. They no longer want to be treated as a child- feeling a sense of growing up. They have a huge range of feelings that don’t get validated during their school days. They have a deep yearning to be independent even though their experience and their view on the world is still developing.
Throw in the mix all the social pressures, bullying, toxic friendships and peer pressure for risk taking behaviors.
These years are so impactful! Both for the negative and the positive.
Imagine if, while going through all of this, you have a tool to turn to that helps you connect to yourself?
Imagine, while feeling all the pressure to perform during assessment time, you have a way to manage your stress levels?
Imagine, while being put in a social situation that you don’t want to be in, having the strength to say- “This doesn’t feel good to me”?
ALL of these characteristics and traits can be developed within a Yoga practice!
WHAT DOES YOGA FOR TEENAGERS ACHIEVE?
While ALL of that is going on, a Yoga practice for a teenager provides a safe haven where they can turn to for some solitude.
When there are all of these questions and demands thrown at them, their Yoga practice provides a space where they can take a break from it all.
They don’t have to speak. They don’t have to answer. They don’t have to be anything else.
It might even be the ONLY place they feel comfortable being completely THEMSELVES!!
At the core root of what a Yoga practice is- it’s to UNITE. To unite one with their soul. Through developing a spiritual practice during the teenage years, young adults will have a way to know themselves so deeply, they feel that sense of self. Through knowing who they are during a time of self-discovery, it can manage a whole range of challenging situations.
Yoga for teenagers can ABSOLUTELY help develop self-connection tools that are beneficial to turn to during some of these situations specific to the experience of a teenager:
– Academic pressures and stress management
– Learning their passions while letting go of the pressure to know their career path.
– Learning how to make friends and how to be a good friend
– How to set boundaries
– How to implement boundaries to say NO when things really don’t feel right.
– How to build resilience to keep moving forward
– How to be confident within your skin
– How to feel big emotions during challenging times
– How to communicate your feelings
– How to navigate divorce and split families
– And SO much more!
Developing a Yoga practice during the teenage years provides that sense of calm and connectedness. It allows stress, tension and anxiety to ease so that more severe mental health issues are avoided. It’s a proactive practice that can be developed through these formative years and taken with them into adulthood and beyond.
WHERE TO PRACTICE YOGA FOR TEENAGERS?
A lot of Yoga studios around Brisbane will sometimes allow a 13-17 year old student in their regular adult classes, however it’s not the ideal situation for the teenager. As a parent watching over your teenage child, it takes away from your much needed practice time (which you so deserve). It can also put them in a dangerous position physically if they don’t receive specific guidance for their bodies. As mentioned above, teenagers also experience very specific situations during their days. The theming of an adult Yoga class may not suit to what they’re experiencing and can leave them feeling a little lost in the practice.
I’m incredibly excited and passionate to be opening space for Private Yoga sessions catering to Teenagers. These one-on-one sessions are 100% tailored to whatever situation a teenager is travelling through and I lean on my extensive experience and knowledge to explore a wide variety of strategies that can be used both on and off the mat.
Check out my Private Services page to see full details and to book your child in with me. It would be my pleasure to help in anyway I can.
I am incredibly gifted in the teenager’s space. I have a huge amount of love and compassion when working with teenagers and can meet them exactly where they are while guiding them through what ever they’re going through.
Coming from a High School HPE background, I heard it all, saw it all and tended to it all. It would be my pleasure to help your child through their challenges.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via the Contact Page.
Teenagers NEED yoga and I’m here to provide it to them!