……a space for Teens to rest and restore
‘They don’t know they’re born’, ‘Best years of your life’, ‘You don’t know what stress is’ are just some of the clichés about teenagers we hear regularly. As both a School and Yoga teacher I have witnessed an alarming decline in the mental health of our young people and can assure you that none of these statements ring true!
The teen years have been well documented as a time of heightened emotion, exploration and boundary pushing… ’The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole & ¾’?? It is not accurate to believe that all teenagers are self-absorbed narcissists oblivious to the turmoil’s of our modern world, most of the young people I have had the privilege to teach care deeply about others and the World around them but can feel overwhelmed by the life choices they are making from subject choices and friendships in school, political views, future careers… to what to wear for the party of the year on Saturday night. The struggles between parents and teens can feel relentless (for all involved) but are merely the tip of the iceberg when compared to the daily internal battles being fought by our teens.
The search to belong… aka finding a tribe
The apparent oxymoron of the teen state of mind is the desire to become an individual whilst also finding a place to be accepted and belong in a tribe of likeminded friends… And then there’s socialmedia… primarily a tool for growing communities and building connections, perfect for an unsure teen to connect with friends quickly and easily at any time and from any place. Social media can be a wonderful source of inspiration and community but increasingly the constant bombardment of perfected images of ‘perfect’ people with ‘perfect’ lives, are seriously damaging the mental health of our young (and not so young) people, we need to guide our teens to develop life skills that allow them to build positive relationships with themselves, each other and the wider world.
Yoga practice… not perfect
I’m not advocating a ban on social media, we have to be able to live well as part of our modern world, I suggest some simple approaches to support your teen as she navigates her constantly changing world…
- Develop MINDFUL use of electronic devices
Talk to your teen to establish some ground rules for her use of devices… try a day free of technology, daily time limit or no devices in bedrooms after a set time.
- Daily Intentions
A quick chat or journalling in the morning can help your teen to set a mindset for the day, this could be something she needs to tick off her to do list or maybe about her emotional approach to the day.
- Pit & Peak
This is one of my favourites and for us usually happens at the dinner table or in the quiet half an hour before bed. So simple… each family member describes their pit (low point) and peak (high point) of the day… a negative event may have overwhelmed her feelings and it’s nice to find the positive from the day.
Regular, nutritious meals are essential… water and greens… teaching her to prepare some simple meals will empower her to cook for herself and understand her bodies needs.
School, homework, exams, goals, dreams, ambitions, friendships, relationships, socialising, hobbies… our teens have so many wonderful opportunities and can feel pulled in many directions. Set time aside to organise her commitments together… be sure to build in down time.
A regular Yoga practice can help to give your teen a safe place ( on the mat) to breathe and feel grounded…..we can’t take away the external challenges but we can offer practices that can build the foundations for a healthy and emotionally resilient life.
We are delighted to offer our ‘YogaTeens’ monthly practice for your teenagers… A safe space of yoga, meditation, relaxation, and more
Don’t just take our word for it… here’s what our teens said after we launched our YogaTeens practice in May 2019
‘Before I arrived I was very nervous and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do it, but I quickly relaxed and began to find the poses easier to do’
‘It helped me to let go of things that I had been holding onto’
‘It was a very tranquil environment’
‘Helen is so kind and doesn’t push you too far out of your comfort zone’
‘The snacks were delicious & I liked how they were homemade?’
‘I expected it to be really relaxing….and it was!’