Ah, yoga…every celebrity’s favorite pastime. The jewel in the crown of all hip New York studios.
Over the years, yoga has developed a connotation for hippies who frequent Whole Foods and for “woke” elitists. For most teens, yoga couldn’t be further from their daily routine. It’s just not a teenager thing.
However, yoga has many scientifically proven benefits for body and mind. Many of these benefits can be used to directly help troubled teens. Read on to find out how yoga can benefit you!
1. Increase flexibility
Yoga is a very broad category – there are actually 13 different types of yoga (vinyasa, hatha, yin, etc.). No matter what style of yoga you practice, you’re stretching muscle groups that aren’t even hit on a daily basis. life. Constant practice, i.e. constant stretching of these muscles, will slowly increase your flexibility.
It’s great for all teens, not just gymnasts. More flexibility means more ease in daily activities. Shaving all those hard-to-reach places will be child’s play! Additionally, those who are more flexible tend to have less risk of injury. You see, being flexible means your muscles become soft and stretchy. Being malleable allows the muscle to withstand pressure and tears. Long story short, you won’t have to deal with so many sore muscles or rolled ankles.
2. Increase energy
It’s true, yoga can give you an energy boost! Despite being slow and relaxing, yoga is still a form of exercise. This will get your blood pumping which will result in an increase in energy. Many yoga techniques also emphasize the breath. As your body learns to breathe more deeply, the influx of oxygen will give you a boost of energy.
This is the physical aspect of increased energy. Beyond that, yoga is good! Numerous studies have shown that people feel energized or invigorated after doing yoga. Yoga is like a wake up call for your body after a long night’s sleep. You will feel awake after doing yoga.
To be honest, any teenager could use a much-needed energy boost. So the next time you find yourself grabbing a cup of coffee, try yoga instead!
3. Better athletic performance
Consider this the culmination of the previous two benefits. Improved flexibility and increased energy are two key aspects of improving athletic performance. Beyond that, yoga is a gentle yet effective form of workout. It exercises every part of your body; If you’re trying to target a specific muscle group, there are yoga poses for that as well.
This is great news for all athletes! Instead of doing intense workouts every other day, try alternating between yoga and workouts. You may see an improvement in your performance! It has a lot of potential – yoga is also a great team-building exercise.
4. Improve posture
Yoga is an excellent exercise for strengthening the core. Stronger core means straighter body. Also, going back to the second benefit, more energy naturally means you’ll be taller and perkier. Another reason yoga is great for your posture is because it increases body awareness.
Body awareness basically means that you are aware of every part of your body and what it is doing. This is a skill that yoga instills in the practitioner because, in itself, yoga is the practice of moving (and recognizing) different parts of the body. So once you have developed a sense of body awareness, you will immediately feel when you are collapsing or sagging. Think of body awareness as a reminder to hold your head up high.
It’s invaluable for teenagers, especially those of us who spend all day hunched over a desk. Almost everyone has been told by their teachers or parents to straighten up. Well, yoga can help you do that! Improved posture means you’ll stand taller and fat won’t accumulate in your belly area. Basically, your clothes (especially crop tops) will look much better.
5. Sharpen focus and concentration
Yoga, at its core, is about body awareness. As you do different stretches, strike unique poses, and contort in all directions, you should notice and recognize every muscle you move. It requires laser-sharp focus and concentration. The other aspects of yoga, such as guided breathing or meditation, also force your mind to be captivated. Ultimately, practicing yoga regularly will give your mind a heightened sense of focus and focus. Your ability to immerse yourself in one thing – and one thing only – will be magnified.
This is a great benefit for everyone, not just teenagers! But for us, long hours of study and other work can really cost us. Better concentration can help you reduce the time you spend on these tasks because you won’t be distracted every few minutes. Better concentration can also improve the quality of work, which could be a problem for many. For many teenagers, this is the most appealing benefit of yoga!
6. Decrease stress and anxiety
Yoga (combined with mindful breathing and meditation) has been scientifically proven to reduce the secretion of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has been dubbed the stress hormone because that is exactly its job. The more cortisol in your system, the more stressed/anxious you are. Stress has been linked to lower energy levels (see benefit #2) while anxiety has been linked to restlessness and distraction (see benefit #5).
Thus, consider yoga as a real relaxation pill. A hearty yoga workout will leave you feeling relaxed and calm, (relatively) free from the cares of the world. It’s incredibly appealing to all teenagers, especially high school juniors and seniors. School and extracurricular activities can get tough, and it’s the stress that keeps us going. Unfortunately, many students cannot handle stress and it ends up hurting them more than it helps them. Yoga is an effective, natural and safe outlet to release your stress.
7. Promote Better Sleep
Numerous studies have shown that those who practice yoga sleep better and more soundly. When they wake up, they feel much more energetic. Better sleep comes with many benefits. A good night’s sleep means better memory, a better immune system and improved creativity. These are just the benefits that do not overlap with the aforementioned benefits of yoga!
Every teenager needs a good night’s sleep. All these sleepless nights are wreaking havoc! Even if you can’t sleep the recommended 10 hours, yoga can help you get the most out of the sleep you get. Your sleep will be deeper and more restorative, which means you’ll wake up rested no matter what!
8. Mood Booster
It’s true, yoga is a huge mood booster. It cheers you up in different ways. First, as mentioned earlier, exercise reduces the amount of cortisol in your body, effectively reducing stress. Plus, it boosts your energy, which inadvertently leads to a better mood. But above all, yoga is a accomplishment. It is very emotionally (and physically) satisfying to do yoga. When your mind feels like you’ve accomplished something, you feel good.
This is a universal benefit, not just for teenagers. But it can be particularly useful to us. If you’re struggling with school, college applications, relationship drama, whatever, it’s really tempting to cry in bed and eat a pint of ice cream. But don’t get carried away. Take your mind and body into your own hands – yoga is the perfect way to lift your spirits, at least for a little while.
All of these benefits must be tempting! Fortunately, getting started in yoga is child’s play. The internet is full of great yoga resources, articles, and tutorials. Yoga with Adriene is the perfect place to start. His videos are engaging and extremely varied. She offers yoga tutorials for everything from “Yoga to Heal Stress” to “Office Break Yoga.” Check it out and let me know how it goes in the comments! Other great yoga resources are also welcome in the comments!