Yoga can help support the mental health of teenagers

Yoga gives teenagers self-understanding whilst their brain goes through a fundamental developmental stage . Contrary to the dated belief that adolescence is something to ‘get through’, adolescence is a necessary part of a human beings transition from childhood to adulthood. It’s a time when there are so many changes happening and it is a stage of life that needs to be cultivated and supported. The move to secondary school, peer pressure, negotiating social media, finding their identity, exams and puberty are interwoven with the crucial brain changes at this time.

Learning to listen to their bodies whilst practising asana (yoga poses) leads to a better understanding of what their bodies need to support their mental health. Challenging asana can feed the need for risk and attending a class, supports social connection. Pranayama (breath work) can ease anxiety and reduce stress as well as bolster emotional intelligence. Meditation and relaxation alongside visualisations help to ground them and aids sleep. Building confidence through the different parts of a yoga practice, this creative exploration allows them to learn respect for their bodies, as well as nurturing empathy for others.

An adolescent brain is undergoing the last phase of development as they move towards adulthood. Yoga can offer a well rounded support practice through pranayama, asana, relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. As Dr Dan Siegel explains, by creating a mind state, it can then becomes a mind trait. Being able to regulate emotions, attention span, thoughts, behaviour and relationships is dependent on brain integration.

To learn more about this and interpersonal neurobiology I highly recommend Dr Dan Siegel’s book Brainstorm. Here’s a video to explain more: https://bit.ly/2XG0hPy

The autumn term starts the week commencing 26th August:

Teen Yoga (from S1 upwards) Tuesday & Wednesdays 7-7.45pm

Please contact me for further information or to book your child into a taster session.