With so many proven benefits, yoga can be both a great calming activity, but also a relaxing, mindful way for teens to get in touch with their bodies as part of a healthy routine.
Known for lowering stress, improving feelings of calmness and naturally uplifting our moods, yoga can be a healthy, relaxing element to add to your usual routine.
No matter what age or ability level you are, just about anyone can try yoga. Finding just an hour a week to try a class, or fitting in a few 15-30 minute slots to practice yoga at home can have a huge impact.
Try these beneficial yoga poses to get started.
The foundation for all standing yoga poses, mountain post is a great starting and resting post, as well as a tool to help improve posture. Stand with your big toes touching from the base, heels slightly apart, toes parallel. Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, before laying them softly back down to the floor. Balance your weight evenly between your feet.
Tense your thigh muscles and lift your kneecaps without hardening your lower belly. Lift your inner ankles to strengthen your inner arches. Turn your upper thighs slightly inward, and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor, lifting your pubis towards your navel.
Press your shoulder blades into your back, before widening them across and releasing them down your back. Lift the top of your sternum towards the ceiling, widen your collarbone, then hang your arms beside your torso.
Benefit: mountain pose helps improve your posture while strengthening your knees and thighs. It can also help improve balance and regulate the digestive and respiratory system.
Stand with your legs approximately three feet apart, turn your right toes to the right, and your left toes slightly inward. As you inhale, press your left hip out to the left and slide both arms to the right, parallel to the floor. Exhale and rotate your arms, raising your left arm up. Rest your right hand against your right leg with your palms facing forward.
Press into your feet as you pull up your kneecaps, keeping your legs strong. Spread your fingertips away from each other as you reach out. Bring your arms into one straight line with your shoulders in a line one on top of the other. Press your left hip forward and your right hip back.
Hold and breath for four to six breaths. Inhale and reach your raised hand up towards the ceiling. Press own into your feel using your whole body to lift back into your original position. Repeat on the other side.
Benefit: triangle pose can help strengthen your chest and arms while increasing physical and mental stability. It can also stimulate your abdominal organs, improve digestion and reduce stress, back pain and anxiety.
Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Exhale, bending your knees as you pull your heels towards your pelvis. Drop your knees out to the sides, and press the soles of your feet together. Bring your heels as close as you comfortably can to your pelvis and grasp your big toes with your first and second fingers. Keep the outer edge of your feet firmly on the floor at all times. If you can’t hold your toes, hold your ankle or shin on each side.
Sit with your pubis and tailbone equal distances from the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and lengthen the front of your torso through the top of your sternum. Release your thigh bones towards the floor. Stay like this for two or three minutes. Inhale, lift your knees away from the floor and extend your legs back into their original position.
Benefit: the butterfly pose can help reduce cramps, tackle menstrual problems and combat headaches. It can also improve your blood circulation and posture, as well as to stimulate your kidneys.