I can’t be sure, but I sort of feel that when I mention to other yoga teachers that I work with teens they seem to glaze over and I can almost see the questions running round their minds ‘why, why why??’ Fact is that I think that about their adult classes… (Actually that is not strictly true but works well on a piece about teen yoga! 😊, I really enjoy the adult sessions I run but there is something that steers me very clear of the expensive legging wearing, coconut water drinking and now Himalayan salt drinking archetypical classes where the teacher Namasssstayyyyys at beginning and end of class. I LOVE running teen classes!
I have loved practising yoga for as long as I can remember; (I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in India learning the practice and the philosophies behind it) it stretches and strengthens my mind and my body, it brings calmness to me in a way that nothing else can… I guess it doesn’t work for everyone but that’s what it does for me.
When my own children practised yoga in school in Bali when they were little I saw the same thing happen to them on yoga days and it was then that I decided that if I ever did train to teach I would want to work with children and teens and hopefully help to guide them into a peaceful place. Fast forward about 12 years and that is indeed what I am doing.
Following on from my full teacher training I trained in teaching teens with Veronika in 2014 and haven’t looked back. Veronika’s course was well structured and gave me the confidence to approach schools, teen clubs etc to offer yoga. As a mother of teens I thought I would be ok anyway but it really gave me so much valuable information that I hadn’t actually thought of.
I teach in schools and privately. Some schools haveme in for just half a term at a time, some all year round. Some it’s during PE, some it’s ‘yoga time’ and some it’s after school. Some days are great and some aren’t…. Whilst I always have a rough plan of what we will do it doesn’t always work to plan as I feel quite strongly that it’s important to give the students what they need… Ideally they relax, feel safe, have a great stretch and have fun. Hopefully they also feel a sense of calm remember the exercises for both body and mind so that they can calm themselves when they need to. The world is a busier place than it ever has been before… People spend way too much time hunched over screens… I am on a mission to prevent the next generation from becoming stressed out hunchedbacks!
If teaching teens is something you may be interested in a few things I’d say are…
* don’t expect them all to love it and don’t beat yourself up when they don’t love it
* remember your own teen years… Take yourself back … It’s helpful
* Always talk to teens as equals
* keep it lighthearted – don’t go in expecting them to chant!
* be prepared to practise yoga to ‘One Direction’ or Ed Sheran if you have to.
* take some nice fragranced cream into girls classes… Most teen girls love a shoulder press with some lovely smelly cream thrown in… Just check who wants and who doesn’t…
* keep your sense of humour 😊 and get over yourself…
* watch & listen to the group, work out the dynamics – read the book ‘Queen Bees and Wannabees’ if you work with a lot of girls.
* Be available for them to talk to.
Philippa runs classes in schools and privately in Bucks, Berks and Herts.
For more information see her website: www.yoga4teenagers.co.uk