Starting out with yoga can be exciting, and perhaps a bit daunting. To help you with some basic questions we have put together a yoga beginners guide for teens.
Flexibility: Well, let us tell you first that it’s a myth that you need to be flexible to start yoga. Yoga is about increasing your personal range of motion.
Attitude: All that is required is curiosity to explore and learn something new.
Space: If you practice at home find a quiet space. You want to feel comfortable and safe.
Equipment: You can buy a mat if you like. Otherwise, if you are practicing at home, a carpet will do but watch out that you don’t slip or slide. You might also want a blanket to cover yourself during the rest.
Clothes: Wear a comfortable and stretchy outfit. Take your socks off so you don’t slip.
Poses: Yoga poses are designed to bring health to your body, increasing the range of motion. Yoga is not meant to be a forceful contortion. Choose which poses you will attempt and modify if needed. The aim is not to complete a pose as quickly as possible but to achieve a balance between ease and steadiness. This takes some practice.
Classes: In some areas you will find special yoga for teenagers classes. We run a weekly public class in Kensal Rise, London, UK. Alternatively, check out the classes at your local yoga studio and have a chat with the teacher beforehand. On our Facebook page we post videos and poses that we find helpful for teens. Most important is that you keep in mind that your body is still growing; so don’t push over your limits but work towards building strength.
Practice: Do as much as feels good but start off easy. For example, if you enjoy doing back bends go for it but warm up with a half bridge and activate your legs and inner thighs to support your lower back. Ask a yoga teacher if you are unsure how to do a pose correctly.
Guidance: In addition to a teacher, use your breath as a guide and allow it to flow easily. This way you will not only stay present and focused but also it will keep you from straining or pushing over your limits.
Enjoyment: Look for the joy in each pose. Scan through your body using your breath awareness.
Outcome: It doesn’t matter how “good” you are at yoga. Actually, there is no such thing. What you are looking for is a greater sense of well-being.
Rest: Even after a short practice it is important that you take a few minutes to rest properly. If you are uncomfortable lying on you back, try lying on your belly with your forehead resting on your hands.
Eating & Drinking: It will not feel good if you eat before practice. Save it for afterwards. Whilst it is good to stay hydrated we suggest you drink some water before and after practice but not during your practice.
Physical fitness: Before you start check your fitness and choose postures that are appropriate for you (if you are not sure speak to your doctor).
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