This is a series of short blog posts on how to make yoga more cool for pre-teens.
Welcome to Yogishopee blog, a place for parents to learn about Yoga as a fun fitness and wellness activity. It’s an exciting time to be alive, thanks to the growing numbers of Americans who are embracing health and fitness, as well as the rapid advances in technology. As a result, there’s a growing need to help parents make yoga cool for pre-teens.
Exercise, and therefore yoga, is essential for a growing body. Yoga can also give teens important tools for life, such as self-confidence and self-respect, inner and outer strength, focus and concentration, and greater awareness of themselves and others.
So how do you get a teenager to take up yoga? It’s not about songs and yoga journeys, but it can’t be boring! Make yoga fun for them with a few of these ideas.
1. Having fun is good, but being cool is better!
Stay calm. – Teenagers can be intimidating with their eye-rolling, skepticism, and cruel observations. But don’t be afraid! You are amazing and they will love you, you just have to show them! Use your strengths, be confident, and whoever you are, be more!
Use cool music. – Music is a language, so play music that resonates with your teens to create a bond. Find out what music they think is cool and play it in your class. Let them do yoga and make yoga sequences based on this music. Let them plug their iPod into the sound system every now and then, and yoga becomes a cool teen activity!
Anything you can brag about to your friends is great! – Children love a challenge and like to share their successes. Introduce them to some refreshing and challenging yoga poses and get them moving.
Let them discover their world beyond the physical realm by incorporating other elements such as acrobatics, acro-yoga, other circus arts, dance, theater, capoeira and martial arts, Thai massage, energy recognition and healing exercises.
2. Love yourself.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to poor education about their body image. I regularly hear children in this age group make negative comments about their appearance.
Yoga is very enjoyable and connects us to our bodies. It helps teens learn to appreciate and love their bodies. It is important to emphasize that beauty comes from within.
When you are happy, confident and proud of yourself, you radiate beauty. ~ Gopala Amir-Yaffe
Let yourself shine from within!
3. Get them moving!
Do a good warm-up, and then gradually increase the intensity of the postures. Younger children are more active and can stretch before yoga. However, remember that many of them, under the influence of the modern world, spend a lot of time twiddling their thumbs and using their electronic devices. Here’s why the warm-up is a MUST!
4. Maintain balance.
When working with children, the story that emerges during the activity is more important than the specific sequence of poses. We think it would be fun to incorporate different yoga poses into the class. However, courses for older children require more thought to balance the course.
Each session includes standing and seated postures, backbends, forward bends, side bends, twists, inversions and balancing postures. Introduce difficult poses! Pay more attention to the technique and precision of the postures and the importance of deep, even breathing.
5. Appreciate the benefits.
Children absorb knowledge like a sponge. Talk about the physical and mental benefits of exercise so they understand how beneficial it is for them!
Focus their attention on the specific muscles that are stretched or strengthened in each pose. This is the best way to draw more attention to your practice. Ask them what part of their body they feel stretching. Give it life!
6. Follow his example.
Use the energy the group brings and make them feel part of the group. Create a classroom with your teens and let them be teachers for a while.
For example, try the sun dance. You don’t need words, just put on some uplifting music and have everyone stand in the middle of the circle and do a series of flowing poses. Uber-cool!
7. Find new ways to practice yoga.
Children don’t want to do what their parents and grandparents do. They want to do their own thing and discover new ways to do yoga! Here are some things you can try:
- Partner Yoga Exercises
- Human mandalas or group yoga flows
- A follow me-like game where everyone takes turns following the leader to cool, wordless music.
- Do the wave in your yoga class. (Kids love this.) Have one of them pose and have everyone else do the same pose after him.
- Kids love the media. Create a yoga video by recording parts of the class and sharing it with your personal yoga group on Facebook.
- Children at this age are bursting with creativity! Encourage them by asking them to think of new yoga poses or new ways to do yoga together.
Class with concept
During this time, remember to stay focused. We never teach courses that are just a collection of games; there always has to be a theme or story that ties everything together. This gives direction to the lesson and enriches its depth and content. We call it the class with a concept. In these classes, everything we do revolves around a theme or concept that relates to all the poses and games we choose.
Invite them to a short discussion on the topic at the beginning of the session, where everyone can contribute. It is very good to do this during the Sole Mate exercise where we all sit in a circle and massage our neighbor’s feet. You can also circulate a discussion tool in the circle. Use your creativity – you don’t want this to be a boring conference.
The concepts can be physical or emotional. Fun physical concepts can be anything: Falling, standing on your head, being soft, opening your breath and heart, working in pairs or groups, being slow. Other ideas to explore could include: love, happiness, trust, communication, friendship, collaboration, creativity and imagination.
Design with your concept in mind. For example, with regard to the concept of trust, you could ask each child in the circle to tell you who they trust or who they think they trust. Then do poses that ask the children to trust each other, such as. For example, the pear tree or the raven pose. They can also do postures such as contra-balance and acro-balance, which involve leaning on each other.
Bring the concept to life. When they try the Crow for the first time, most fall. When I ask what they were thinking when they did this pose, most say they thought their face would hit the ground. I ask them to repeat the pose, but I trust them to do it well. I encourage them to imagine themselves in this position. The result? Most of them will be more confident and able to pose!
Give them a break. End with a massage or a meditation on kindness. These kids are bombarded all day with advertising, lessons in school, and media trash. You will love being in silence.
Because being cool is just the starting point for getting in touch with the creative and beautiful spirit of these kids. Be patient, have fun, discover and learn a little more about yourself by working with this group!