Are you wondering why there is a need for talking about Yoga poses for teens?
With the present day challenges and constraints of time, growing teens are finding themselves a little too involved in every upheaval. An average adolescent today has to deal with a lot more stress and expectations that their counterparts did half a century ago. This is where taking a detour and movement become important. Yoga is slow and reflective, it urges the body to calm itself down.
Here is a quick read that talks about the benefits of doing Yoga for teens
Listed below in detail are ten simple yoga poses for teens that improve their physical strength and promote better mental health:
1. Yoga poses for Teens: Lotus Position (Padmasana)
Padmasana is a cross-legged posture that helps deepen meditation by calming the mind. The body resembles a lotus flower in this posture, and it is believed to be symbolic of the practitioner’s consciousness blossoming. It gets its name from Sanskrit, padma meaning lotus, and asana meaning posture.
This posture requires a great deal of flexibility in the knees and hips. This posture relaxes the mind, heightens concentration, lowers blood pressure, and reduces menstrual discomfort.
– Sit cross-legged on the floor on a yoga mat.
– Carefully position your feet on top of the opposite thighs at the hip crease.
– Gently place your hands upon your knees with your palms facing the sky or taking a mudra position.
– Take several deep breaths in and out as you meditate.
– Make sure to keep the head straight and spine erect.
– If you are a beginner and have a problem overlapping both your legs, you may also sit in a half-lotus pose (Ardha Padmasana) by placing any leg on the opposite thigh.
– If you have any difficulty sitting in this posture for a long time, you can change the legs and then sit in the same position.
– Also, practitioners should warm up the body with mobility exercises before practicing this pose.
2. Yoga poses for Teens: Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Shavana is a restorative posture that provides deep relaxation for the body and mind. It is usually practiced at the end of a yoga session and is referred to as ‘yogic sleep’ due to the nature of deep rest with full awareness. It gets its name from Sanskrit, shava meaning corpse, and asana meaning posture.
This posture provides a deep rest for the brain and relaxes the nervous system. It increases long-lasting energy levels and productivity. It also relieves stress, reduces anxiety, and alleviates insomnia.
– Lie down flat on your back in a comfortable position.
– Spread your legs, about hip-width apart.
– Place your arms a little bit away from your body and with palms facing the sky.
– Close your eyes and let your feet and knees relax completely.
– Slowly relax each part of your body, surrendering the whole body to the floor.
– Close your eyes and focus on breathing in and out. The incoming breath energizes the body, while the outgoing breath brings relaxation.
– Stay in this position for about 10-20 minutes or until you feel fully relaxed. Make sure you don’t fall asleep.
– Slowly roll onto your right side and lie in that position for a minute.
– Gently sit up into a seated sukhasana (the easy pose) by taking the support of your right hand.
– Take a few deep breaths and gently open your eyes.
3. Yoga poses for Teens: Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Ananda Balasana is an easy, stress-relieving yoga posture that gently stretches the lower back and calves while opening the groin and inner thighs. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, ananda meaning happy, bala meaning child, and asana meaning posture.
When you are in this posture, lying on your back and holding your feet, you resemble a happy baby, and this creates a deep feeling of calm and relaxation. Hence it is a great posture for relieving stress and fatigue.
It also provides significant relief to lower back pain or discomfort. And it helps lengthen and realign the spine as well as strengthen the arms and shoulders.
– Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a mat.
– With your head flat on the mat, bend your knees toward your chest at a 90-degree angle. Face the soles of your feet up toward the ceiling.
– Reaching forward, grab and hold the inside or outside of your feet. Spread your knees apart, shifting them toward your armpits.
– Flex your heels into your hand and gently rock from side to side (like a happy baby). Remain in this position for several breaths, inhaling and exhaling deeply.
– If you’re a beginner and finding it difficult to grab your feet, try looping a belt or yoga strap around the arch of your feet to achieve this pose.
– Also, you can place a rolled blanket or towel underneath your neck for support and to avoid neck strain.
– Avoid this pose if you suffer from serious back and knee injuries.
4. Yoga poses for Teens: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Bhujangasana is a backbend posture that helps to prepare the body for deeper backbends in your yoga practice. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, bhujanga meaning cobra or snake, and asana meaning posture.
It is an excellent posture for increasing the spine’s flexibility and reducing back pain. It is often performed as part of the Surya namaskar or sun salutation sequence. It also tones the abdomen, improves blood circulation, and reduces fatigue and stress.
– Lie down on your stomach with your toes flat on the floor, soles facing upwards; rest your forehead on the ground.
– Place both hands in such a way that palms are touching ground under your shoulders; elbows should be parallel and close to your torso.
Take a deep breath and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen. Keep your navel on the floor.
– Pull your torso back and off the floor with the support of your hands. Make sure that you are putting equal pressure on both palms.
– If possible, straighten your arms by arching your back as much as possible; tilt your head back and lookup.
– Maintain the pose while breathing evenly for 4-5 breaths.
– Now, breathe out, and gently bring your abdomen, chest, and head back to the floor and relax.
– If you are a beginner, avoid jerking or overstretching.
– Avoid this posture if you have fractured ribs or wrists.
5. Yoga poses for Teens: Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Ustrasana is a deep backbend posture that is great for opening the chest. The pose gets its name from Sanskrit, ustra meaning camel, and asana meaning pose.
This pose effectively calms the mind while ensuring that your core is engaged and strengthened. It helps improve the posture and flexibility of the spine. It strengthens the back and shoulders. It also alleviates menstrual discomfort.
– Kneel on the floor with your knees at hip-width apart and in line with your shoulders.
– Make sure your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.
– Place your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing down.
– Gently inhale and draw in your tailbone towards the pubis as if your navel is pulling it.
– Arch your back and reach back for your heels, straightening each arm.
– Relax the gluteal muscles. Stay in this yoga posture for a couple of rounds of breath.
– To come out of the posture, exhale, bringing your chin in toward your chest and your hands onto your hips.
– Engaging the lower belly, use your hands to support your lower back. Take your time as you lift yourself up with care.
– If you are a beginner, place a cushion underneath your knees to ease your way into the pose.
– You can also keep your hands on your lower back for support instead of reaching back to your heels.
6. Yoga poses for Teens: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana is a basic standing forward fold that allows your hands to rest on your thighs, shins, ankles, or floor. It is considered very good for relieving stress and soothing the nervous system. The pose gets its name from Sanskrit, uttana meaning intense stretch, and asana meaning pose.
This pose increases blood flow to the brain. And the inverted nature of the posture, with the heart above the head, is said to calm the brain and relieve stress. It stretches and lengthens the hamstrings and calves. It is often performed as part of the Surya namaskar or sun salutation sequence.
– Stand tall and straight with feet together and arms alongside the body.
– Balance your weight equally on both feet.
– Gently breath in and extend your arms overhead.
– Breathing out, bend forward and down towards the feet.
– Stay in the posture for 20-30 seconds and continue to breathe deeply.
– Keep the legs and spine erect; rest hands either on the floor or on your thighs, shins, or ankles.
– Inhale and extend your chest towards the knees to lengthen your spine.
– Lift the hips and tailbone higher, pressing the heels down.
– Let the head relax and move it gently towards the feet.
– Breathing in, stretch your arms forward and up, slowly come up to the standing position.
– Breathing out, bring the arms to the sides.
7. Yoga poses for Teens: Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Vrikshasana is a balancing posture that replicates a tree’s graceful, steady stance. The pose gets its name from Sanskrit, vriksha meaning tree, and asana meaning pose.
It is an excellent posture for increasing physical balance and stability in the legs. It improves your neuro-muscular coordination. It also brings balance and higher concentration to the mind.
– Stand tall in Tadasana or mountain pose.
– Bend your right knee and place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of your foot should be placed flat and firmly near your inner thigh.
– Make sure that your left leg is straight. Find your balance.
– Once you feel steady, take a deep breath in and bring your palms together in ‘Namaste’ mudra at your chest.
– Look straight in front of you and gently focus your gaze at an unmoving object. A steady gaze helps maintain a steady balance.
– Ensure that your spine is straight and continue breathing deeply. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths.
– On a slow exhalation, gently bring your hands down to your sides.
– Gently bring your right leg to the ground and return to Tadasana.
-If you are a beginner, you can place the foot below or above the knee if placement in the inner thigh is too difficult.
8. Yoga poses for Teens: Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Trikonasana is a foundational standing pose that stretches and strengthens the whole body. It is known to be therapeutic for anxiety and stress. It is often practiced as part of a Warrior sequence. It gets its name from Sanskrit, trikona meaning triangle, and asana meaning pose.
It is a combination of side bend and twist that focuses on hamstrings, chest, and shoulders. This posture strengthens the thighs, hips, and back muscles while toning the knees and ankles. It improves digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs. It also improves overall balance and stability, both physically and mentally.
– Stand tall and straight, separate your feet comfortably wide apart (about 2-3 feet).
– Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees.
– Now, align the center of your right heel with the center of the arch of your left foot.
– Ensure that your feet are pressing the ground and the weight of your body is equally balanced on both feet.
– Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight, allowing your left hand to come up in the air while your right hand comes down towards the floor. Keep both arms in a straight line.
– Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, whichever is possible, without distorting the sides of the waist.
– Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders.
– Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left palm.
– Ascertain that your body is bent sideways and not backward or forward. Pelvis and chest are wide open.
– Stretch maximum and be steady. Focus on taking long deep breaths. And with each exhalation, relax the body to the maximum.
– As you inhale, come up, bring your arms down to your sides, and straighten your feet.
– Repeat the same on the other side.
– If you are a beginner, bend slowly and gently while bending forward so that you do not lose balance.
9. Yoga poses for Teens: Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
Garudasana is an intermediate standing posture that challenges both balance and flexibility. The pose gets its name from the Sanskrit, garuda meaning eagle, and asana meaning posture.
Eagle Pose twists and binds your entire body, forcing you to concentrate while balancing on one foot. It requires a great amount of focus and stillness to accomplish this posture. Hence this is one of the best yoga postures for improving concentration.
It also stretches and strengthens the hips, thighs, shoulders, and upper back.
– Stand tall in Tadasana or mountain pose.
– Bend your knees as if you’re sitting on a chair. Lift your left foot and cross it over your right foot.
– Ensure that your right foot is placed firmly on the floor and your left thigh is over your right thigh. Your left toes should be pointing downwards.
– Bring your arms forward and parallel to the floor.
– Cross your right arm over your left and bend your elbows so that your arms are perpendicular to the floor.
– Slowly turn your hands so that your palms face one another.
– Simultaneously press your palms together and stretch your fingers upwards.
– Focus your gaze on one fixed point and stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths.
– Slowly release your hands and bring them to the side of your body.
– Raise your left leg and place it back on the floor.
– If you are a beginner and finding it challenging to balance, use a wall to support your back and increase stability.
10. Yoga poses for Teens: Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
Natarajasana is an advanced level standing, balancing, and back-bending posture. This posture is the dancing avatar of Lord Shiva through which his love for dance, music, and art are depicted.
This posture takes a lot of focus and attention to create openness and expansion while maintaining balance on one leg. Concentration is essential to practice this posture. It improves overall muscle strength from the shoulders and chest to the hips and toes.
– Stand tall in Tadasana or mountain pose with your feet at hip-distance apart.
– Lift your left arm straight in front of you and hold it at shoulder level with your left palm facing the floor.
– Shift your weight onto your left leg and keep it straightened.
– Bend your right knee and raise the right foot up behind you near your hip.
– Bend your right arm so that you can reach back and grasp your right big toe in between the right thumb and the first and middle fingers of your right hand.
– Hold the big toe with your right palm facing upward toward the ceiling.
– Keeping the right leg well bent, pull your right foot up behind you until it’s at almost the same height as your shoulders.
You can even join them during one of their yoga practice sessions and be their role model. Teens pay close attention to how their parents’ act. If you enjoy exercising together, you’re motivating them by demonstrating that it’s fun for you. Also, doing yoga with a friend is a great way to stay motivated. Encourage them to find a workout buddy so that they can keep each other on track.
Here is also a video of a basic flow of yoga poses for teens to get them started
Introducing yoga at an early age builds strength and flexibility and keeps the mind calm and focused. Regular yoga practice increases their self-esteem, enthusiasm, and positivity. It could be a stepping stone to a healthy lifestyle for teens.