Is there a way to smooth – or soothe – the emotional tumult, anxieties, and temerity of adolescence? Take a deep breath; it’s all about the process.
Yoga is a practice, a journey of empowerment and self-realization, which provides the tools to find internal stillness and serenity, even amidst a flurry of academic and social pressures, and high-speed, overscheduled lives with so much time spent online and on phones.
At Boulder Yoga Kids, yoga class is a space of acceptance and rapport where teens can be themselves and learn and explore without judgment or competition. They slow down, concentrate on self-awareness and harmony, and let go of stress and negativity by clearing the mind.
14-year-old Ariana,* a long-time Boulder Yoga Kids student, reports, “Yoga calms me down when I’m having a bad day and it lessens my stress,” while her friend in the class, Gladys, maintains that “yoga relaxes my inner chaos.”
Breathing Deeply, Thinking Deeply
The restorative, positive energy of yoga and its focus on wholeness and balance, nonattachment and mindfulness enhances social-emotional wellbeing. This is an area that Boulder Yoga Kids founder and certified yoga instructor Teri Jacobson is particularly passionate about. With a master’s degree in psychology and having worked as a child and family counselor, Teri cares deeply about helping her students and recognizes how important it is to provide teens with effective, lifelong techniques for emotional self-regulation and reflection. She is inspired by yoga as a powerful and affirming method to settle internal tensions and experience equilibrium by living deeply in the present.
Says Teri, “to navigate the emotional ups and downs, I talk with my students about the ‘relaxation response’ and how they can tap into it through breath and movement.”
During yoga class, Teri guides the teens in practicing the breathing technique of diaphragmatic breathing that they can use during school, before getting up in the morning, and before sleep.
She then connects the breath work with the movements of yoga. They spend time holding certain poses, focusing on their breath, and becoming aware of how the body feels and reflecting on any feelings that might surface. Once the teens gain insight to how their bodies feel in a pose, they move to an asana flow that links the movements with breath.
Says Teri, “The sun salutation sequence together with the warrior series, is a great way for teens to slow down and reconnect. I also let them know that when they engage the ‘relaxation response’ during a difficult situation, it can help them to be proactive rather than emotionally reactive.”
As famous yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar remarked, “Yoga is a mirror to look at ourselves from within.”
*Names of children have been changed to protect their identities.
Call or email to take a tour of the studio and see class demos on Boulder Yoga Kids channel on YouTube. Also check out Boulder Yoga Kids on Facebook.
Boulder Yoga Kids:
1800 30th Street (north of Canyon), Suite 305 (in the Crossroads Gardens building)
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Ph: (303) 588-4092
Boulder Yoga Kids is our December Featured Friend.