Finding Balance: 5 Ways Yoga Can Benefit Teens

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The benefits of yoga for adults are fairly well-known. Yoga can reduce chronic pain from conditions, such as headaches, arthritis, and carpel tunnel syndrome, increase flexibility, help you lose weight, improve muscle strength and tone, increase energy, help you manage stress, and improve concentration. Yoga isn’t just beneficial for adults, though; it’s also beneficial for teens.

Here are 5 ways yoga can benefit teens.

#1 Reduces Negative Emotions

A study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics indicates that yoga can reduce negative emotions in teens. In the study, 51 11th- and 12th-grade students were randomly assigned to a regular physical education (PE) class or to a yoga class for 10 weeks. The yoga class was based on Kripalu yoga, and students in the class practiced yoga postures, meditation, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises.

All students completed a number of psychosocial questionnaires to assess their moods. While students taking regular PE classes reported more negative emotions, those taking yoga reported a reduction in negative emotions.

#2 Encourages Self-Acceptance

Taking yoga classes at places like California Family Fitness helps teens learn to love and accept themselves. With so much pressure from society to look good, this is an especially important benefit to teens struggling with body image. Yoga gives teens an opportunity to appreciate what the body can do rather than what the body looks like.

Taking yoga classes gives teens a nonjudgmental atmosphere to interact with their own bodies as well as their peers. Yoga teaches teens to love and accept themselves, and this love and acceptance spreads outward to others. Yoga can increase a teen’s compassion for herself and for others.

#3 Improves Concentration and Focus

The practice of “concentration” and “single focus” in yoga helps train your brain to focus. Teens who practice yoga regularly may find it easier to concentrate on homework and focus while in the classroom.

Harvard Health Publications asserts that yoga can help improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Yoga may help teens with ADHD perform better in school.

#4 Increases Mindfulness

Practicing yoga increases mindfulness. Mindfulness has several benefits, including boosting working memory, reducing emotional reactivity, decreasing depressive symptoms, improving patience, and increasing one’s compassion for himself and others.

#5 Physical Benefits

As with adults, yoga has many physical benefits for teens. Specifically, yoga improves strength, increases balance and coordination, improves flexibility, and improves posture. Practicing yoga can also improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury during physical activities.

Yoga is beneficial to a teen’s physical and mental health. Through the poses, meditation, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises yoga teaches, teens can learn to manage stress, love and accept themselves and others, improve mindfulness, and increase strength, coordination, and flexibility.

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