Yoga for Teenagers
Yoga for Teenagers
Yoga should be studied with a well qualified professional teacher who understands both the philosophy and the practical health techniques of the science. In the case of teenagers it is an ideal time to learn many things that will help in the process of ‘growing up’ and maturing in a healthy, natural way – physically, emotionally and mentally.
Because Yoga has a universal approach which embraces moral and spiritual principles, it helps to strength the spiritual and religious principles which are inherent in each person who aims at excellence. Some people mistake the teaching as a religion in itself but this is not true. Its history goes back thousands of years and although it is allied to the Hindu faith and has been preserved in India, Yoga offers simply a way of life. There should be no misconception about this point. It is best of course to meet your teacher and discuss this with them as there are many teachers with different approaches and points of view. Most teachers in western society see the need to modify and adapt the traditional Indian practices to our modern lifestyle and this has helped Yoga to become very popular.
One of the first benefits students say is that after a class or two they begin to feel freer and less stressed and in the case of young people who are just beginning to understand the responsibilities that come with maturity, there are plenty of reasons why stress builds up. However, stress and nervous tension make matters worse, so the ability to relax is one of the first tonic effects when undergoing yoga training.
There are many pointers given by the teacher as to how to improve personal health. These tips will complement what you already know about physical fitness and can be applied to physical health and nutrition; exercises with breath control (the yogic way is different from average fitness programs); mastering body posture and the many dozens of yoga postures that are taken both for health reasons and as a means of developing control over the body; breathing exercises to increase vitality or to calm the mind; concentration to help the mind be efficient and meditation to allow the mind to relax and to listen to one’s soul or inner being.
Following the principle that when the body is still, we can better be aware of our feelings and that when the emotions are calm we think more clearly. It is therefor natural that when the mind is calm, we can experience our deeper intuitive nature of our soul intelligence and receive inspiration.
Apart from the obvious physical benefits that come from the more dynamic practices, teenagers generally find the practice of meditation as one of the most interesting. It can be particularly helpful when encouraged by the thought that each of us has the seed of every human potential latent within us, awaiting its culture and development. The ancient Vedic teachings say it in this way in the Upanishads….
“In this body, in this town of spirit, is a little house shaped like a lotus. And in this house, there is a little space. There is as much in this little space (within the heart) as there is in the whole world outside – sun, moon, lightning, stars….whatever is and whatever is not yet, everything is there”.
Students begin to feel they can draw upon their inner reserves rather than over- emphasizing the importance of external and material ambitions which can often seem limited enough by circumstances to cause frustration. Many find that they have exciting experiences when they sit quietly and attune themselves in this way.
One of the most helpful ideas the philosophy offers in addition, is that each person is unique and possesses some special qualities which can be cultivated to benefit others in some way in their lives, or given to the world as a whole. Each has to discover what those qualities and talents are and so the future provides ample opportunity for adventure both inwardly and outwardly. You can make your own future as you want.
Our native culture provides the basis of a pattern for living and a lifestyle which imbues all the best thoughts of previous generations and if the traditions are followed, much benefit is gained. But we are living in a particular time when global conditions indicate a breakdown in traditional values. This is having a negative affect upon almost every culture forcing each individual to make their own decisions about the values they wish to live by in their own life. This is made more difficult by the trends of popular thought and habit which tend to sweep the nations in great waves of influences which tend to be bad more than a power for good.
It takes individual character to withstand the negative influence of one’s peers and to act, think and feel for oneself. This can often mean an unfortunate distancing of a good person that occurs by the rebellious ‘popular set’ rejecting a boy or girl who is trying harder, or conforms and is not shy to speak up for the good values of society. But that is just an example of the power than groups of people can have when they band together. Equally of course, good people standing together have equal power, but for good.
Yoga, however, focuses upon the individual and self discipline. Everyone has the potential to control their own bodies, their own feelings, their own thoughts and their actions. It is all up to us and our choices. When confused, or stressed, you will learn how to practice relaxation, or to practice yogic exercises and postures, or to take deep breaths and special rhythms, or you may meditate – all these techniques can be used on occasion and you will feel after you have applied yourself, you will feel much better – as if your personality has been ‘ironed out…smooth’ and you will feel more vital and much happier.
Yoga encourages you to face your difficulties and fears and resolve them. If you haven’t a person to whom you feel free to talk out privately, one whom you trust completely, then you can always write out your thoughts in your special personal diary or communicate with your wiser soul self or with God in your prayers and meditations. Why not join a Yoga class today!
Your Independent guide to Yoga [http://yoga.tips-and-gear.com/]
– William B. Sprague
This article is PUBLISHED BY Foras Aje, an independent researcher and author of “Fitness: Inside and out”, which provides tips on how to improve and maintain your health using all natural methods. For more information on these guidelines:
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