Teenage is a crucial period in anyone’s life. The healthy practices followed in one’s teens would be beneficial throughout their life. And this is where yoga comes into play!
There are a number of asanas for teens, which can better their health and help them stay robust and fit all through their life. Would you like to know what they are? Go ahead and read!
The Science Of Yoga:
The roots of yoga take us almost 5000 years back into the Indian culture. The terminology ‘yoga’ comes from a Sanskrit derivative ‘Yug’. This essentially symbolizes the integration of the human soul with the consciousness of the universe. A spectator may view yoga as a mere physical form of exercising. However, this philosophy has the magical powers of touching the mind and the soul as well. Yoga personifies a novel way of living that arouses all facets of human beings.
Yoga For Adolescents:
As one steps onto the threshold of puberty, the body undergoes several transformations. The alterations in the physicality and chemistry of the body result in several behavioral changes as well. Teenagers are often seen to undergo several mood fluctuations that become rather tedious to tackle. The phenomenon of rebellion, particularly common at this age, can be a colossal issue for self and loved ones. Yoga is known to provide relief in these aspects of adolescent life as well. It enriches the body and mind and facilitates a positive line of thought.
Top Asanas For Teenagers:
1. Mountain Pose:
This is the basic pose in yoga employed towards all standing asanas. It improvises the body alignment and adds strength to the thigh muscles.
- On an even ground, stand erect with the heels slightly spaced out. The bases of the big toes should be in contact with each other. Ensure balanced distribution of the body weight on your feet.
- Maintain firmness of thigh muscles and lift the interiors of the ankles. This will render a cup shape to the feet. Keeping the upper thigh area inwards, lift the pubis in the direction of the navel. This will require stretching of the tail bone.
- Stretch the shoulder blades with minimal arching towards the back. Try not to exert a forward push to the ribs. By lifting the sternum, place the arms on the chest.
- Keep perfect alignment between the head and the pelvis centre point. The chin should be slightly up.
- Maintain the posture for a minimal time of 30 seconds to one minute. Keep the breathing pattern easy (1).
2. Downward Dog:
It is generally incorporated into the yoga workouts for beginners. This asana is beneficial to the entire body, especially for treating back pain.
- Bend with the hands and knees touching the floor. The elbows should stretch out completely. Keep the upper part of the back relaxed.
- Lift the knees from the surface and move the body backwards so as to keep the arms and back aligned.
- Stretch the knees and legs completely with an upward thrust to the body. The head should be hanging down.
- Extend the arms as much as possible to stretch out the entire length of the back.
- Ensure that while maintaining the posture, the chest is straight and not hanging downwards (2).
This asana is very similar to push ups. It provides optimum strength to the arm muscles and aids in attaining good body balance.
- Go down on the hands and knees. Ensure that the wrists and shoulders are in alignment.
- Spread apart the fingers and exert weight through the forearms.
- Stretch the neck and pull up the muscles of the abdomen.
- Tucking the toes, move the feet backwards. This will bring the body and head in alignment.
- Keep the thigh muscles lifted upwards and broaden the shoulders. Stretch out the entire tailbone in the direction of the knees.
4. Warrior I:
This pose should be part of a yoga routine on a daily basis, but requires supervision of an expert in the field. This asana stretches the muscles of all the limbs and provides strength to the shoulders and back muscles. It is known to work wonders for the respiratory system and promotes circulation of blood.
- Commence this posture with the mountain pose.
- Open your legs by stretching the left foot towards one side. There should be approximately 4 feet distance between the two feet.
- Tilt the left foot in the left direction to an angle of 90 degrees. The right foot should face towards the left at a 45-degree angle.
- Rotate the torso in the left direction.
- Bending the left knee, stretch both the arms upwards. The palms should be facing each other in the inward position. Keep the fingers completely stretched.
5. Warrior II:
As in the case of the warrior I pose, this asana also originates from the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. Apart from imparting strength to the arms and legs, it also promotes stamina and improvises concentration.
- This again requires commencement with the Mountain pose.
- Put the feet apart by about 4 feet.
- Raise both arms horizontally. Keep them parallel to the ground. Tilt the head towards the left direction.
- Turn the left foot in the left direction at an angle of 90 degrees. However, keep the hips and the arms in the identical angle of 180 degrees.
- Maintain position for 30 seconds to one minute.
6. Cobbler’s Pose:
This asana facilitates strengthening of the knees. It is known to have positive effects on the urinary system.
- Sit on the yoga mat with legs stretched out straight.
- Keep the soles of the feet close to each other and grasp the ankles.
- Clasp the big toe with the thumb, first and second fingers of each hand.
- Avoid exerting pressure on the knees.
- Stretch the spine and the torso as much as possible without causing stress.
7. Standing Forward Pose:
The asana has the potential to enhance the digestive powers and relieve any form of mental stress and anxiety. This is the perfect way out from depressive mood swings.
- Stand straight on the feet. Bend forward over the legs.
- Place the hands on the ground in proximity to the feet.
- Stretch the chest to grant maximum length to the spine.
- Keep the legs absolutely straight without causing stress. Extend the crown of the head in the floor direction. Do not roll the shoulders forward.
8. Sun Salutation:
Popularly known as the Surya Namaskar (3), this pose detoxifies the body systems.
- The starting position of this pose is the Mountain pose.
- Keep the palms in the prayer position close to each other.
- Gradually raise the arms, keeping the palms in the same position.
- Bend the body forward. Touch the feet with hands.
- Put the right leg backwards. The back is arched in this position. Keep the chin up.
- Stretch the left leg backwards, similar to the plank pose. The body weight should be on the hands and feet. The spine should be absolutely straight.
- Lower the knees, chest and forehead. The hips should not touch the floor.
- Keeping the arms straight, stretch forward bending the back. Look up at the ceiling.
- Press the heels on the floor and lift the hips with an upward thrust.
- Push the right leg in front with the foot placed flat on the ground. Keep the chin slightly up.
- Put both feet together and bend forward. Touch both feet with the hands.
- Extend the arms forward and take them above the head. Gradually bend backwards stretching the waist.
- Now, very slowly, go back to the mountain pose.
9. Tree Stand Pose:
This pose calls for maintenance of perfect body equilibrium. It has proven advantages to boost mental faculties, thereby promoting memory and concentration skills.
- Stand in the Mountain pose.
- Lift the left foot and keep it on the interior side of the right leg. The position of the foot should be in proximity to the groin. The toe should be facing downwards.
- Extend the arms horizontally in a T format. The palms should be facing the ground.
- Fold your arms and bring the palms close, just like how you do in the prayer pose.
- Maintaining the palms in the same pose, stretch the arms above the head.
- Keep the vision focused on one point to maintain perfect equilibrium.
10. Crane Pose:
The performance of this asana requires a lot of balancing and focus. In fact, these are the very attributes that develop one’s personality as well.
- Place the hands on the floor, keeping the palms flat. Push the heels upwards. Exert body weight on the hands.
- Lift both the feet by balancing the body entirely on the hands.
- The back should be stretched out. Maintain equilibrium by focusing vision on a solitary point.
11. Reclining Hero Pose:
This pose will ensure the stretching of all your body muscles. Its benefits include enhancement of memory and sharpening of one’s concentration.
- Kneel down on the yoga mat. Keep the knees apart in line with the hips. Ankles should be in alignment with the knees.
- Bend the body forward so as to keep the forehead on the ground. Place the palms on the calf and exert slight pressure on the muscles of the calves.
- Lift the head and sit between the ankles with the spine absolutely vertical.
- Gradually move the body backwards. The forearms and elbows should be touching the floor. The hands are to be placed on the feet.
- Allow the whole body to fall backwards with the arms stretched overhead. Put the chin towards the chest and maintain posture.
This pose may require certain practice as its difficulty level is slightly high. However, it imparts amazing glow to the complexion by stimulating the blood circulation.
- Place the knees and elbows on the yoga mat. Twirl the hands, but maintain some space between the palms.
- Intertwine the upper portion of the arms with the shoulder blades to render support to the shoulders. Allow the upper back to sink. Stretch out the neck. Elevate the knees.
- Exert weight on the lower arms and walk forward slightly until the back is completely straight.
- Keep the crown firm on the ground. Push the legs up in the air, one at a time. Maintain maximum body weight on the crown.
- Maintain a perpendicular posture of the head, keeping the upper back absolutely straight. The centre of gravity should be the upper back portion of the body.
- Keep your focus and stay still in the pose.
13. Plough Pose:
Another asana that ensures the movement of nutrients and oxygen to the face. It imparts perfect radiance to the skin and makes it glow like never before.
- Lie on the back straight on the yoga mat.
- Raise the arms straight over the head. Put the legs up vertically straight. Lift the hips to take the legs over the head. Touch the ground with the feet.
- Now, lift the back so as to bring the legs more towards the head.
- Keeping the spine straight, take the arms close to the back.
- With the elbows on the ground, put the hands on the upper part of the back in close proximity to the shoulders.
14. Wheel Pose:
This exercise is highly recommended for adding inches to one’s stature. It facilitates the expansion of the trunk portion of the body and is known to aid in height gain.
- Lie straight on the yoga mat. Bend the knees to pull the legs upward with the feet on the ground.
- Raise the arms overhead and place the palms on the floor. The palms should be in proximity to the head and the fingers should point towards the shoulder blade.
- Keep the head firmly on the ground, but lift only the hips upward.
- Give the body an upward thrust keeping the feet and knees vertically in line. The crown of the head should be rested on the floor.
- Stretch the arms and feet completely with the head falling down. This pose looks similar to a bridge position. Maintain this position keeping the pressure on the legs and arms. Ensure the entire back is stretched out in the pose.
15. Camel Pose:
Beginners require performing this exercise with care to avoid lower back injuries. This asana activates hair growth.
- Go down on the knees. Sit with the calves straight against the floor.
- Lean backwards by holding your ankles with your hands.
- Give a forward push to the abdomen rendering an arch shape to the body.
- Let the head fall back as much as possible. Maintain posture (4).
The years of teenage lay the foundation for a stable life. The thoughts and perceptions embodying this phase need to be positively channelized for a successful future. Yoga unifies the body with spirit. It is a medium to bond one’s inner being with the external world. The key to success in today’s world is a healthy body, agile mind, and calm soul. Invest your trust in an ancient philosophy to overcome the hurdles of competition, jealousy and exploitation. Let yoga be the path for holistic attainment.
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