Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Um, Like...Om" Teens & Yoga

So lately, I've been thinking a lot about my sudden drive to work with teen & tween girls. Maybe it has something to do with the incredible way yoga makes me feel during and after practice. I feel like Super Woman; like I could climb to the top of a mountain and fly down the other side like a soaring eagle. Take this spectacular on-top-of-the-world feeling and marry it to the awkward, have-no-idea-who-I-am, hormonal teenage girl and what have you got? Well, a dose of self-esteem for one but moreover, courage, motivation, focus, determination, healthy eating choices, positive body image, self-awareness, confidence, flexibility, balance and total girl power. 

Yoga can do all that? Yes, it can.

Teach her yoga, an invigorating way of learning about the incredible super girl she is, and you'll have nailed it. Dead on.

Sure, at first it may be silly to her. Some of the postures may look funny or feel funny. A bit of laughter is good for the soul! Some have corny names, but all will do the body, mind & spirit good. Move over milk, yoga doesn't just work on the body. It covers all the bases. Most parents I know would jump at the opportunity to have their daughters smiling more, feeling good about who they are, and overall, just being happy. 

Despite what you may have heard, yoga today, is not a religion. Think of it as a commitment to yourself to be a better person, to live better, love better, and feel better. To unite with yourself and others around you, and how to relate to the rest of the world.

Three weeks ago, I stumbled upon a book on Amazon called Um, Like...Om: A Girl Goddess's Guide to Yoga by Evan Cooper. I purchased it after sifting through the information online. It arrived last week and I read it cover to cover in a few days. It isn't just a book about yoga, it's a guide to teenage life. It shows how yoga will help teens deal with everyday challenges such as school, relationships, hormones, peer pressure and self-esteem issues. The book contains step-by-step instructions and pictures of yoga postures. It also teaches the girls how to tell their inner-critic how to take a hike so they stop bashing themselves. I absolutely love it! It is written for the teen, but as a parent and yoga instructor, I'm finding it incredibly useful for my own knowledge of dealing with teens. *I've listed it to the right with a couple of my favorite yoga books.

Where was yoga when I was growing up? 

I can remember back to my teenage years and the painful, uncomfortable and trying times I endured. Had I been given the opportunity to practice yoga back then, I know the road would have been less bumpy, and I may have actually liked myself. 

My interest in teaching yoga to teens is not just helping them feel rock star good, but it's more about helping them like themselves and teaching them how to leap over life's little bumps in the road.

Here's a great article to further your reading on the subject of teaching yoga to teens:


(If I was talking to a group of teens, Namaste' would say... Hey girls, the rock star in me, honors the rock star in you.)

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