Teen Yoga Monthly Theme – June 2021
Every month the Foundation focuses on a different aspect of young people’s lives and looks at how yoga can help disadvantaged young people address it. It might be stress, or social media or how to keep focus on your studies. This month we focus on:
YOGA FOR SELF-CARE
Taking Care of Me to Take Care of You
Most of us will be familiar with the concept of self-care but it is basically anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally and emotionally well. Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer and becoming better equipped to manage stress.
There’s no doubt that the past year has been stressful for many and particularly teens as they navigate their way through all the changes the pandemic has brought on while also managing their day-to-day. They carry a heavy burden, many of them know people who are either suicidal or self-harming or have eating disorders. It’s a lot for them to be dealing with.
We thought self-care might be a good theme because when we are able to care for ourselves then it becomes easier to care for and help others. And yet, a key tool for self-care is setting boundaries – knowing when you can be there to support someone and also knowing when it might be good for them to get professional help. According to the BMJ, in addition to self-care being the activities individuals do on their own to promote physical and emotional health, it also includes the ways that individuals interact with clinicians and healthcare systems to tend to physical and emotional health.
Self-care is anything you do for yourself that feels nourishing – that can be something relaxing or calming, or it can be something that is intellectual or spiritual or physical or practical or something you need to get done. What is self-care for one person will likely differ from someone else and yet the benefits are the same – reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity and higher self-esteem.
For the month of June, we bring you resources to use that allow you to give tools to your yogis to learn more about self-care and turn it into a practice. It’s also equally important that we, as teachers, take time for self-care.
Yogis come to their mats with a lot on their minds and we’re there to hold the space, listen and support them. As teachers, it’s not always easy and we can take on a lot of what our yogis might be experiencing or feeling. Be sure to use some of these self-care practices for yourself, too. Self-care doesn’t need to cost anything (but it can be a manicure or pedicure!) – it’s just doing things you enjoy. By taking care of ourselves and starting with ourselves, we are better able to take care of and support those around us.
Here’s an overview:
LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR JUNE
Self-Care from Charlotta
Charlotta shares her views on the importance of self-care and how we, as yoga teachers, can support young people to take care of themselves. Show them how can they take yoga off the mat and into their daily lives. Click below to watch the video.
Yoga Poses for Grounding and Empowering
Feeling grounded and empowered can be a good starting point for self-care. There are breathing techniques and yoga poses that can help us feel more rooted and grounded. Click HERE for breath work and poses that can create a sense of grounding and empowering.
Poem: When Your Head Hits the Pillow Tonight
This is a lovely poem written by Donna Ashworth, who is a writer and currently top of the poetry chart at Amazon. Feeling worthy and enough can be a barrier to self-care – we don’t think we deserve it. When we start to feel enough, just as we are, we feel worthy of self-care, too. The words in this poem inspire us to let go, leave the stresses from the day behind and remember that we are worthy.
You can download the poem HERE and read it to your class.
01 06_03 Yoga for Self care POEMOr, you can listen to it as read by Claire Marie Tamplin, a Teen Yoga Foundation teacher.
12 Powerful Self-Care Tools
There are a number of articles out there about self-care tools but LifeHack offers 12 powerful tools that, apparently, you can’t live without. According to LifeHack, self-care is one of the most important practices you’ll ever learn in life. If you’re happy, taken good care of, relaxed, empowered and in tune with yourself and your yearnings, you’ll be able to live life to the fullest. Read about these 12 powerful tools HERE:
Self-Care and Healthy Boundaries
What might it mean to be really tuned into ourselves and start to bring more loving kindness to our daily lives? How do we set ourselves healthy boundaries so that we know the answer ‘no’ means we are saying ‘yes’ to keeping ourselves well-resourced first?
Willingly and consciously taking time for ourselves to be gentle and peaceful but also empowered can be a firm basis for being truly present to serve others. We thought it might be helpful to share some healthy boundary scenarios, which you may wish to discuss in your class. We’ve also included a list of trusted organisations for signposting that you might want to refer to in your class. Click below for those details.
THE JUNE CHALLENGE
Every month we propose a challenge related to the current theme, for you to do with your class, to help us in our work. Supporting the teen yoga community, especially those who most need the benefits of yoga, needs your help.
We’re suggesting our 20×20 Challenge again but giving it a little change and suggesting you include a meditation or mindfulness activity. It’s clear that yoga and meditation or mindfulness are powerful tools for taking care of ourselves. Why not turn it into a challenge and raise funds for Teen Yoga Foundation, too?!
Do a 20-minute yoga practice outside or meditation/mindfulness practice for 20 days in a row and get your teens involved. You can mix and match so maybe some days you do yoga and others you do meditation/mindfulness. Here’s all you need to do:
- Create a 20-minute yoga class video or record a meditation or suggest different mindfulness activities (colouring, mindful dancing, mindful bubble blowing, making mala beads – there are so many options out there!)
- Share the videos and activities with your teens (for days that you’re not teaching them!)
- Have them commit to the 20×20 challenge
- Start the challenge – a 20-minute yoga practice, meditation or mindfulness activity for 20 days in a row
Encourage them to have their friends and family sponsor them to raise money for Teen Yoga Foundation. People could donate a one-off amount or a certain amount per each day that a practice is completed.
And, it doesn’t need to be a 20×20 – it could be a 10×10 or maybe even a 30×30! All funds donated will go to Teen Yoga Foundation, which means we can offer more classes to those who need it most and teacher training scholarships.
It’s really up to you as to how you set-up your fundraising event. We’d recommend you suggest a donation of a certain amount (maybe £5) and once people have made a payment, you can donate the funds to Teen Yoga Foundation. People could donate a one-off amount or a certain amount per each day that a practice is completed. You could create a Just Giving page to help track the progress, and a WhatsApp group or FB page to keep everyone in touch (sometimes seeing others check in helps keep us on task!).
All funds donated will go to Teen Yoga Foundation, which means we can offer more classes to those who need it most and teacher training scholarships.