TEEN YOGA MONTHLY THEME – SEPTEMBER 2022
To welcome the month of September, we are focusing on grounding. This is a fitting theme for teens who are not only heading back to school, but also transitioning into a new season. How are they feeling? What do they need?
For teens (and teachers!), back to school is often a time of mixed and complex emotions, such as excitement, anxiousness, worry, anticipation, and sadness.
It’s a time when teens might be feeling a sense of loss and/or disconnection. For this reason, it is important for them to feel that they belong and feel safe. That is why honing the quality of grounding is key for teens during this period.
How can we help young people come into this transition and time as easily and gracefully as possible?
With yoga, of course, which is the perfect antidote for those feelings of disconnection, jitters and agitation.
So much of what we do in a yoga class is connected to being grounded. Think about Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and the simple action/cue of grounding your feet. Participants quickly gain a feeling of confidence and security with that simple posture. This is just an example of the benefits associated with grounding that teens can gain for their bodies, hearts, breath and thoughts.
For more grounding-inspired activities, take a look at this month’s resources which include a grounding yoga class, a leaf breathing practice and a tree-inspired reflective activity.
QUOTE FOR THOUGHT
Be Like a Tree
Connect with your roots.
Turn over a new leaf.
Bend before you break.
Enjoy your unique natural beauty.
Contributors for August 2022: Jen Khouri, Natalie Corrigan, Lisa Harwood
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A CONTRIBUTOR TO THESE THEMES, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH NICK AT TEENYOGAFOUNDATION.COM
LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR SEPTEMBER
YOGA PRACTICE: GROUNDING IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
Teen Yoga teacher, Natalie Corrigan, offers this 40-minute yoga class that will guide teens through gentle breathing, mindful movement, and a guided relaxation, to ground and anchor them in the present moment. View video HERE.
Natalie Corrigan is an experienced educator, adult yoga teacher, teen yoga and mindfulness specialist, and holistic wellbeing practitioner coach. She has spent the last decade working with teens in the UK and internationally. She is passionate about supporting young people through the power of inclusive and accessible yoga and coaching to support their mental well-being. Natalie recently returned to the U.K after 4 years living in Peru, where she was lucky enough to have some amazing adventures, including as running a teen yoga retreat in the amazon jungle! Natalie currently lives on the Wirral, where she works with individuals, groups, schools, youth organisations and at a local yoga studio.
You can connect with Natalie on
Instagram – @inner_elements_yoga
Facebook – @innerelementsyoga
BREATHING PRACTICE: Leaf Pranayama
Registered nurse and Teen Yoga Teacher, Lisa Harwood, shares with us this fun breathing technique for all.
You can include some craft by painting faces on the leaves prior to being used in Pranayama.
Step 1: Place leaf on the palm of the hand.
Step 2: Take a few moments to notice its shape, texture, colour and sensation as it sits on your palm.
Step 3: Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth blowing gently on the leaf.
Do you notice any movement?
Step 4: Vary your length, force and direction of your breath on the leaf. Do you notice any changes in the leaf’s movement?
Explore further: Maybe try this breathing exercise with a leaf of a different shape and size. Is there any difference?
Have fun watching the leaf fly in the air!
Benefits of Pranayama
Pranayama is the ancient practice of controlling your breath. You control the timing, duration, and frequency of every breath and hold.
The goal of pranayama is to connect your body and mind. It also supplies your body with oxygen while removing toxins. This is meant to provide healing physiological benefits.
- Decreases stress
- Improves quality sleep
- Increases Mindfulness
- Improves Lung Function
- Decreases Blood Pressure
- Enhances Cognitive Performance
Lisa Harwood is a Registered Nurse and Teen Yoga Teacher who specialises in teaching yoga to teenagers and adults with Learning Disabilities. She is 500hr RYT and passionate about making yoga inclusive and accessible. Lisa has published work in Learning Disability Nursing Journal and SEN Magazine. An active supporter of Teen yoga Lisa has presented at the Summit 2021, represented the team at World Yoga Festival and is collaboratively working on Teenyoga CPD for SEN and Neurodiversity.
Instagram – Lisa_echoyoga
CREATIVITY CORNER: The Whole Self Tree
-pencils, markers, pens
-for each student: a blank sheet of paper.
STEP 1: Instruct students to draw (encourage them to use their entire sheet)
- a) a trunk.
- c) branches.
STEP 2: Share with them the following:
Trunk = represents you: your personality, your physical traits, your strengths.
Roots = where you come from, your culture.
Branches = represents different aspects of yourself (roles, positive traits, skills)
Leaves = hopes, dreams, future goals.
STEP 3: Words and/or Drawings
For each part of the tree, students can either write words or/and use symbols or colours or shapes. They are to fill out their own tree.
STEP 4: Sharing
In small groups, students can share, if they wish.
By doing this activity, teens learn that:
-they are not just one thing (one label). They are complex and unique.
-they all have amazing qualities and stories.
-the importance of how you define yourself is what really matters.
Jen Khouri is an Ottawa based (Canada) Kids and Teens Yoga teacher who works in schools, community settings, and private homes. She loves teaching teens! https://jenamkhouri.wixsite.com/youthyogajeunesse
SEPTEMBER FUNDRAISING – THE BIG GIVE