This Month

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­­­TEEN YOGA MONTHLY THEME – JANUARY 2022

Yoga for Friendship

Friendship is defined as a relationship of mutual affection between people.  It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an acquaintance or an association, such as a classmate, neighbour or colleague.  If you close your eyes and bring to mind the word ‘friendship,’ you might visualise a few close people in your life or maybe a group of people whom you consider to be your friends.

For teens, positive friendships are an important part of the journey to adulthood.  They help teenagers learn important social and emotional skills, like being sensitive to other people’s thoughts, feelings and wellbeing.  And yet, it can be challenging for teens to navigate what cane sometimes feel like the everchanging landscape of friendship.

According to an article in Good Therapy, teenagers today feel isolated and more alone than ever.  Even in the age of social media, with constant digital connection, lack of deep friendships is creating a secluded void.  This can happen for a number of reasons:  jealousy, peer pressure, feeling shunned, not knowing who to trust, and feeling as if they are unlikeable.  It’s possible we’ve all experienced similar feelings.

Yoga can be a great tool for building and improving friendships and relationships.  Along with developing a greater sense of self-awareness, yoga brings you into the present moment.  This enables us to connect with others more authentically and see the world through a more compassionate lens.

Also, the breathing techniques used in yoga improve the body’s ability to respond to stress by increasing the relaxation response in the body.  The more relaxed we are, the better we relate to others.

And finally, moving together promotes bonding.  ‘When people move together as one orchestrated unit, they later report that they experienced an embodied sense of rapport with each other – they say they felt alive, connected, with a mutual sense of warmth and trust as they converse,’ says Barbara Fredrickson, positive psychology researcher and author.  Practicing yoga also establishes a deeper sense of community and belonging.

Yoga is a great way to promote friendship and classes can be a safe space for teens to share how they might be feeling about friendships and life in general.

Our theme for January is ‘friendship.’  There are different ways in which you can bring this into your class, showing your yogis how friendship makes life more enjoyable and enriches one’s everyday experiences.

 

LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR JANUARY

Friendship Yoga Practice

Partner poses probably come to mind when thinking about how to incorporate friendship into your class.  And, yes, that is a great way to develop a sense of trust, create bonding and build deeper friendships.  However, in this world of Covid, partner poses might not be the best option at this time.

Lisa Harwood, a teen yoga teacher, has created a friendship yoga practice based on mirroring one another.  This can be a sequence that you create prior to the class or you might let it be a bit more spontaneous.  Click on this link to see what this practice might look like.

01 01_01 Yoga for Friendship YOGA PRACTICE

  

Loving Kindness Meditation

We share this with a previous theme but this meditation is a lovely way for teens to feel more connected to those in their lives, even those people who they might find a bit challenging.

You might be familiar with Metta Bhavana, a loving kindness meditation.  It’s definitely a nice one to use with teens.  Loving kindness meditation increases happiness by making people feel more connected to others – to loved ones, acquaintances, and even strangers.

Research suggests that when people practice this meditation, they automatically start reacting more positively to others – and their social interactions and close relationships become more satisfying.

Click on this link to learn more about this meditation.

01 01_02_Yoga for Friendship LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION

You can also click HERE to share a video of the meditation given by Ione Harris, a teen yoga teacher.

 

How Can Teens Learn to Have Healthy Friendships?

It’s not easy making friends and even harder when a teenager.  There are social media platforms to navigate, reputations to discern, disconnections to hurdle.  It can all be very overwhelming and a common perception amongst teens can be to view themselves as unlikable.

One way to bring friendship into your yoga class is to simply have a conversation about it and share how teens can have healthy friendships, particularly in a landscape that, at times, can feel competitive and disconnected.

Good Therapy offers 10 ways in which teens can have healthy friendships.  It might be worth discussing these with your teens and maybe even weave them into your class.  Click HERE to learn more!

01 01_03 Yoga for Friendship LEARN TO HAVE HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS 

 

Friendship Poem

This is a lovely poem about friendship written by Jill Wolf.  As you bring your class to Savasana, you might like to read this poem at the end of class.  It’s a good reminder that friendship is one of the most wonderful parts of being alive and that we should treasure our friends and never take them for granted.

You can download the poem and read it to your class. Click on this link:

01 01_04 Yoga for Friendship POEM

JANUARY FUNDRAISING – GIVE AS YOU LIVE

As the year begins, we want to remind you of an effortless way of helping Teen Yoga raise money.  It’s called Give As You Live.  With this service, for each online purchase you make, a small percentage is given to our charity.

How It Works

You first need to sign-up.  Go to ‘Give As You Live’ by clicking HERE and choose Teen Yoga Foundation as your chosen charity.  Then, you just need to enter a few details about yourself and you’re all set to start raising free funds!

Once you’ve signed-up, download a Donation Reminder widget to your browser.  When you visit a participating online store (there are 5500), the widget asks if you want a percentage of your purchase to raise money for us.  You click ‘yes’ and shop as you normally would.

You won’t typically see anything different on the store’s website, but as long as you’ve clicked on the widget, they’ll know you’re a ‘Give As You Live’ online shopper.

That’s it – super easy!  They will email you to let you know how much has been raised.

Why not try it now? 

Register HERE.