Teen Yoga

At a Glance

  • Program: Yoga for Teens
  • Teacher: Miriam Butterman (RYT 200)
  • Ages 12-15

Overview

Yoga for Teens (ages 12-15) is an integrated approach to teaching adolescents not only the foundations of a strong, safe, fun physical practice but it is also an important way to discovering the self, something adolescents are newly engaging with on a daily basis as they grow into their changing bodies and their changing ideas. By learning about the body and mind connection Yoga offers teens a foundational set of tools and life values they can tap into as they navigate through academic, social and environmental stresses . It can help them grow with confidence from an early age.

Teens in yoga class with foam blocks asana

Themes

  • Power of the Breath – We’ll look at how the prana or the life force, our breath, dictates all other movements both physical and mental in our daily lives, how it can provoke our moods and how we can shift and release our moods and stress with simple awareness and accessible postures. This will be a powerful class as the beginning of the school year begins and sudden expectations start to set in.
  • Loving Kindness: Teenagers grow up with tough exteriors, especially New York City teens! We can forget that while we each have a unique expression we are also made from one heart, and we can connect to one another with a common intention. We’ll discuss the idea of separateness and how fear can limit our connections to others and then practice fun partner poses where we can experience the power of creating strong bonds.
  • Listening: Who and how do you want to be in the world? These are big questions to explore, as the teen years introduce us to so many choices; surrounded by peer and adult expectations. But it’s also important to tap into the real voice from within. We’ll use this hour to safely explore our limits in the physical body and experience intuitive guidance. We’ll also look at the concepts of abhyasa attachment and vairagya non-attachment or how we can look for balance from within to moderate our energy by dialing it up or dialing it down.
  • Acceptance and Open to Change: Change is a necessary and inevitable force in life and while we can set goals and insist on succeeding we can’t always control the outcomes, especially if we don’t accept where we truly are in the process. This class will explore the practice of gratitude. We’ll learn to take our challenges and then turn them into opportunities.
  • Self-Control/Creating Focus: Managing responsibilities can be overwhelming and it’s easy to check out, but by practicing small movements that require our focus, we’ll have fun exploring the many ways we can settle into a present state and avoid distractions. We’ll practice various methods to cultivate dharana, concentration or steadiness, and offer accessible tools for teens during those moments where life demands our attention.
  • Expression: What does freedom really mean? How do we know what is safe to express and what is not? We’ll look at the yogic concept of vikalpa or how our thoughts can form habits around our decision-making. We’ll learn about the four corners of the body, open from the hips and the heart and learn to safely practice inversions, shifting our perspective and experiencing how we can responsibly let go of restrictive patterns.
  • Resilience: Life will give us many obstacles but we can bounce back and create more than one way in. We may be on this journey for a long time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t maintain resilience. How does yoga teach us to fall safely and learn from our mistakes? We’ll practice arm balances and inversions while we review how awareness is necessary to guide us toward attainment.
  • Finding Support: Regardless of how strong and independent we grow up to be, we are part of a greater equation. The word kulain Sanskrit means community. We’ll end this series by celebrating the community we’ve created. We’ll review our favorite concepts and poses discussed throughout the 8 weeks and explore how we can continue to offer our talents and gifts for the greater good. We’ll go back to partner poses to experience familiarity, connection and trust.


Miriam Butterman

Miriam (RYT 200) is a middle school English teacher and curriculum coordinator. As an English teacher she has observed students over-scheduled lives and has seen the consequences of students both over and underperforming. As a long term Yoga practitioner and curriculum designer, she has a strong desire to educate in life skills. Two years ago she launched the middle school Yoga program in her current school. The students she works with use Yoga as a way to integrate an important sense of rest, repose and joy into their stressful, overly performing lifestyles.