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5 Ways Yoga Develops Self-Confidence in Teens [Guest Post]

Posted Jan 27 2010 10:02pm 1 Comment

This guest post is written by Donna Freeman, teen yoga expert and founder of Yoga In My School (link to where you can find all you even wanted to know about yoga for kids and teens.

Shari wasn’t happy. She wasn’t popular, didn’t have a boyfriend, didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life, and felt alone much of the time even though she was surrounded by friends. Then Shari’s Mom enrolled her in a yoga class. In a matter of a few weeks Shari began to walk taller, feel stronger, and know that she could accomplish anything she set her mind to. She began to attract positive people and experiences into her life and spent most of her day smiling and feeling good about herself. As Shari practiced yoga her self-confidence grew. She knew herself better and was certain her future would be bright no matter what it held.

Here are a few ways in which yoga helped Shari and will help you feel good about yourself and know you can handle anything life brings your way.

It may look easy, but as soon as you step on a mat and actually do yoga, you quickly discover it’s harder than it looks. Standing poses make your quads wake up, balance poses insist you focus or fall over, and inversions like headstand will really test what you think you are capable of doing. Then, with some practice, you discover that you can do the poses, even the most challenging ones, and they get easier over time. This is a valuable lesson and one that yogis take with them into their everyday lives.

Yoga teaches you to stand tall, to breathe deeply, to allow your body to function properly. Body awareness improves and you begin to carry yourself with more confidence. You look better and you feel better. The way you move and carry yourself says much about who you are. Yoga trains you to move with grace and purpose.

2. Yoga Teaches You About Yourself

Yoga develops both the outer body and the inner self. As you look inside, you begin to accept the good and not so good things you find. You realise that being true to yourself, that following your dreams and letting go of resentments and pain, is the only way to being truly happy. Yoga also teaches you to go easy on yourself and that no-one is perfect, so you can stop obsessing and simply be.

3. Yoga Encourages Positive Thinking

Confidence is learned. All too often teens bombard themselves with negative self-talk. Yoga helps change these negative messages into positive ones. As you overcome difficulties and honestly look inside, you discover there is much to like and appreciate about yourself. Thinking in positive ways leads to confidence and success. Personal affirmations allow you to dwell on strengths while working to improve weaknesses.

4. Yoga Relaxes Your Body and Calms Your Mind

Teens have a lot going on: academic pressure, part-time jobs, boy-friends, girl-friends, life altering decisions, peer pressure, family relationships, etc. Yoga provides a respite from all the demands and pressure of teenage life. Relaxation is one of the key components of practicing yoga. Allowing yourself to let go, to release the tension, and to discover the calm is vital to living a healthy and productive life. As you do this, you gain perspective, you prioritize, and you discover inner resources and strength.

This guest post is written by Donna Freeman, teen yoga expert and founder of Yoga In My School (link to where you can find all you even wanted to know about yoga for kids and teens.

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