Yoga is not a cure all- but it can help your teen live a happier life.
That's a lot of stuff to deal with right there. Anything in that title ON IT'S OWN would send most adults running for the hills. And then we expect a teenager to deal with it all in the same day?! Someone who hasn't even been alive since Y2K?
Teens have a lot going on, and they often get a bad reputation. The truth is - teenagers are my heroes. They're living every day like a roller coaster not knowing when the next sharp turn, corkscrew, or jolted stop is going to hit them.
A teenager will most likely feel extreme joy, sadness, fear, loneliness, anger, rejection, and love all in one day. And (even scarier) some will feel NOTHING. a whole lot of nothing. Because their system (their body and brain) has already decided that being numb is safer for self-preservation. With phones, video games, social media, and substance abuse, just to name a few, there is a plethora of unhealthy choices any teen could make at any given moment. Rather than criticizing them because they bury themselves in DISTRACTIONS, let's instead give them the tools to identify and deal with these feelings. These feelings are their life.
Cultivating intuition is crucial
Skills need to be taught. Dealing with cyber bullying or a broken heart is not instinctual. It's intuitive. And intuition is slowly chipped away when we're given a million other things in life to worry about. Intuition can only be FELT. Well, teenagers are usually either overwhelmed with all of their feelings or scared to feel anything at all (see above - do we blame them?!). Asking them to identify a feeling is like trying to identify a single snowflake in a blizzard. Yoga can teach teens how to slow life down for a hot minute so they can feel their feelings long enough to know what the hell to do next. Yoga teaches you about YOURSELF. How your brain ticks and how your body tocks, and how your breath is there to calm you even when it feels like the whole world's against you.
Yoga inherently encourages independence self-love & self-care
Teens want privacy. They want independence. They want to be left alone. Can we stop treating them like this is bad? Independence is empowering and exciting (and ok, maybe a little scary). So let's teach them to be alone in a healthy safe environment.
Give them space, healthy space
Yoga teaches teens how to be alone with their body, their brain, and their breath without judgement. Yoga doesn't force socialization. It doesn't focus on being super athletic or being part of a team. It's about being with yourself.
Because the relationship you have with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you'll ever have.
I hope this goes without saying, but, as a parent, you're my hero, too. My daughter's not even 4 and she's already aged me about 89 years. I can't even imagine when she's in her teenage years. It's scary. and it's ok to be scared. but have faith in your YEARS of parenting. and have faith in your little human. and know that they're supposed to be going through this. you can't protect them from life but you can teach them to live it. you've got a lot to lose but even more to gain. hang in there with your years of wisdom and experience and stop yelling at them for hiding in their phone - you probably would have, too if there were cell phones back then ;)