If you come to my yoga class, I promise not to call you 'teenager' but until then, since I don't know your name yet, that's what we'll start with.
See, I feel like I already know you even though we haven't met.
You probably have a caring adult in your life who wants the best for you (I did, too). You're probably experiencing some hard stuff in your life (holy $#*!, I did, too) and your adult isn't quite sure how to help you (Um, yeah, my parents had a PhD in cluelessness with teenagers.). You might have shut them out (I shut everyone out - shut my door, shut my ears, shut my heart), and maybe you let them in only to feel like they don't truly understand you (my parents definitely did NOT understand me). You might even feel like no one understands you. (I didn't think anyone would ever understand me). Sound familiar?
So here's what I'll tell you - you're right. No-one understands you. But you, dear teenager, you are brilliant. And you - ONLY YOU - have the power to understand yourself. That's the only person that ever needs to understand you. You are the only person who needs to know you, trust you, and love you from the inside out AND outside in.
I'll never tell you:
that loving yourself is easy
or that it only matters what you're like on the inside,
or that it doesn't matter what people say about you,
or that you're supposed to be happy all the time - you have so much to be grateful for!
Here's what I will tell you:
it's really hard to love yourself - and it will only come with practice
it's ok to want to be beautiful on the inside and the outside - as long as you're not letting someone else's version of beauty reign
your brain is actually wired in teen years to care what other people think of you - it's tribal and it's temporary (if you want it to be)
Yoga for teens is about sequencing poses and breathing techniques that are known to reduce anxiety and depression, increase self-confidence, and provide tools for coping with stuff.
It's about learning how to deal with adult size problems while still allowing yourself to be a kid sometimes. And it's about spending some time with yourself and getting to know and love yourself. It might be easy. It might be hard. But that's life. And that's yoga. And you can do it, dear teenager. I promise you - you can do it.