Written by Leslie Stokman

When I joined the Amma team, Thea asked me who I felt really passionate about teaching; one of the top groups on my mind was teens.

I believe yoga has benefits that can reach everyone, but a person’s teen years come with a number of unique challenges and opportunities: school ramps up in seriousness and pressure to succeed, your social life can become a lot more important (for better or for worse), and of course your physical body transforms rather rapidly. In addition, all of this is taking place against the magnifying backdrop of digital and social media.

How can yoga address these challenges? My aim is for students to find a sense of peace amidst the chaos that modern adolescence can be, and to explore the balance between feeling free and grounded. Yoga offers repeated opportunities to cultivate peace through attention to breathing and the oscillation between energetic flowing movements and restful stretches. Learning to come back to the sensations of the present moment is a useful mental practice for developing a compassionate and intelligent relationship with one’s (changing) body, and for navigating the stresses of daily life.

I currently teach for the WRDSB as a substitute teacher, mostly with students ages 12-14, and I often notice that young people are stressed and doing the majority of their living from the neck up, be it academically or socially. If you know of or are a teenager looking to experience a bit of calm, or just explore moving and really being embodied, Teen Yoga is a great place to start.

Teen Yoga happens every Thursday at 4:15pm.