Quarantine has certainly brought its own set of stressors for teens. They have had to isolate themselves from their friends, complete all of their schoolwork online, and spend 24/7 with their families. This has been really difficult! Thankfully there’s yoga for that!
All of the ideas below are intended to target the Parasympathetic nervous system, the part that makes you feel calm and regulated! Have your teen get into something comfy, turn the lights on low, and light a candle.
Comfort is key here. If any of these feel uncomfortable, do not do them!
To take a deep breath, sit up straight, close your eyes or look down. Take a breath in through your nose, close your lips, and exhale through your nose. As you breathe in, imagine your diaphragm (the muscle at the base of your chest) moving down and expanding like a balloon. As you exhale, imagine it contracting and shifting back up. Try this for three full inhales and exhales.
Take a seat and extend your legs out in front of you. Your feet can be relaxed and your knees can be bent. Allow your chest to fall over your legs and your arms to rest on your legs. Allow your head and neck to relax. Maybe even place a pillow under your forehead to make this more comfortable! Stay here for 5 breaths.
Come to your knees. Bring your big toes to meet, your knees towards the outside edges of your mat, and your seat towards your heels. Walk your hands out in front of you and place your forehead on the ground. You can place a pillow on your heels or under your chest for more support. Take 5 breaths here.
Lay down on your mat. Bring your knees in towards your chest. Allow your thighs to rest on your stomach. Stay here for 5 breaths here and see what happens.
Bring your yoga mat up to the wall. Sit as close to the wall as you can and then pivot your legs up the wall. You can allow your legs to be relaxed as they rest on the wall. To feel more of a stretch, move closer to the wall. To allow this to be more restorative, scooch away. Stay here for 3 minutes and see how you feel!
I hope you find these useful in decreasing stress. We are offering therapy and yoga virtually. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Marissa Wilson is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) at Lifeologie. She teaches psychotherapeutic yoga and works with adolescents to help them be themselves. Marissa believes that every person (including tweens/teens) already has what they need to heal, but sometimes our “okay-ness” gets stuck under layers of self-protection and hurt. To find out more about Marissa, check out her biography.
At a time when mental health services are more important than ever, Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids is offering remote therapy, remote group and mini-sessions, and free 15 minute sessions for front-line workers.