5 Yoga Poses for Teens to Clear their Mind

Quarantine brought its own set of stressors for teens. They had to isolate themselves from their friends, complete all of their schoolwork online, and spend 24/7 with their families. Now the stress is back on at school. 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! 

5 Yogic Poses teens can try to clear their heads and decrease stress

Seated Diaphragmatic Breathing:

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. 

Seated Diaphragmatic Breathing

Seated forward fold:

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. 

seated forward fold pose

Child’s Pose:

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.

Wind Releasing Pose:

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. 

knees to chest aka wind breaking pose

Legs up the wall:

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!

legs up the wall pose

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!

About Marissa Wilson

Marissa Caton (Wilson), LMSW, is the co-owner of Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Cascade. She studied social work at Grand Valley State University and is an experienced therapist as well as a trained yoga teacher and lifelong yoga practitioner. She is trained in play therapy, yoga therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She specializes in working with children ages 9-18 who are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress management, life changes, trauma, and PTSD. Her counseling approach includes talk therapy and body-focused approaches, including psychotherapeutic yoga. She sees tweens, teens, and families at Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Ada and Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Cascade.

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