5 Tips for Teaching Yoga to Teens

New to teaching yoga to teens?  Here are a few tips to get you started: Help Build Self-Esteem — praise your students for even the slightest improvement or on anything they do well.  Many teens struggle with low self-esteem, so the more you can help build their self-confidence, the better.  Challenge the students to set goals for difficult poses—many students don’t think they can do difficult poses and therefore don’t put any effort into practicing.  Keep reminding them that they can do anything they set their minds to—stay on their backs about continuing to work towards challenging poses. Be a Role Model — teens are very perceptive, so as a teen yoga teacher it is important to practice what you preach.  And remember that enthusiasm is infectious.  Don’t be afraid to show your passion for yoga—the more you believe in it and what it can do to transform one’s life, the more the teens will, too. Keep it Real — your role as a teacher is to be a compassionate guide for the students, not to be their best friends.  Be confident and comfortable in your own shoes, and students will respect your authenticity.  Students will not respect you if you try to more »

A Response to the Controversy of Yoga in the Schools

The recent news about a potential lawsuit in Encinitas, California that would prevent yoga being taught in public schools on the grounds that it is a religious practice both shocks and disheartens me.  In today’s culture where yoga is about as mainstream as Big Bird and Nike, it seems that by now America would have evolved beyond the misconception that yoga is a religion or imposes religious beliefs in any way.  While yoga originated from India and is often practiced by Hindus, it is a universal practice that is applicable to any person of any or no religious background.  The oldest text describing yoga practice and philosophy, the Yoga Sutras, actually defines yoga as a science designed to calm the mind. The movement to bring yoga to schools is gaining momentum nationwide. The main goal of making yoga accessible to students is not to convert them to an Eastern religion, but to give them simple, practical tools to alleviate the incredible stress they are under and give them a sense of peace, power, and well-being. Far from imposing belief systems upon students, yoga teaches acceptance of oneself and of the many different ways of experiencing and understanding the world.  The more »

Finding their OM: The Transformative Power of Yoga for Teens

Six years ago, I began teaching teens in the public schools of New York City through Integral Yoga’s Yoga at School program. My own yoga journey began at age fourteen, and my personal transformation as an adolescent inspired me to share the practice with youth. Initially, I was intimidated to work with teens, but the moment I began teaching, something magical was born.

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WestView News: Learning and Sharing Yoga's Lessons

By George Goss Originally published on July 25, 2011 at www.westviewnews.org The Integral Yoga Institute at 227 West 13th Street has long been a sanctuary of peace in the West Village. For myself and many others who spend way too many hours staring into cyberspace, the gentle yoga techniques taught at the center can help realign the body and soothe the eyes and the mind. BREATHE: Yoga teacher Erin Wilson of Integral Yoga Institute. Photo by George Goss.Now, the Institute is extending its message slotseeing.com to public school students in New York City as part of its “Yoga at School” program. Recently, I participated in a class at James Baldwin School in Chelsea taught by Erin Wilson, who also offers workshops in non-violent communication. The program’s stated mission is to share with the students “how to manage stress, create icanbartend.com peace in their lives and radiate that peace into the lives of others through breathing practices, stretching, relaxation techniques and meditation.” Judging from what I saw and experienced, it is beginning to make some progress. Erin firmly believes, not without reason, that her students can transform society. It is her hope that yoga is not viewed as “some Eastern thing more »