Teenagers tips

Mountain pose (Tadasana)

Benefits: Tadasana is the foundation of all standing poses. It is a great starting pose, resting pose, or a tool to get a better posture. How to:

  • Stand with your toes touching the ground and heels slightly apart from each other on a yoga mat over a firm surface.
  • Lift and spread your toes and lay them softly down on the floor. Adjust your feet and body slowly so that the sole of the feet covers the maximum ground. Rock back and forth, and gradually come to a standstill in a balanced and good posture.
  • Inhale and lift your arms straight above the head. Press the shoulder blades into the back and then widen them before releasing. Lift the top of your sternum upwards without pushing the ribs to the front.
  • Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee cap, without putting pressure on the lower belly or hardening it. Lift your inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches and imagine a line of energy along the inner thighs, groin, upper torso, neck, head, and through the crown of the head.
  • Turn your thighs slightly inward, lengthen the tailbone downwards, and lift the pubic bone upwards.
  • Keep your under-chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Keep your eyes relaxed.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to one minute and practice inhalation and exhalation gently. If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.

Chair pose (Utkatasana)

Benefits: Utkatasana helps the muscles of the arms, legs, and also the heart and the diaphragm. How to:

  • Stand in tadasana. Take a deep breath in and extend your arms towards the ceiling while keeping them perpendicular to the floor.
  • Keep your hands parallel to each other with palms facing inwards or join the palms.
  • Breathe out and bend your knees so that the upper torso forms a right angle with the knees while the thighs should be parallel to the ground. Keep your arms extended.
  • Keep your shoulders broad, and try to pull your tailbone towards the ground to achieve a good stretch of the lower back.
  • You can be in this pose for 30 seconds to one minute before coming back to normal posture. If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.
  • Take a deep breath again, straighten your knees, and exhale while bringing your arms back to their normal position.

Standing forward fold (Uttanasana)

Benefits: This yoga pose helps in stretching and strengthening the hamstring muscles. How to:

  • Stand in tadasana with the hands on the hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hips and not the waist. Lengthen the upper torso as much as you can while bending by drawing it out of the groin in a way that the space between the pubis and top sternum is opened up.
  • Bring your palms or fingertips to the floor next to your feet or slightly in the front of the feet, if possible, while keeping your knees straight. If you can’t reach the floor, then cross the forearms and hold your elbows.
  • Press the heels firmly into the floor, lift the hip bones upwards, and turn the upper thighs slightly inwards.
  • Stretch and extend the torso with each inhalation. Release a little more fully into the forward bend with each exhalation.
  • Let your head hang easily between the shoulder blades.
  • Stay in the posture for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • For coming out of the pose, put your arms back on your hips, and gently come up with an inhalation while keeping the torso straight.

Eagle pose (Garudasana)

Benefits: Garudasana strengthens and stretches the ankles, thighs, hips, shoulders, and the upper back. How to:

  • Stand in a tadasana. Lift the right foot. Balance your body on the left foot.
  • Move your right thigh across the left thigh in a way that the right foot gets support from the lower calves of the left foot.
  • The toes of the right foot should be pointed towards the floor. Extend your arms straight out, keeping upper arms parallel to the floor while bending the lower arms to point them upwards. Keep the lower arm parallel to each other.
  • Extend your scapulae across the upper torso. Intertwine your hands in a way that the left hand is above the right hand.
  • Engage the elbow of the left hand in the right elbow. Keep the forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  • The back of the palms should be facing each other.
  • Now shift your palms facing each other. The hands should be moved until the thumb of your left hand comes in front of the right hand’s little finger. Raise your hands upwards in the same posture.
  • Stay in the pose for 15 to 30 seconds. Gradually, unwind and return to tadasana and repeat the pose using the left arms and legs. If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.

Lotus position (Padmasana)

Benefits: Padmasana pose improves digestion, reduces muscle tension, helps bring blood pressure under control, relaxes the mind, and reduces menstrual discomfort. How to:

  • Sit on a yoga mat with legs stretched out in front while keeping your spine erect.
  • Bend the right knee and place your right foot on the left thigh. Make sure that the soles of your feet point upwards, and the heel stays close to the abdomen.
  • Repeat the same with the other leg.
  • Place your hands on knees in mudra position. With an erect spine, closed eyes, and a straight head, inhale and exhale in the same position for a few minutes. If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.

Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)

Benefits: Pachimottanasana stretches the lower back, hamstrings, and hips. It also tones the abdominal organs, pelvic organs, and the shoulders. How to:

  • Sit up with legs stretched out straight in front of you, keep the spine erect, and keep the toes flexed towards you.
  • Breathe in and raise both of your arms above your head.
  • Breathe out and bend forward from your hips while moving the chin towards the toes. Keep your spine erect and move towards the toes instead of moving towards the knees.
  • Try to hold your toes with your hands, and if that is not possible, place your hands wherever they can reach comfortably.
  • Keep your head down for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat this yoga sequence two to three times. If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.
  • Come into sitting position while inhaling and exhale, come to rest.

Butterfly pose (Badhakonasana)

Benefits: Badhakonasana stretches inner thighs and knees, while improving hip and groin flexibility. It helps in intestine and bowel movement, and ease fatigue from long hours of walking or traveling. You can also get relief from menstrual cramps and discomfort. How To:

  • Sit on a yoga mat with your spine straight and legs spread straight out.
  • Bend your knees and bring your feet towards yourself in a way that the heels of both the feet should touch each other.
  • Grab your feet tightly by putting your hands under your feet.
  • Try and keep the feet as close to the groin as possible.
  • Take a deep breath in and press your thighs and knees down to the floor while breathing out.
  • Slowly start flapping both your legs like the wings of a butterfly and increase the speed gradually.
  • Flap for 15-20 times and then reduce the speed and gently stop. Take a deep breath in and while exhaling, gently bend down with the spine erect and chin up.
  • Try to press the knees and the thighs closer to the floor by pressing the elbows onto them. Take a deep breath and bring the torso up. Gently straighten the legs in front of you.

Mill churning pose (Chakki Chalanasana)

Benefits: Chakki Chalanasana tones the back, abdomen muscles, arm muscles, and opens up the chest and the groin. It helps in the reduction of abdominal fat and preventing sciatica. It also tones uterine muscles and helps in preventing painful menstrual cycles. How to:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs spread wide apart. Clasp your hands and outstretch your arms at shoulder height in front of you.
  • Take a deep breath and start moving your body from the front and right as if you are forming an imaginary circle with your upper body.
  • Inhale as you go forward and right and exhale as you go backward and left.
  • Make 5-10 rounds in one direction and then repeat them in the other direction.

Child pose (Balasana)

Benefits: Balasana relaxes the back muscles, relieves constipation, and calms the nervous system. How to:

  • Fold your legs and sit on your heels with your hips resting on the heels. Bend forward and lower your forehead to the floor.
  • Keep your arms alongside your body with your hands on the floor and palms facing up. If you do not feel comfortable, make fists with both your hands, place them on each other, and rest your head on the fist.
  • Gently press your chest on the thighs and hold. Stretch your upper torso.
  • Gently come up on your heels and relax.
  • If you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.

Boat pose (Naukasana)

Benefits: Naukasana strengthens and tones the back, arms, abdomen, and leg muscles. How to:

  • Lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside you.
  • Take a deep breath in and lift your chest and feet off the ground as you exhale. Simultaneously, raise and stretch the arms towards toward the feet.
  • Notice the tension in your navel area as the abdominal muscles contract and become engaged.
  • Continue breathing in and out. Keep your gaze, fingers, and toes in a parallel line.
  • As you exhale, come back slowly to the ground and relax.
  • If, at any time, you experience distress or pain, come out of the posture.