Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
United Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Teens
Life can be stressful. For starters, there’s your busy schedule — waking up super early for school, studying late at night for tests, juggling sports practice, homework, and meals. It’s a lot to balance!
Everyday issues can add emotional stress, too — counseling a friend through a breakup, regretting a disagreement with a parent, weighing an important decision, or stressing over whether you’ll make final cuts for the varsity team. With lots on your mind, it’s easy to feel stressed.
There are many different ways to cope with stress. Talking with friends, exercising, and seeing a school counselor are just a few. Yoga can help reduce stress because it promotes relaxation, which is the natural opposite of stress. Yoga can benefit three aspects of ourselves that are often affected by stress: our body, mind, and breathing.
You don’t have to wait to feel stressed out to do yoga, and you shouldn’t! People who do a little bit of yoga each day often find they’re better able to handle things when life gets a little crazy. Practicing yoga builds your ability to calm, focus, balance, and relax yourself.
Lots of people think of yoga as stretching or twisting the body into various impossible-looking pretzel shapes. But yoga is easier than it looks. There are simple poses as well as complicated ones, so there’s something for every ability. Yoga requires no special equipment, so you can do it almost anywhere.
Yoga poses are good exercise and can help loosen up the tense muscles in your body. The areas of the body that tend to carry the most stress are the neck, shoulders, and back. But other parts of the body (like the face, jaw, fingers, or wrists) also can benefit from simple yoga stretches.
Yoga is so much more than just physical exercise, though. The key to getting the best out of each pose is to focus not only on your body, but also on your mind and breathing.
When you’re in a yoga pose, think about how you can unite your body, mind, and breathing. Even a simple pose like mountain pose is a stress reliever when you focus on keeping your breathing slow and even, and visualize yourself as firm and steady as a mountain.
Stay ‘in the moment.’ When we’re under stress, we’re often thinking about what we need to do in the future (“I have to cram for that test”) or what we could have done better in the past (“I wish I hadn’t said that!”). Instead of letting your thoughts wander as you do yoga, think about what your body and breath are doing in this moment. Notice how a particular muscle or area of the body feels. Focus on breathing in slowly as your body stretches tall, and breathing out slowly as you curl up.
Being in the moment like this helps you build your ability to focus and concentrate, which helps in all aspects of life.
Use your breathing when things get difficult. When a yoga pose feels challenging, imagine sending your breath to the area in your body that feels stiff or tight. Does it help? You can use this skill in the rest of your life, too. Whenever something challenges you — a tough homework problem, an argument with a parent — try to focus on your breathing. You may be surprised by how much better you deal with the situation.
Try taking a weekly yoga class or using a yoga DVD to help you learn some yoga poses. There are classes as well as yoga DVDs created especially for teens.
You can also incorporate mini-bits of yoga into your daily life to help you manage stressful moments. Here are some ideas:
The best part about yoga is that it helps you discover more about your mind, body, and emotions. Yoga can help you become more balanced, calm, focused, and relaxed as you go through life’s usual ups and downs.
Of course, you won’t instantly feel more positive, calm, or energetic after doing a few yoga poses. As with all good things, the effects of yoga need to build up over time.
But if you give yourself a half hour each day to do a few yoga poses, after a couple of weeks you should start noticing a subtle change. Keep going longer and yoga will become a natural part of your daily routine, ready to help you manage life’s stresses well into the future.
Yoga is a great way to take aÂ study break because it refocuses and re-energizes both the body and mind. This routine uses poses that work for teens.
We all get worried or nervous about things. Here are 5 ways to control anxiety.
Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.
Unwind after a long day at school with this yoga routine for teens.
There’s good stress and bad stress. Find out what’s what and learn practical ways to cope in this article.
Looking for a workout program that’s easy to learn, requires little or no equipment, and soothes your soul while toning your body? Read about yoga – and watch our slideshow for some easy poses to try.
Breathing and meditation techniques can have subtle but powerful effects on everything from stress to sports performance. Try these four techniques.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.