Yoga for Gen Z

Who’s really feeling the effects of the pandemic…

Gen Z is struggling to cope the most. School, dating and careers are being derailed by the pandemic. Maintaining friendships has been especially difficult with lack of in-person engagement. It’s both personal and collective trauma.

Almost half of Gen Zers (46%) say they've experienced stress during COVID-19 – compared to around one-third of millennials and Gen X. Sixty-four percent (64%) of people with a mental illness say the holidays make their conditions worse. Bah-hum-bug. So about the stress…Prior to the pandemic, almost one out of five (1 of 5) adults lived with a mental health disorder, but in the last year, nearly two of five (2 of 5) adults reported experiencing anxiety or depressive disorder according to a National Alliance on Mental Illness study. The short-term and unknown long-term effects of the pandemic, have induced trauma for all ages.

Yoga teachers need to be educated for trauma-sensitive practices like these:

  1. Language awareness - avoid phrases that include words like legs, bum and rear. Instead, instruct placement of hands, feet, and hips.
  2. Body placement - avoid physical contact with students. Instead, show them visually and guide them verbally how to get in and out of poses.
  3. Yoga is a choice and a privilege - never force a student to participate in yoga. Instead, invite students to join you, or to observe. If they are in the room, they are learning.

Be mindful of who’s showing up to yoga and talk to them openly about how they are feeling.Yoga unites body, mind and heart. That alone can help elevate the energy for kids and all they are experiencing.

Happy Holiday Health

Holidays bring their own energy. It’s a blend of excitement and joy often with overwhelm and even dread. To Do Lists are long and much falls on moms. Moms who are still navigating an ongoing pandemic with new variants emerging.

The pandemic affects people's mental health. More than 40% of Americans admitted to feeling depressed. Physicians are calling the mental health crisis among kids a national emergency. Young girls and children of color are particularly at risk. 

While holidays bring a brighter spirit, here are some resources just in case it doesn’t feel that way for someone close to you:

  1. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free and confidential support for people in distress.
  2. The Child Mind Institute provides clinical care and supports community programs.
  3. Yoga brings helping hearts for people who are struggling together. 

Breathing, moving and resting for as few as 10 minutes is recommended to diminish the demands of the season. While the holidays may come and go, the pandemic lingers on, and its effects have impact for years to come. One thing you can do is show up with heart and help for parents and kids who are suffering. 

It's Yoga Kids Diaper Drive

Each year, in November, we call attention to the theme of gratitude. In my work with kids and supporting adults, I’ve heard the sweetest and funniest things to be grateful for because gratitude practice is part of every yoga class.

“I’m grateful for my parents, my toes and ice cream!”

"I’m grateful for my dog, my family and toys!”

“I’m grateful for my home, candy and my goldfish!”

“I’m grateful for my friends, my school and my iphone!”

There are many things to be grateful for and research shows a gratitude practice has been linked to a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. It’s simple, write down or discuss 3 things you are grateful for each day. This can be done anytime, often at dinner or at bedtime. Kids are most grateful for people in their lives, like parents, teachers and friends. Sometimes, they are thankful for elaborate things like vacations, and other times, for necessities like food and diapers.

Diaper need is a pressing issue. Reading a recent article, I was struck by vital shortages due to the pandemic. Access to diapers has been huge problem and moms who can’t afford diapers find that hardship to be more stressful than food or housing insecurity. Thankfully, we can do something about it, and you can too.

Inspired by this need, we’ve created a Thanksgiving Diaper Drive to benefit Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco. Earth Baby REDYPER, Loop, Charity and the JAMBand and It’s Yoga Kids® have come together to help donate diapers for families in need.

Together, we can make a difference. You can give in person from November 14 through December 5 or virtually now. (Please designate to Redyper: Giving Thanks). A mom and her baby thank you. It is the season to be grateful. Hug that little one of yours and your whole family too. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ferris Bueller Teen Mental Health

Mid-term reports are happening with school having been in session for a couple months now. Kids and families are adjusting to new schedules with health and public safety protocols which has been exhausting for many. Some kids and families are ready for a break and Thanksgiving feels far away!

When I was a teenager, I dreamed of a day like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” … Ferris Bueller

While Ferris seized the day, today’s teens are advocating for mental health days off school -legally. The article states: declining mental health of children and adolescents has led to new laws allowing kids to advocate for their own self-care. In the last two years, 8 states have passed bills permitting children to be absent from school for mental or behavioral health reasons, efforts that were often aided or spearheaded by students.

What if kids had access to yoga? Would life slow down? Would it help them keep up? Research says yes. Healthy habits, including mindfulness, movement and mediation are scientifically proven to reduce stress. Yoga is a way to have some fun - no winners or losers - and manage the mental load when academic, athletic and social life pressure becomes too much to handle. Yoga supports youth in every way.

There are other ways to support teens in school. One idea is: Don’t drill your teen about their feelings. Instead, talk about the emotional environment that surrounds them; allow them to off-load feelings without reacting yourself. Yet another reason for yoga to “practice the pause” before responding to any situation. Help your kids express and release bad situations and then focus on a fun activity - like YOGA?

Halloween Kids Yoga Classes

The whole week leading up to Halloween we will dress in costume and transform our yoga class into spooky fun together! Here’s what to expect:

1. Pick a costume you can move in. We’ve seen the sweetest and scariest costumes over the years. Some of our friends get very excited for Halloween and go all out! Be sure to bring accessories, but leave them to the side during class. Watch out for any pokey objects as part of your custom or anything that may impede your ability to move safely like long fabrics. More snuggly fitting costumes are better for yoga.

2. Get your creative juices flowing! Of course, we’ll make the cat, monkey, crescent moon and spooky trees, we’ll also play the game: Witches, Ghosts and Zombies, Oh My! There will be a haunted house pose and we'll concoct a witches brew. There are so many fun things to do!

3. RIP - After our yoga fun, we’ll rest in peace. It’s as if Halloween was made for yoga because I bet you’ll recognize our vampire pose as savasana. Instead of our clouds, we’ll pretend to be in our coffins! Don’t worry, we’ll come back to life right after our trick-or-treat mediation.

We can’t wait to see you outdoors for this year’s Halloween-themed classes the week of October 25-31. Register now!

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