Over the last year or so, you may have read about, or seen advertised, yoga classes for teenagers. In actual fact it is an accreditation that has been around for over ten years in the form of the TeenYoga foundation, set up by Charlotta Martinus. This year, supported by Sport England, Marks and Spencer and This Girl Can, TeenYoga has been able to set up a number of yoga spaces in pink tents and university teaching spaces, all for free. Although aimed at young women in further education colleges and universities, the classes are open to the boys as well. The classes, which can be found on the campus of Bath University also have the added incentive of USB yoga classes and free yoga mats for those who attend regularly. It is all part of the The Girl Can campaign to get the 75% of women that are not active to start moving and sweating.
There has been lots of positive responses, with girls attending daily who previously exercised very little and an estimated 500 young women accessing the classes in the south west region, with that figure likely to have doubled by the end of the 6 month campaign.
I was so pleased to read the report about this in this month’s Om Yoga magazine. I have seen the growth in confidence in my housemates as the gym-newbies have joined in our group workouts, and also that of my friends as they have discovered yoga. I really do think that the initial step into a class or studio is the most daunting part of the process, and that campaigns such as these can help women to have the courage to make the first move into a healthier lifestyle. The amount of my university colleagues that have admitted to overeating, under-eating, not exercising and generally living in an unhealthy way during their teens really does shock me. Charlotte Martinus really does have her finger on the pulse in working with girls from school age up to university to bring them the self confidence, health and mindfulness that yoga teachers. University can be stressful and overwhelming at times, from first year friendships to third year dissertations. For yoga to be offered specifically to students as a management system for this stress, and an introduction to healthy living is something that I hope will reach more universities to come.
Disclaimer: I am an Affiliated Blogger with Om Yoga Magazine. Each issue I will write a post on an article from the magazine and share it with you. Have a look here to find about the other lovely affiliated bloggers. All photos in this post taken from the Om Yoga magazine.