The holidays can be a difficult time of year for teens. End-of-semester exams and academic pressure coupled with family relationship challenges that are brought to the surface over the winter break can greatly increase anxiety and depression this time of year.

This 10-minute restorative yoga practice is great for teens to practice on their own over the holidays (or any time of year!) as a way to help unwind and relieve tension in their bodies and minds. It is a great way to release the stress of the day before going to sleep.

  1. Three Deep Breaths: The breath is a powerful tool to calm and center our minds and bodies. Even taking a few simple deep breaths can help our bodies release stress, and bring us back to the present moment. Begin in a seated position with the back straight. Inhale deeply through the nose, filling the lungs fully. Then pause briefly at the top of the breath, and sigh through the mouth to exhale. Repeat two more times.

  2. Standing Forward Bend: Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Inhale as you raise your arms up overhead. Exhale, sighing fully through the mouth as you fold forward. Knees can be slightly bent. Stay for a few breaths in the forward bend. Inhaling, come back up to stand with arms out to the sides and up overhead. Exhaling, bring the arms back down to your sides. Repeat this sequence two more times.

  3. Chair Leg Rest: To begin, sit on the floor in front of a chair and gently lay down on your side and swing your legs up onto a chair, continuing to roll onto your back. Make sure your calves are supported by the chair. The legs and hips can relax outward. Make any adjustments so that your body is completely comfortable and relaxed. Your arms can be stretched out to the sides or you can rest them on your belly. Take long, deep breaths, releasing any tension in the body as you exhale. Stay for several minutes. When you are ready to come out, you can gently hug your knees into your chest and roll onto your side for a few breaths before coming up to sit.

  4. Gratitudes: To end this practice, think of three people or things you are grateful for. Take a moment with each one to feel the gratitude fully in your body.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter!