Yoga and meditation may seem like more self-care trends or passing fads. Maybe the idea of yoga gives you a mental picture of a fit soccer mom carrying a yoga mat to a high-end studio after dropping her kids off at school. Perhaps when you think of meditation, you think of a cross-legged, long-haired person in flowing, tie-dyed clothes. However, yoga and meditation carry many benefits for teens, especially young entrepreneurs. No need to do twisty handstands or chant “Ohm” for an hour every day, either!
We know that being a young entrepreneur requires a great deal of your time, energy, creativity, and focus. That’s why inserting a little bit of yoga and/or meditation into your daily routine can give you that edge you need to compete and succeed.
Here are just a few of the benefits of doing yoga and practicing meditation. Not only can a little bit help you mentally and physically, but you’ll become a stronger, more successful entrepreneur as well. Here’s why.
We’re guessing that as a student and entrepreneur, you spend a lot of time sitting down. Probably bent over a computer or craning your neck to work and play on your phone.
The fact is, human beings are not meant to live hunched over like this. It’s bad for your neck, your back, and pretty much the whole rest of your body. Good posture follows you through the rest of your life and can help you avoid future injuries and physical therapy.
Yoga is fantastic for your posture. By forcing you to be aware of your physical self, yoga gently reminds you to sit up straight and keep your spine in alignment. This helps your digestion, blood flow, and general health.
Certain yoga postures work your core muscles – those muscles deep inside your belly and all around your waist and middle back. By strengthening these muscles, you avoid collapsing all the time. A strong core means a stronger, faster, more physically fit body.
–>IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Do you ever feel stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Teens are particularly susceptible to an inability to regulate their moods and are easily triggered. For young entrepreneurs, this is especially true, as you likely have more going on in your life than some of your peers.
You, then, are at the center of a perfect storm. Your rational thinking brain doesn’t have the strong neural connections it needs to protect you from your easily triggered emotional brain. And you’re going through this during what is undoubtedly an already stressful time full of triggers.
Know what can help? Meditation. It’s not even something you need to spend hours doing every day. Meditation is a practice, not a perfect. The benefits of meditation last well beyond calming yourself down in the moment. All you have to do is try.
According to behavioral health therapist Jane Ehrman, MEd., meditation is one of the best ways anxious or stressed-out teens can train their brains to calm down and handle situations with ease:
“With 15 minutes of daily meditation for at least three weeks, the brain becomes more responsive and less reactive — which can be especially helpful to teens prone to anxiety or erratic behavior.”
In other words, just 15 minutes of meditation every day can rewire your brain to stay calmer *even when you aren’t meditating*. Don’t have 15 minutes to spare? Start with four or five minutes and work your way up.
–>BOOST YOUR ENERGY
Teens are not known for being morning people. And that’s fine. But if you’re ready to feel a little bit more energized during the day, yoga can help.
At first glance, it may seem like yoga is one of those things that relaxes you, rather than energizes you. And for some poses and styles of yoga, that’s true.
Yoga, though, is a form of exercise, and exercise is a natural energy booster. The simple act of getting your blood pumping brings oxygen to your muscles and brain. The result? You feel better and have more energy. A few key yoga stretches are all you need to take in more of the oxygen your mind and body crave in the mornings.
This benefit will last throughout your day, too. That extra energy will give you more clarity, focus, and creativity as you tackle your school day and any other activities you do – including running your business.
–>DEVELOP BETTER FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
Young entrepreneurs are all about discipline. When you practice meditation every day, you develop the mental discipline needed to focus and concentrate better. Meditation isn’t simply emptying your mind. It’s a way of training yourself to be the boss of your own thoughts. Learning how to meditate strengthens your ability to think about the things you *want* to think about, rather than getting distracted. Sounds good, right?
The neurons in your brain create pathways that soon become second nature to you. By practicing meditation every day, even for a few minutes, you are building “muscle memory” in your brain that makes it easier for you to gather your thoughts and focus during those times you really need it. What young entrepreneur *couldn’t* use that kind of help?
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you are a young entrepreneur with a lot on your plate already, starting a new routine might seem like yet another thing to stress about. Which is the opposite effect you want from yoga and meditation!
First, remember that these things shouldn’t take up hours of your time each day. Nor should they feel like a burden. And you don’t have to do everything at the same time each day.
Start small. Start with a 4- or 5-minute meditation before going to sleep. Or with 5 minutes of yoga stretches when you first wake up.
Give yoga and meditation a chance to work. There are guided meditations, story meditations, and so many others. For yoga, there are flows, power yoga, or simple stretches. Play around and find out what works for you.
That said, don’t force anything if it really feels wrong or causes you more stress.
Some yoga to get you started:
*5-Minute Morning Yoga Flow, by Jessica Fleming
*Very Calming Bedtime Yoga, by Alivia D’Andrea (7 minutes)
*Yoga for Teen Stress, by Yoga Ed (11 minutes)
*Yoga for Teens, by Yoga with Adrienne (20 minutes)
Mediations to get you started:
*Guided Meditations, 3-30 minutes each
*Insight Timer free meditation app
Will you be one of the next recipients of a Kantner Foundation college scholarship? If you are a Florida high school entrepreneur, click here to learn more!