lou steele yoga logo

Conquer Exam Stress with these Empowering Yoga Techniques for Teenagers

May 26, 2023

Hello, I'm Lou Steele, and I offer a wide range of yoga classes & workshops, and women's circles in Oxfordshire. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity for you to meet new people, discover healthy and energetic routines, and improve your overall wellbeing. I'm so excited to share my passion for yoga and holistic healing with you, and I can't wait to see the positive impact these practices will have on your life. Today, I'd like to offer some advice specifically for teenagers who are struggling with exam stress. I know how hard it can be to balance school, extracurricular activities, and a social life. But with these empowering yoga techniques, you can conquer your stress and focus on the things that really matter.

The Power of Yoga for Stress Relief

Yoga is an ancient practice that has been used for thousands of years to promote physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. By combining mindful movement, breathing techniques, and awareness, yoga helps to calm the mind, release tension from the body, and bring a sense of balance and harmony to your life. This makes it an incredibly effective tool for managing stress, particularly during exam season.

When we're stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which can cause a range of negative side effects, including anxiety, insomnia, and even weight gain. By practicing yoga regularly, you can help to lower your cortisol levels and boost your mood, making it easier to study, focus, and perform well in your exams.

3 Empowering Yoga Techniques to Conquer Exam Stress

Now that you understand the benefits of yoga for stress relief, let's dive into some specific techniques that can help you conquer your exam stress. These practices are suitable for all levels, so whether you're a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, you can start incorporating them into your routine today.

1. Mindful Breathing

One of the simplest yet most powerful ways to reduce stress is through mindful breathing. By focusing on your breath, you can calm your mind and bring your attention back to the present moment, away from worries about exams or other stressors. Try this simple technique:

  • Sit comfortably in a quiet space, with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs completely so that your lower belly expands.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose, releasing all the air from your lungs and allowing you belly to soften back towards your spine.
  • Continue to breathe deeply and slowly for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath and keeping your body relaxed. If bringing your attention to your breath makes your feel uncomfortable at any point then please stop the practice, return to your natural breath and contact a yoga teacher for guidance.

Practice this mindful breathing technique for just a few minutes each day, and you'll start to notice a significant reduction in your stress levels.

2. Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations are a series of yoga poses that stretch and strengthen the entire body while also promoting mental clarity and focus. They're an excellent way to start your day, as they help to wake up the body and prepare the mind for the challenges ahead. Here's a simple Sun Salutation sequence you can follow:

  1. Begin standing in Mountain Pose, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Allow your knees to stay soft, not locking your legs in position. Take a deep breath or sigh and connect with your feet on the ground.
  2. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky.
  3. Exhale as you fold forward from the hips, bringing your hands towards the ground, let your neck release and your head feel heavy - Forward Bend (keep your knees bent as much as you need to here, the aim is to keep the spine long).
  4. Inhale as you lift your chest halfway up, extending your spine, you can rest your fingertips just above your knees for support.
  5. Exhale as you bend your knees to touch the floor, and step back into Downward facing Dog Pose, keeping your hips lifted (again knees might be a little bent if hamstrings are tight), look twds your toes.
  6. Inhale in Dog Pose, then on your Exhale shift your weight forward so your shoulder align over you wrists - Plank Pose. Keep drawing your belly in towards your spine and push your heels back.
  7. As you Exhale lower your knees to the ground, and dive down onto your belly. Shuffle your elbows underneath you shoulders into Sphinx Pose. Inhale deeply here, into your belly and lower back and allow a long smooth exhale through your lips.
  8. On your next Inhale slide your hands to the floor underneath your shoulders and lift back into all fours and into Downward facing Dog again. Hold this pose for several breaths, allowing your spine lengthen and release tension anywhere you notice it.
  9. Inhale as you step or jump your feet back towards your hands.
  10. Exhale as you fold forward once more, releasing any remaining tension.
  11. Inhale as you bend your knees and root down through your feet to float your arms out wide and up overhead, returning your hands together in front of your heart to finish.

Practice this sequence several times each morning, or whenever you need a break from studying.

3. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose

This gentle inversion is a fantastic way to relax and release tension from the body, making it perfect for winding down after a long day of studying. To practice Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose:

  • Find a clear space near a wall and sit with one hip touching the wall.
  • As you lie down on your back, swing your legs up the wall, keeping your arms by your sides.
  • Adjust your position so that your buttocks are close to the wall and your legs are resting comfortably against it.
  • If you have very tight hamstrings you might like to slide a cushion or pillow underneath your pelvis/tailbone.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath, allowing your body to relax and your mind to quieten.
  • Hold this pose for 5 minutes (or as long as your feel comfortable), then gently roll onto your side, take a few breaths to allow the blood flow back into your legs, and slowly sit up when you are ready.

Practice Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose in the evening to help calm your mind and prepare for a restful night's sleep.

Join a Yoga Class for Teen Girls in West Oxfordshire

Practicing yoga at home is a fantastic way to start incorporating these empowering techniques into your life, but joining a class can provide even more support and guidance. If you're in the West Oxfordshire area, I'd love to invite you to join me for a class. These are perfect opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, deepen your practice, and discover new ways to improve your wellbeing.

If you're interested in learning more or would like to join one of my classes, I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected] and let's start our journey towards a happier, healthier, and more balanced life together.