Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Yoga 4 Teens

‘Yoga 4 Teens:
An instructor’s guide for teaching yoga to teenagers’

By Christy Brock and Jennifer Lightsey

Published by Yogaminded, P O Box 3072, San Clemente, CA 92674-3072
Year: 2005
227 pages
Price: 49.95 US Dollars

I have bought many (MANY!) yoga books in my time. Some are read and placed on a shelf forever more; others are dipped into every now and again; and one or two are forever on my coffee table, ready to be thumbed, read and digested whenever I’m getting ready for a yoga class.

‘Yoga 4 Teens’ is one of these books. After reading the information on Christy Brock’s website, I knew it would be good, but nothing could have prepared me for just how wonderful it really is.

The book is described as spiral bound, which brings to mind a flimsy, paper-backed manual which will soon start to curl at the edges. However, that is NOT the case with this book; it is spiral-bound with a difference. If you have David Swenson’s Ashtanga book, you’ll know what I mean when I say it is spiral-bound, but then covered with a hardwearing board cover. This ensures that the book can be carried around without getting damaged, which is good news for a teacher’s manual.

The book is divided into three parts: ‘What to know’; ‘Poses and teaching them’; and ‘Sample classes’. It is followed by an Appendix which includes charts, lists of postures, resources, quotes and more.

The three parts of this book are everything you could ever wish to know about teaching yoga to teenagers. (And incidentally while it is aimed at the teenage market, it is also a wonderful resource if you teach younger children too). Chapters in Part one include: Establishing a teaching position; Classroom space and props; Principles of teaching teens; Yoga philosophy in the teen classroom; Practicalities; and Class planning.

This part of the book is a fantastic resource for preparing yourself to teach teens, while part two is everything you need to teach the postures themselves – from standing postures to relaxation and everything in between. This part of the book takes up over 100 pages and is illustrated throughout with hundreds of photographs demonstrating all of the postures. There are even extra sections on menstruation, breath awareness and special cases.

Part three includes five sample classes and three objective-specific classes, all of which are illustrated and described with both the English name and the Sanskrit.

After spending an afternoon in the company of ‘Yoga4Teens’, I can truly say that I have never come across a teacher training manual like this one. It is concise, informative and hugely descriptive. As a yoga teacher I have spent many years teaching either young children or older adults, but I have always shied away from the teenage market, fearing I might not be cool enough for them! However, now that I have this book by my side, I really do feel as though I am now equipped with the answers to every question I could possibly have, and I’m now looking forward to teaching teenagers in the future.

As for the authors - Christy Brock and Jennifer Lightsey – their enthusiasm and love for teenagers comes shining through. Many, many hours must have gone into writing this guide and this really shows in the text. I think it is their passion for teaching (and for teaching teenagers in particular) that really makes this book so worthwhile.

And talking of passion for teaching, Christy has also compiled an e-book for those interested in teaching teenagers, entitled “Teaching Teenagers Yoga”. It is a combination of practical advice and inspirational guidance from many yoga teachers, all recalling their experiences of teaching teenagers and what has worked (and hasn’t worked) for them. At 19.95 US dollars, it is a great addition to your bookshelves – particularly because it’s an e-book so you don’t have to wait days or weeks for it to be delivered.

I’d recommend Christy’s books to anyone not only interested in teaching teenagers, but also anyone who actually has a teenager at home. The information contained in both books is tremendous and I for one am very proud to have both manuals in my collection.

‘Yoga4Teens’ and ‘Teaching Teenagers Yoga’ are both available from Christy’s website:
www.yoga4teens.com and www.yogaminded.com while ‘Yoga4Teens’ is also available at www.Amazon.com

Look out for an exclusive interview with Christy coming soon! If you have any questions you’d like to ask Christy, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you.

No comments: