Yoga for Teens
By Thia Luby
Clear Light Publishers, 105 pp.
Most people are aware how challenging the teenage years can be. The adolescent in today's society is inundated with images of sex, violence, drugs, distorted ideas of the perfect body, stories of troubled teens, academic and peer pressure, and high school shootings--not to mention raging hormones and their changing physical bodies. The self-esteem, confidence and safety of our youth are at risk. Caught between childhood and adulthood, the teen years are a highly impressionable and vulnerable age, therefore this is an especially important time to develop and encourage healthy, lifelong habits.
To aid and support the teen in these turbulent years, the ancient healing practice of yoga can be a profound and effective tool to help balance mind, body and spirit. Thia Luby's book "Yoga for Teens" is a clear and "easy to understand" introductory book about the practice of yoga. As the author so eloquently states, "Yoga can improve your overall fitness and health. It allows the teen to develop greater poise, grace and confidence, as well as a more accepting relationship to their body and a positive image of who they are in the world."
Thia Luby begins by offering the reader an informative and concise overview of yoga and its specific benefits to the teen years. She describes how to get started with important guidelines for practice sessions. Fortunately, in the beginning of the book she states, "never to force yourself in the posture to where it hurts." In addition, I believe it would be helpful if she reminded the new yoga student to let go of any pushing and striving in the postures throughout the book. Furthermore, there could be a more thorough explanation on the proper technique for deep breathing, since proper breathing is essential to the foundation of yoga.
The postures are depicted with beautiful, glossy photographs demonstrated by teens of all different levels of fitness. They exhibit a relaxed, enjoyable and playful attitude. To help teens visualize the postures, Ms. Luby includes photos of the animals they are named after. The author gives step-by-step instructions on how to enter, hold and release each posture. Although the instructions are clear and uncomplicated, certain postures lack full detail. Still, in all fairness, it is a difficult task to give every physical cue that brings the body into proper alignment without a lengthy explanation. However, Ms. Luby does clearly indicate which postures are basic and which are more advanced.