School’s out for Alkalign! The Case for Teen Barre Practice

Alkalign Studios Menlo Park Los Altos #barre #fitnessIf you’re an Alkalign enthusiast, you already know the benefits of a dedicated alignment-focused barre practice. You are physically and mentally stronger, your posture has improved, you’re more resilient and to top it off you just feel better. Imagine if you had tapped into this as an adolescent. What a head start!

 

Summer is a great time for teens to reset physically, mentally and emotionally. Alkalign’s focus on alignment, engagement and dynamic balance provides teens with opportunities to develop in class what will stay with them for a lifetime.

 

As a high school English teacher and a cross country coach, I am well acquainted with the very overscheduled and overstressed lives of adolescents, particularly in the Bay Area. Helping teens bring about their own wellness and cultivate healthy responses to stress should be a priority for parents and educators.

 

Teens who no longer play youth sports or have dedicated P.E. classes still need to exercise. Physical fitness serves as outlet both for mind and body, but traditional avenues for children’s fitness often winnow for teenagers. Without that club team or scheduled class, where do they go? And what will their fitness choices look like when they eventually move out or head to college? Practicing at Alkalign allows them create healthy habits now and can increase their personal ownership in lifestyle choices.

 

For competitive adolescent athletes, hyper focus on one sport (specialization) often leads to repetitive use injuries, psychological stress and burnout [1]. Broadening training with the addition of a barre practice can counter that. Alkalign’s whole body approach allows us all to develop muscle groups that we might not be targeting in our other pursuits, thereby helping us prevent injury. Similarly, think of how mentally engaged you’ve become as you learn about your own body’s abilities and try to perfect your C curve. That kind of new understanding of alignment and function enhances athletic performance as well so that what is learned in the studio translates onto the field, court or track.

 

Beyond all of this, developing a barre practice can help teenagers cope and cultivate inner strength in a similar way that it does for all of us. More attuned body awareness and an interest in how the body works let us, and teens alike, move with more intention and confidence. That attention and intention, the mind-body connection, improve cognition as well and can reduce stress. Athlete or not, it is a gift to be present in your own body and to be grounded in your own strength.

 

So what’s on tap for your teenager this summer? I hope some personal time beyond SAT prep and a spot in class! After all students get a 20% discount on regularly priced class packages and Core Members can add a family member for just $100/month!

 

 

[1] Jayanthi, Neeru et al. “Sports Specialization in Young Athletes: Evidence-Based Recommendations.” Sports Health 5.3 (2013): 251–257. PMC. Web. 25 May 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3658407/

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